Editors' pick

Oegadgib

Korean
$$$$ ($15-$24)
'

Editorial Review

2007 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007

Set back from the road and without English signage, Oegadgib (pronounced way-kat-cheep) may be the most hidden of Annandale's dozens of Korean restaurants -- even my well-connected Korean escort was surprised to learn the place has been open for more than two years now. Inside is a compact dining room that could pass for a neighborhood joint in Seoul -- low wooden tables flanked by wooden chairs, the air heavy with the aroma of garlic and fire -- as well as a menu that includes the familiar seafood pancakes and barbecued beef but also less common sights. One of them is "spicy skate stew," lightly fermented fish that lives up to its billing with a heap of scallions and green chilies, and a dark sauce that extends the teasing. Another specialty of the house is soybean soup, or "miso on drugs," as my guide describes the coarse bowl of creamy tofu and mung beans flavored with bits of pork. A diner doesn't have to be daring here -- the potato and pork hot pot could pass for a Midwestern supper -- but it pays for the novice to branch out of his comfort zone; instead of drinking beer, try a bowl of beige, rice-based soju, which goes down as smoothly as sake. At Oegadgib, the gratis snacks known as panchan are a notch better than elsewhere; the many sizzling table grills advertise the restaurant's all-you-can-eat meat deal ($15.99); and the food comes out with Road Runner-esque speed. Take advantage of the last detail, and continue your trip to Korea with a dip into the neighboring sauna and karaoke bar.