7106 Columbia Pike
Annandale, VA 22003
Cuisines: Tapas/Small Plates, Korean
Monday through Thursday 11 to 11, Friday and Saturday 11 to 2, and Sunday 11 to 11.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Price Range: Moderate
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Veggie mandu; kimchee quesadillas; kimchee chili; braised short rib; fried chicken; Korean tacos.
Small plates $5 to $12, entrées $12 to $24.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly
"East meets West" is typically shorthand for a restaurant that blends Asian flavors and ingredients with American-style presentation, often to stylish effect. At this Koreatown anomaly--a slick-looking sports bar filled with Beatles memorabilia--the East/West mash-up turns up such curiosities as kimchee quesadillas and tacos stuffed with galbi (marinated short ribs).
Panchan is nowhere in evidence--the traditional Korean menu has given way to a small-plates format. The dabblings in Tex-Mex might raise eyebrows among traditionalists, but they're the least interesting aspect of the menu.
There are dishes that wouldn't be out of place in a bistro, including a Frenchified rendition of galbi, in which a sweetly marinated short rib is accented with glazed carrots and pearl onions; Korean classics such as mandu, made-from-scratch dumplings built on gossamer-light wrappers that crunch when they're deep-fried; and bar snacks including free-range chicken wings cooked to order and glazed with red-pepper sauce. All surpass expectations.
Also good: Buckwheat noodles with pickled cucumbers, radishes, and hard-boiled egg; spicy chicken stew; short-rib bibim bap, a hot stone bowl full of rice, veggies, grilled meat, and a fried egg.
Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.