Food

Cheap Eats 2008: Da Rae Won

Why go: Fresh, hand-rolled noodles—the specialty of this novel Korean-style Chinese restaurant, where the dinnertime serenity is occasionally punctuated by what sounds like a medicine ball being slammed against the kitchen wall. Look through the showcase window to see a cook smacking a long skein of dough against a powdered wooden counter, picking it up, pulling it like taffy, flinging it behind his head, twirling it, then starting the process over again—a laborious, time-honored method of separating the dough into long strands of noodles.

What to get: The fried dumplings called mandoo; gan jajang, scissor-cut noodles that come with a small dish of fresh black-bean sauce to mix with them; thick-brothed samsun woolmyun brimming with baby bok choy, drizzled egg, and shrimp; a party-platter-like dish called yangjangpi, an array of cold and hot vegetables in a wonderful, head-clearing mustard sauce.

Best for: Anyone willing to venture out for a Korean meal that doesn’t include barbecue, sushi, or Korean-style fried chicken.

Insider tip: Ignore the pan chan side dishes, which are mostly disappointing. The menu doesn’t distinguish between starters and main courses, and prices can be deceptive. For instance, yangjangpi—at $20.95—would appear to be an entrée, but it’s really meant for sharing; it can feed five or six as a starter, four as a main course.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants   

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
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.