7220-C Columbia Pike
Annandale, VA 22003
1/16/2010 1:45pm - 3:15pm
We met a group of coworkers at Honey Pig to get our Korean BBQ fix. We have tried a few of the ones located in Annandale, however had not been to this place before. When you enter this place, you will feel as if you are in a metal shack in a shanty town. The floor is a concrete (I don't believe it was even stained), corrugated metal walls, and pipes and pipefittings instead of low partitions for separation. The organizer (she is Korean) explained to us that this is actually how a BBQ restaurant is supposed to look in Korea, so I guess the decor was the way it should be. However, I do not believe that explains the "Sales/Specials" signs located throughout and the awesome artwork of food (as well as other odd ball items) used to add color to the space.
Good thing that the interior doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the food. They started us with a fresh salad, topped with onions and dressing. Not sure what the dressing was, but it, as well as the salad were very good. Next we ordered the #6 Bul Go Gi (seasoned tender beef), #11 Bul Nak Chul Pan (seasoned beef, octupus, and fresh veggies), and the LA Special (beef and rib bits).
The Bul Go Gi was the best out of the bunch. The beef had a well seasoned nice juicey tenderness. The meat just melted in your mouth. They topped it off with onions, jalepenos, and garlic cloves. Even tastier with the salty dipping sauce. Our biggest complaint was that they didn't seem to bring enough (either that or we were apparently starving). Also, for some reason we didn't get the lettuce leaves until after my small bowl full was already eaten.
The Bul Nak Chul Pan was ok. I'm not sure if maybe I just wasn't that into this dish or what. The veggies and seasoning were good, however the beef seemed to be non-existant (maybe that was just the portion I got) and the octupus takes a bit of getting used to. I think it was a good "out of the box" choice, but I don't think I would order this again.
The LA Special was not as tender as the Bul Go Gi, though it was also very good. Our server cut them into nice bite sized pieces, and they disappeared very quickly. She also separated the bones, which look like a segment of ribs and continued cooking them. Once all the meat was gone, it was time to work on getting whatever fragments of meat remained off the bones. I seemed to be more up to the task though, and continued gnawing well after everyone else was done. The bones and meat had a strong saltiness to them and would have been a great snack.
They also brought out a soy soup (basically a miso soup, with tofu, mushrooms, and scallions) and boiled egg. Both of these soups were nice starters. They seemed to compliment each other nicely, since you get the jello affect with the egg and the brothiness of the soy soup. Also, they remained on the table the whole time, so you could dive in once they cooled a bit and between bites of BBQ. If you are familiar with Korean BBQ, you know that they bring a variety of dishes out to support the main course, such as seasoned potatoes, kim chi, greens, garlic cloves, and dipping sauces. I must say, that the sides were pretty standard and nothing too exciting. The kim chi didn't have a lot of spiciness, and the same for the potatoes. Since we were still hungry, we tried the seafood scallion pancake. This was also very good, however if you are expecting a typical pancake, beware, cause you won't find it here. It somewhat reminded me of a potatoe pancake (which it may actually be). Though I didn't really taste a lot of seafood, the consistancy and scallions were still a delight.
The cleanliness was a bit worrisome for this place. The menus were obviously greasey and this may have something to do with the grill setup, since at one point during our meal, the grease overflowed the catch, and ran all over our table. We were lucky to have a decent size table, which doesn't say much, as it was still full with all types of small dishes, and some food bits flew into nearby drinking waters. Soda is sold out of a can, and our service seemed to disappear at a couple of points throughout the meal, especially when our initial three dishes we ordered were cooked. I won't even get into the restrooms...
3 out of 5 yums...