Editors' pick

Han Gang

Korean
$$$$ ($15-$24)
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Editorial Review

2009 Fall Dining Guide

By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009

Korean restaurants always bring to mind dinner theater: Part of the fun of eating in them is watching the table get buried under panchan, the introductory snacks, and having the staff stir-cook your meal on the grill in front of you. Named for the famous river that flows through Seoul, Han Gang is one of Annandale's newer sources for juicy pan-fried dumplings, grilled beef short ribs and one of the best seafood pancakes -- crisp, greaseless and lavished with squid -- I've come across. But the menu goes beyond those standards to include a Korean twist on tuna tartare, enlivened with a dressing that's both sweet and fiery, and abalone and mushrooms warmed up with jalapenos and garlic. A treat for the tongue, Han Gang is also easy on the eyes. Out front are a rock garden and small pool; inside are walnut walls, cozy booths and unfailingly gracious servers.