Cheap Eats 2008: Gom Ba Woo

Why go: Many of the area’s Korean restaurants trade on a specialty: barbecue, fried chicken, noodles, tofu soup. This one wins our favor for its versatility—it does a number of things well—and for its staff, one of the warmest around.

What to get: Soondubu, a spicy red-pepper broth with custardy cubes of tofu and plump oysters; the area’s best seafood pancake; luscious barbecue pork belly to be spooned onto a broad leaf of lettuce and topped with soy paste; seul lung tang, a soup made from long-cooked beef bones that teems with rice cakes, strips of egg and green onion, and slices of meat.

Best for: Diners seeking an introduction to the world of Little Korea.

Insider tip: The menu lists no desserts, which is typical of Korean restaurants. But you can walk across Columbia Pike to Napoleon bakery for lightly sweetened cookies, pastries, and bingsoo—shaved ice topped with ice cream and ripe fruit.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

See all 2008 Cheap Eats restaurants 

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.