100 Very Best Restaurants: #13 – Anju

Ssam platter with short rib. Photograph courtesy of Anju.

About Anju

1805 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

Little has felt consistent in restaurants since the pandemic. Anju’s warm welcome and soulful cooking are a notable exception. Dupont’s neighborhood Korean spot—which opened in 2019 with gastro­pub ambitions and destination-­worthy execution—feels like a second living room with the kind of thoughtful, unfussy cooking that breeds regulars. Thank matriarch Yesoon “Mama” Lee for homey, kimchi-laced stews. Chef Angel Barreto innovates with dishes such as rice-stuffed Cornish hen in ginseng soup, galbi boards with seasonal accoutrements, and citrusy hamachi-pomegranate crudo. Dinner is date-worthy, but we also love the low-key brunch and the bar for happy-hour kimchi dogs. Moderate.