Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eating Out - Korean BBQ

So many tiny plates of pickled stuff... so hard to choose...

Yechon (Korean)

Unlike most American cities, DC's interesting immigrant enclaves aren't located in the forgotten areas near the urban center; they're out in the suburbs. (Ethiopians excluded, of course. They're still here in the District.) The quest for the ultimate in Korean BBQ experience therefore sent us to Annandale, Virginia. To be fair, Annandale is inside the Beltway, so most of folks don't consider it a suburb. But I'm a District snob, so I say it's in the suburbs.

Two of our best foodie friends were in town, so we had to roll out the red carpet and head for the odd and interesting eateries around DC. We met up with another couple who were able to serve as our guides into the deep trenches of VA Korean BBQ.

  • To cover our bases real quick, Korean BBQ is just about the most fun way to eat a meal with friends. The dinner table is filled with little plates full of interesting side dishes (mostly pickled vegetables - oh and free refills on these). In the center of the table sits a large grill pan, and you sit around grill your own meats.
  • Only at Yechon, you don't grill your own meats - the waitress does. But you still get to go home smelling like grilled meat! Everybody wins!
  • Yechon is an interesting looking place. The facade is lined with neon lights, and a giant lighted sign reads "Open 24 Hours." Everyone suggested that it's weird that people would eat Korean BBQ at 3 am, but I think this makes perfect sense. I think it's weird that people would eat Korean BBQ at 9 am.
  • The food was all incredible, but to be honest, I don't really remember what all I ate. I'm sure there was bulgogi and kimchi. But what I do remember is what I drank. It's some sort of Korean wine. Similar to saki, it's served in shot glasses, so I was left wondering whether to sip it or shoot it (I shot it). Check out the bottle though, this stuff wasn't made for sipping...

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