Cheap Eats 2012: Gom Ba Woo

Pan-fried mandu. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Cheap Eats 2012

In a Koreatown pulsing with novelty and fusion flair, we return to this quiet, low-key cafe. The panchan, the parade of palate-priming snacks that kicks off a Korean meal, are some of the best around, and the dishes that follow are likely to soothe and excite in equal measure, from the soups (a marvelous galbi tang, a short-rib stew) to the superb seafood pancake (a light frittata laced with scallion and studded with octopus and shrimp) to the delicately wrapped mandu, or dumplings.

Also good: Sul leung tang, a slow-simmered beef soup; kimchee chigae, a spicy stew; a barbecue option of grilled pork belly and grilled kimchee.

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 Petworth.