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Ichiban, Chef Suzie Kim's Korean-Japanese on N. Frederick Avenue (next to CostCo) in Gaithersburg


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Went here last night for dinner. Hadn't been in probably over 10 years. I was happy that it looks like they have done a slight remodel (new paint and carpet). My wife and I ordered from the korean menu. I had Sashimi Dub Bap and my wife had Dolsot Seafood Bim Bim Bap. Both were very tasty (well mine was at least, the wfie didn't complain which means she liked it). Mine was a mixture of sashimi on a bed of lettuce, including tuna, salmon, flounder, squid, imitation crab, yellow tail, and flying fish eggs. There was also some seaweed salad. They brought us some banchan which were pretty run of the mill. At the table next to us there were to older Korean men drinking soju and beer, they had a huge assortment of banchan, got some sort of whole crab dish and then a huge sahsimi platter that made me jealous. I need to go back and get that sashimi platter!

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I could have sworn that there was a thread for Ichiban Gaithersburg, but I can't seem to find one.  This is a go to stop when we can't get a table at Yuraku and don't want to wait.  I actually like the Hwae Dup Bop better here than Yuraku.  The fish has always been fresh, nice friendly service, and they have an amazing lunch buffet which for sushi alone is great, but when you throw in the Korean dishes, it is a true home run.

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I could have sworn that there was a thread for Ichiban Gaithersburg, but I can't seem to find one.  This is a go to stop when we can't get a table at Yuraku and don't want to wait.  I actually like the Hwae Dup Bop better here than Yuraku.  The fish has always been fresh, nice friendly service, and they have an amazing lunch buffet which for sushi alone is great, but when you throw in the Korean dishes, it is a true home run.

There are up to three different Ichiban's in the DC area, and they appear to be separate businesses:

1) Gaithersburg (website)

2) McLean (thread, website)

3) Alexandria (website, apparently opening a second location in Shirlington)

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Went for the first time today, as I had a lunchtime errand to run at Costco next door.

It was fine, but I'm not running back. The Korean dishes on the buffet are pretty good - probably slightly better than those at Yuraku (Germantown) or Hinode (Rockville). But I thought the sushi quality and selection was far behind those at Yuraku or Hinode.

Of the three lunch buffets, Hinode is my favorite - a slight edge over Yuraku. They're probably tied on quality, but Hinode has a better selection, and it's easier to get a seat! Yuraku can have significant waits at lunchtime, because it's very small.

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Haven't been to Hinode in years (especially since Bethesda closed), but I do remember their sushi being pretty good.  Agree with Yuraku, the wait at any time can be horrible (but then again, you show up sometimes during prime time and get seated immediately, and there is over an hour wait for takeout).

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This restaurant which was open since 1985 (assuming it should have also been on the longest open restaurants list) is now closed per the announcement on their website.  Not sure if it was the pandemic that caused it, but I am sure it contributed.  The main menu here was always pretty solid.  I know they used to get a bunch of Korean tour groups through for meals while visiting DC, the loss of that business probably hurt.  Their other locations are two stalls at the nearby Lotte Market: Aery and Ichiban Mikoshi Sushi.  Neither have the same quality as the original.

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