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Best Korean for a Newbie


TheMatt
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I have a friend coming into town and I'm thinking I might take her to a Korean restaurant in or around Annandale because a. she's never had it before, b. she's a meat lover, and c. she's curious about it since I talk about getting it so often (yay for living near Annandale!). But, when I look at my recent dining in Annandale, I seem to go to the more specialized places--Lighthouse, Gamasot (not Annandale, but close to me), Seoul Soondae, Korean-Chinese--where I usually get the specialty of the house which isn't the "usual" Korean barbeque. I'm thinking bulgogi, pork, things like that, rather than jajangmyeon or gamjatang for her first exposure.

So, I was wondering if you could provide some suggestions. In my mind I thought of Yechon, Honey Pig, and Oegadgib. I'm probably leaning to the latter as it has the BBQ (all-you-can-eat?) and, at least the last time I was there, a plethora of yummy banchan so my friend could sample all sorts of new tastes. But, I thought I'd ask the more knowledgeable ones among us if one of those would be best or if there's another place I'm just forgetting.

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I think you have the right idea. Korean BBQ always appeals to the beginners. I would recommend Chung Dai-Gam (7215 Columbia Pike Annandale, VA 22003 703-894-0431) for BBQ because it is the only charcoal BBQ place in Annandale, VA. The taste is very good and the price is good, too. It has more formal atmosphere than Honey Pig. Yechon is also a good place to go because it provides very good bahn-chans. For an all-you can-eat place, I would recommend Hee-Been. You might have read the posts raving about the restaurant.

Actually Han-Sung Oak has an unique style of Korean BBQ, their seafood pancake is tasty and service is quite excellent. Did I give you enough choices? :(

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I guess I hadn't thought of Hee Been. When I think of buffet I think of it, but for some reason, not AYCE. How very odd. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have some places in mind now if she wants Korean! (I suppose there is also Damoim, but I'd rather go "straight" Korean.)

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Hey Grover... any suggestions for Maryland locations?

Honey Pig in Ellicott City? :(

(In Annandale, I'd vote Honey Pig or Annangol for adventurous diners (Yechon slightly less so, but it's a nice atmosphere; the relatively expensive Han Gang also has Korean BBQ, but I've never had it there), and don't forget Il Mee for a more timorous crowd. For a first-timer, I'd think about Woo Lae Oak in Tysons Corner (and also about stopping by the ATM beforehand.))

What is Chung Gai-Dam?! I thought I knew 'em all.

Cheers,

Rocks

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Honey Pig in Ellicott City? :(

(In Annandale, I'd vote Honey Pig or Annangol for adventurous diners (Yechon slightly less so, but it's a nice atmosphere; the relatively expensive Han Gang also has Korean BBQ, but I've never had it there), and don't forget Il Mee for a more timorous crowd. For a first-timer, I'd think about Woo Lae Oak in Tysons Corner (and also about stopping by the ATM beforehand.))

What is Chung Gai-Dam?! I thought I knew 'em all.

Cheers,

Rocks

We don't go to MD often so I don't have much idea about Korean restaurants there... My best experience was Da Rae Won in Beltsville serving Korean-Chinese cuisine. However, I read the some posts regarding Honey Pig Ellicott city. It sounds very good.

Chung Dai-Gam (means Sir Chung) is a charcoal BBQ place with formal atmosphere. I saw a lot of American family coming there. Lunch special is $4.99.

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For MoCo it is a tale of places that have slipped mostly.... WooMi and Vit Gol are shadows of their former selves. WooMi is not bad, but spendy for what you get. Their lunch buffet is a good deal but the selection is small an unchanging from wek to wek {a few dishes rotate on each day of the week, I like Mondays and Fridays best.

Da Rae Won is superbm, better than ever! Hand pulled noodles and insanely good pan fried dumplings. Witha group, rice cake with seafood or he chipped salad are incredible.

Gahr Rahn in the same shopping center has good sushi at their AYCE brunch and good BBQ which they offer on a buffet at night now. Not worth a long detour, but good.

Hwa Gae Jang Tuh in Twinbrook is incredible, the best of the lot by a mile. They ahve a huge menu so there are misses, but the BBQ, the Soon Du Bu and the soups in general are fantastic. Have not tried their Dolsot Bi Bim Bap or the Korean Chinese dishes. This is as good if not better than any spot we have been to for BBQ in Annandale. It is more expensive and much less happening than Honey Pig, so we go to both.

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I think Honey Pig is good for a newbie, I went w/ a friend & a couple of small kids, & we enjoyed our lunch-I know we got the bulgogi & octopus chulpan, steamed egg ( for the veg), & something else-service was haphazard, but sufficient-we also had lunch at Royal Court BBq once-service was MUCH better, but food wasn't quite as good...

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What is Chung Gai-Dam?! I thought I knew 'em all.

Cheers,

Rocks

It's the same location that used to have a giant golden cow on the sign. It is accessible from the Giant parking lot, and has its back to Columbia Pike---sort of across the street from Honey Pig, but facing away from it. We had lunch there today and enjoyed the black pork belly (#3) and a ojingu dosolt bibimbap, (#15). Both dishes were particularly nice. They don't seem to do table grilling at lunch time, but we can't complain because the pork belly slices made in the kitchen were so good. Some of them were so crispy you could have passed them off as deep fried. The dosolt dish came out with a nice crust of crisped rice already formed on the bottom. The well-oiled stone pot was so hot that it was able to crisp a second layer of rice. This was served with a soy/scallion sauce rather than the usual hot bean paste. We applied it judiciously; the entire dish of the sauce would have made the rice too salty for my taste. Banchan were decent, not outstanding, but considerably better than the sad offering at Honey Pig. (I love Honey Pig, but the banchan are weak.)

Grover's $4.99 lunch special didn't seem to exist on our menu, but the dishes were $7.99 and $9.99, very reasonable for what they were.

Grover, thanks for providing the address. We would never have found it with just the name--the sign is not transliterated yet.

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It's the same location that used to have a giant golden cow on the sign. It is accessible from the Giant parking lot, and has its back to Columbia Pike---sort of across the street from Honey Pig, but facing away from it. We had lunch there today and enjoyed the black pork belly (#3) and a ojingu dosolt bibimbap, (#15). Both dishes were particularly nice. They don't seem to do table grilling at lunch time, but we can't complain because the pork belly slices made in the kitchen were so good. Some of them were so crispy you could have passed them off as deep fried. The dosolt dish came out with a nice crust of crisped rice already formed on the bottom. The well-oiled stone pot was so hot that it was able to crisp a second layer of rice. This was served with a soy/scallion sauce rather than the usual hot bean paste. We applied it judiciously; the entire dish of the sauce would have made the rice too salty for my taste. Banchan were decent, not outstanding, but considerably better than the sad offering at Honey Pig. (I love Honey Pig, but the banchan are weak.)

Grover's $4.99 lunch special didn't seem to exist on our menu, but the dishes were $7.99 and $9.99, very reasonable for what they were.

Grover, thanks for providing the address. We would never have found it with just the name--the sign is not transliterated yet.

PollyG, sorry about the incorrect information. I copied the price from a Korean Restaurant guide website but guessed it is outdated. It is interesting to hear that you've got soy/scallion sauce other than hot bean paste. Not sure why but you could have asked hot bean paste if you preferred.

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