what was consumed: korean bbq (sahm gyup sahl, seng galbi) - YUM ... dwenjang jjigae, hehmool pahjeon, and of course, soju & korean beer~
i'm korean. i grew up eating korean food and my mom makes some of the best korean food out there. as a result, i don't go out to eat korean food all that much. but when i do, it's usually for korean bbq. but here's the thing. not only did i grow up on korean food, i also grew up in so.cal where korean food is sometimes better than food actually in korea. what's my point? my point is that i've been pretty spoiled when it comes to korean food and i have in turn become quite critical of restaurants. now, that isn't to say that i won't eat at mediocre, or even bad, korean restaurants. but i will say something about it and even make a stink about 'em. no matter - there is value in all of them whether it be good food, good times, nostalgia, etc.
so, as i was asking and looking around for good korean restaurants in the 3rd largest korean immigrant population in the US (yes, the dc/metro area is 3rd behind LA and NY), people kept refering me to ggul dwe ji.
ggul dwe ji offers "korean style" bbq, where you cook it yourself at your table. while some prefer to have their food totally cooked before it comes out, there's something about bbq-ing your food so that it's just the way you like it. you can make different combinations (between the gogi (meat) and the bahnchan (side dishes)), you can cook the gogi to your preferred temperature, you see all of the fat ooze out. DELICIOUS.
while there really aren't vegetarian options (as is the korean way. while meat is not a huge part of the korea
part of what i like about ggul dwe ji is that it reminds me of all the times i had bbq in seoul (which was pretty frequent), as was the korean american way. all of the times i would sit, eat, and drink with my friends, talking about our days, our classes, our students ... talking about korean americans and how we were different from the other KAs, about what life would be like when we (inevitably) return to the states, about our hopes and dreams, about gossip (of course) ... i miss it so much!
so anyway, of all of the places i've been for korean bbq in the DC/metro area, i recommend ggul dwe ji. that is, if it's not at my house cooking on my own ... is there something better? let me know!
online: www.kt411.com/bbq (korean website)