Cheap Eats 2009: Gom Ba Woo

Great food, low prices, lots of fun

Why go: An anomaly in Little Korea: a ten-table mom-and-pop that boasts no signature dish or theme and steers clear of any entreaties to the much-coveted youth demographic. It’s content to let its quiet excellence speak for itself.

What to get: Steamed dumplings called mandu; seafood pancake, a scallion-veined frittata studded with octopus and shrimp; soondubu, spicy tofu soup with oysters; spicy pork-belly barbecue; sul lung tang, the Korean version of Vietnamese pho—long-simmered beef broth garnished with chewy rice cakes, egg, and scallions.

Best for: Anyone intent on giving Korean food a try. Or another try.

Insider tip: Appetizers and entrées are large, so splitting is the way to go. Take advantage of the panchan, the array of small dishes that precedes a Korean meal; it includes some of the freshest, liveliest kimchee around.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here  

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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.