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Arisu, Korean in North Georgetown - Next Door to Bistrot Lepic - Closed


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Last Friday I had lunch at Arisu, a charming, down-to-earth Korean restaurant located next to Bistrot Lepic in upper Georgetown. Apparently, Arisu has been in business for 10 months now. The menu has mostly Korean dishes, but also some Japanese ones as well (ramen, tempura, sushi; in fact, our waitress mentioned that they have plans to open a sushi bar in the downstairs space at some point.). Note that the main dining room is upstairs, there's nothing on the main level, and the bathrooms are in the basement.

Let me preface this review by saying that I'm a virtual novice when it comes to Korean food although I've had Korean barbecue a number of times. At Arisu. I had the Ssam (thin strips of marinated ribeye beef topped with radish) as an appetizer and the mandu dumpling soup. The soup was delicious! (I remembered reading a post by Dean Gold about how well some Korean restaurants do soup, and I would venture to guess that Arisu is one of them.) The dumplings were made of chicken and veggies, and the broth was extremely flavorful with noodles, scallions, and mushrooms. The small soup was quite filling (I don't think I could have made it even halfway through the entree, larger size), and the price was really reasonable ($5.95). Our waitress said it is a healthy soup and takes more than three hours to prepare. My friend and I were also thinking of getting a tofu dish, but were unsure of which one to order. Next time I may try the spicy tofu soup. Service was very friendly and gracious. The atmosphere is comfortable and attractive, with simple wooden tables, banquette seating and comfy pillows. cushions lining the bench seating, and deep red walls. And as I said before, prices are reasonable (most lunch entrees are $9-$15 and appetizers average $6). Arisu would be good for a date or place to catch up with a friend (the ambiance is somewhat Zen; not completely quiet, but much quieter than other nearby lunch spots. I look forward to having another meal at Arisu soon. Im already craving its mandu soup!

P.S. I dont think Arisu has a website. Heres the address & tel:

1734 Wisconsin Ave NW

(between N R St & N S St)

Washington, DC 20007

(202) 333-8822

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Being a beginner to Korean food myself :(, I'd suggest that you check your spicy tolerance before you order Soon Doo Boo (spicy Tofu soup). It comes in three heat ranges, spicy, spicier and nuclear. You might also want to try Duk Mandu Guk (soup with mandu and thinly sliced rice cakes and rice noodles). You had Mandu Guk which in the Duk Mandu Guk form is one of my favorites. You should try Duk Mandu Guk at Yechon if you'd like the definitive version. You might also try the soolantang at Gamasot for another soup that is extremely satisfying. Most Korean places don't serve sushi (with a couple of exceptions) as they generally specialize in one or maybe two specific foods. A food crawl through Annandale with someone who's familiar with Korean food is the best way to learn. I'd suggest Grover, but she's out of town until November (only one more week to go 'til she's home..hooray!) but Dean can do a pretty good job for a mee-guk.

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Being a beginner to Korean food myself :(, I'd suggest that you check your spicy tolerance before you order Soon Doo Boo (spicy Tofu soup). It comes in three heat ranges, spicy, spicier and nuclear. You might also want to try Duk Mandu Guk (soup with mandu and thinly sliced rice cakes and rice noodles). You had Mandu Guk which in the Duk Mandu Guk form is one of my favorites. You should try Duk Mandu Guk at Yechon if you'd like the definitive version. You might also try the soolantang at Gamasot for another soup that is extremely satisfying. Most Korean places don't serve sushi (with a couple of exceptions) as they generally specialize in one or maybe two specific foods. A food crawl through Annandale with someone who's familiar with Korean food is the best way to learn. I'd suggest Grover, but she's out of town until November (only one more week to go 'til she's home..hooray!) but Dean can do a pretty good job for a mee-guk.

Thanks. Actually, regarding the spicy tofu soup, our waitress at Arisu told us that they offer two options-spicy and mild (although I suppose you could ask for it extra spicy as they seem to be very accomodating). Also, I mentioned sushi because Arisu serves it, and as I said, they made a point of telling us about their plans to open a sushi bar on the lower level of the restaurant. I'll make it to Annandale eventually, most likely with a Korean client of mine. For now, I'm happy to try out places closer to home. Based on my Korean client's recommendation, I'll likely visit Mandu in the near future if we don't go back to Arisu first! I do appreciate your recommendations, and also found Dean's input on another thread about Korean cuisine quite helpful. Anyway, my main intention here was to report on my visit to Arisu. I hope DonRockwellers will give it a try!

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Apparently it is no more.

That's too bad, but I can't say that it comes as a big surprise. The few times I've been to Arisu, it's either been completely empty or there were just a few other patrons. And after having a lukewarm, disappointing bibimbap last fall, I haven't been back. I did enjoy Arisu's mandu soup and cozy atmosphere though. It's a nice space for a lounge or tapas restaurant...

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