Vit Goel ToFu (Lighthouse Tofu and BBQ) - Annandale
4121 Chatelain Rd.
Annandale, VA 22003
Open Monday through Saturday 11 AM to 10 PM; Sunday 11 to 9.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Not Needed
Soondubu; Korean short ribs; bulgogi.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly
It's a dizzying scene at these two tofu-focused restaurants, where the wallpaper recalls a Korean newspaper and servers scurry around with bubbling cauldrons of a soup known as soondubu. Anchored by a vivid red-pepper broth and soft, almost melting blocks of tofu, the hot liquid can be dressed in a variety of ways: with oysters, beef, vegetables, or a raw egg (wait a minute or so until the soup cools a little before you drop it in), all meant to thicken the broth. There are five spice levels for the soondubu--medium is about right for the average diner.
While the soondubu is the star of the menu, there are other gems. The selection of pa jun--egg-and-scallion pancakes with seafood, kimchee, or vegetables--make for good additions to the table.
A big perk to a meal here: It's as healthy as spa food but more satisfying.
Also good: Fried dumplings; bulgogi, thin-sliced beef in a soy marinade.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.