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10 hours ago, FranklinDubya said:

Any recommendations for things to try at Blue Sands?  I've been interested in going but wasn't sure where exactly to start with the somewhat large menu.

Are you going by yourself or with a bunch of people and eating family style?  Are you familiar with Korean food in general?  In any case, you might want to PM Escoffier.

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1 hour ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Are you going by yourself or with a bunch of people and eating family style?  Are you familiar with Korean food in general?  In any case, you might want to PM Escoffier.

- Probably by myself : I'm very close to Annandale on days when I work from home so I was hoping to go for lunch... unless someone tells me going solo is a dumb idea.

- I'm mildly familiar?  I've been to Gom Ba Woo a few times plus Kogiya, Yechon, and a few others.  Outside of kbbq items I've had a couple different types of soups and pancakes.  *There's definitely more that I haven't tried than I have at this point*

- I'll definitely shoot Escoffier a pm, thanks!

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13 hours ago, FranklinDubya said:

Any recommendations for things to try at Blue Sands?  I've been interested in going but wasn't sure where exactly to start with the somewhat large menu.

I look forward to your INSTA post on what you happen to decide on getting! In my experience, I would opt to eat Korean with a group for optimal serving of Banchan. I made the mistake of dining solo:(. I won't be making that mistake again. Food just taste better when you are in a group. Just my opinion. 

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My understanding is that typically a Korean will order one dish (a grilled fish, a stew, etc.), enjoy the banchans, and eat some rice.  I cannot order less than 2 dishes (and I don't eat rice), so I would either do the seafood pancake and then a stew, or maybe a grilled fish and a stew.  I haven't been to Blue Sand but that's what I'd do for lunch by myself at pretty much any Korean joint (other than BBQ joints).

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2 hours ago, curiouskitkatt said:

I look forward to your INSTA post on what you happen to decide on getting! In my experience, I would opt to eat Korean with a group for optimal serving of Banchan. I made the mistake of dining solo:(. I won't be making that mistake again. Food just taste better when you are in a group. Just my opinion. 

Totally agreed (especially with Korean food), although my issue here would having friends I could sell on Korean seafood without having been myself so my maiden voyage will probably be solo.

2 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

My understanding is that typically a Korean will order one dish (a grilled fish, a stew, etc.), enjoy the banchans, and eat some rice.  I cannot order less than 2 dishes (and I don't eat rice), so I would either do the seafood pancake and then a stew, or maybe a grilled fish and a stew.  I haven't been to Blue Sand but that's what I'd do for lunch by myself at pretty much any Korean joint (other than BBQ joints).

I have the same 'issue' where I feel like I haven't properly tried a restaurant unless I've ordered two things.  That seems like a good plan though - I'm gonna try and go some time next and will report back in this thread.

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Went to To Sok Jip last night for dinner.  After all the warnings about the service being "mean" from personal stories / Yelp I was pleasantly surprised on that front - it was no nonsense for sure and they kind of expected you to know how things worked but we were treated just fine.

Got the seafood pancake and the bossam - both were great I thought, and the portions were massive.    One thing I wouldn't have known without randomly seeing a youtube video on this the night before was that they put the salted-shrimp (saeu-jeot) with the rest of the banchan but adding this to the bossam wraps was pretty essential.

One question for more experience Korean diners - how does one properly eat a seafood or kimchi pancake?  The slices they had were a bit unwieldy for chopsticks but it didn't seem to work great as hand food either... we felt like we were probably missing something.

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Had a great dinner at Kogiya a few weeks ago.  The $23 all you can eat is quite the deal.  The wait staff was incredibly attentive--making sure everything was well-cooked and bringing us whatever we needed.  I'd say my favorite part of the meal was the unlimited bonchon side dishes (spicy kimchi, veggies, etc.)--I could have likely skipped the meat altogether, though it was good too.  The place gets packed though, so call in the early afternoon to get your name on the list.  Also, wear clothes you don't mind getting stained/smelling.

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2 hours ago, funkyfood said:

unlimited bonchon side dishes (spicy kimchi, veggies, etc.)

 

With the utmost respect (for Hangul badly translated into English :) ) bonchon (properly capitalized as Bonchon) is a Korean Fried Chicken chain with a number of restaurants in the DC Metro area.  The word you meant is panchan or banchan (파친).  Glad you enjoyed the  BBQ overload, now go to Gom Ba Woo and order haemul paejun (해산물 팬케이크), the excellent mandu (만두) and the dolsot bibimbab (돌솥 비빔밥). Or if you really want a true Korean experience without the somewhat Americanized service, go to To Sok Jip and point to anything on the menu.  You wont' be disappointed.

 

PS: Banchan is an important part of EVERY Korean meal and is almost always unlimited. A hard concept for Me-guks to wrap their heads around. 😎

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13 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Going to Blue Sand this Fri at 11:30 with Steve.  Anyone interested in joining, post here or shoot me an IM. We’ll be eating family style.

If it is 11:30 pm, I will meet you!  I imagine you mean am though.

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4 hours ago, FranklinDubya said:

Derp, I never sent it, but thank you for the response! I think your response sorta hits the nail on the head with my experience at To Sok Jip when I went there which I personally didn't mind at all.  My dining companion and I are typically devour our food quickly and go in with a good idea of what we want which worked out well.

... whoops..  well this is tremendously helpful for next time so thank you!  

Many non-Koreans don't think to tear their cuisine with a chopstick in each hand, but that's how it's done.

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2 hours ago, Genevieve said:

Where would you go for jap chae, either in Annandale or elsewhere (NoVa or DC)?

Thank you!

Not an expert here, but if you like spice, Choong Hwa Won in Annandale does gochu japchae with the steamed buns, but that's the spicy version with green peppers. They used to do buchu japchae (garlic chives instead of green peppers), but it disappeared, sadly. Guess what my favorite dish was there?

From the menu, I don't think you get the steamed buns with the "plain" japchae.

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Not Korean, but I think Kimen Ramen opened up next to The Block. I've heard good things. 

Mama Mei opened in The Block and serves spicy fried chicken or something. Not tried it myself. 

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