Introduce your palate to Asian food that isn’t Chinese or Thai with today’s deal: $15 for $30 worth of Korean food and drinks at Mandu in Dupont Circle, one of the few authentic Korean restaurants in the DC area.Besides, they’re only cute because they taste so good.
At Palace Korean BBQ, diners watch as meats sizzle atop tableside barbecue pits, flanked by a colorful mélange of marinated vegetables, rice, and Korean condiments. In addition to Korean barbecue, kim-chi, and bi bim bop dishes, Palace’s expert chefs chop fresh ingredients and simmer them in teriyaki sauce or roll them into fresh sushi and sashimi. Their sharable Japanese shabu-shabu dishes also warm empty bellies.
Decorated with minimalistic earth tones, Asian masks, and dark wooden tables and chairs, the dining room fuses traditional and contemporary elements better than a supercomputer glued to a horse-drawn carriage. Throughout the eatery, bamboo stalks spring up from square pots, glowing in the same neon lights that illuminate the fully-stocked bar.
Korean specialties such as barbecue short ribs, kimchi, and—of course—tofu soup fill the menu at this casual restaurant with outposts in Annandale and Centreville. Among the chefs' crowning offerings are steaming bowls of bi bim bap that cradle bulgogi (Korean-style marinated beef) as well as heaps of bean sprouts, corn, and fried egg. Depending on personal tastes, the spice levels of each dish can be custom calibrated from ultra-mild “white” to three-alarm “spicy spicy.” But not all dishes served here come to the table piping hot, including the cool naegn myun soup, a refreshing summer dish loaded with buckwheat noodles, slices of beef, and hints of Noreaster.
Lauded for both its cuisine and its atmosphere, Woo Lae Oak seats diners in spacious tables, booths, and portable pods, in which they can enjoy a distinctly Korean-American blend of abstract wall furnishings and traditional Korean artwork. The expansive bar, centered about a large fireplace with a modern tile hearth, features ample space for enjoying Soju and sushi. Please call ahead to confirm your reservation.
The sounds of sputtering grill tops, clattering utensils, and lively conversation fill the dining room at Honey Pig Gooldaegee Korean Grill, earning it praise from the Washington Post in 2010 as "one of the most entertaining barbecues around." The menu brims with both familiar and adventurous meats, including pork belly, beef ribs, and pork neck. Diners soak in Korean culture via both the food and K-pop, selecting a protein-rich spread and watching as the servers sear their orders on solar-heated tableside grills.
Woomi Garden's expansive menu teems with authentic Korean barbecue, fresh entrées, and schools of sushi. Lunchtime combinations serve up an assortment of fresh sushi served with miso soup ($9.95), or spoon out yook gae jang, whose shredded beef and spicy broth grant both satisfaction and the ability to start a fire with a mere whisper ($8.95). Diners can kick off dinners with an appetizing appetizer of lightly battered and fried soft-shell crab ($8.95) before diving into hearty entrées, such as broiled chicken teriyaki doused in flavorful sauce ($15.95). The popular bulgogi, a dish of marinated, tender beef rib eye, arrives sliced thin for an easier slide down fun-loving fork tines ($19.95). A variety of special sushi rolls, such as the Rock 'n' Roll, warm the cockles of the belly, snuggling a mouthwatering medley of fresh salmon, eel, flying-fish roe, crab, avocado, cucumber, and lettuce ($11.95). Once organic furnaces have been fully fueled, cool off overheated mouth-grates with sips from a sake martini ($5.50) or a glass of wine ($4.85).