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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Sat 10:30am–2:00am
Sun 10:30am–midnight

Features Date-friendly, kid-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

Annandale, VA
7331 Little River Trpk.
Annandale, VA
(703) 941-3400
Oe Gad Gib
This hidden Korean gem is a triple threat: food, fun, and value

Perhaps one of the most infuriating—or thrilling—things about Annandale’s Little Seoul restaurant scene is that you have to bounce around from place to place to get the best version of whatever dish you crave, but no one has the paragon of them all. Annan-gol’s got better barbecue, Gamasot excels at seolleongtang, Light House has the best soon dubu (best tofu, in general), Seoul Soondae has everyone’s favorite soondae…but who has the most dishes with a uniformly high level of execution at the best price?

You’ll find the answer in the least likely of places: wedged into a strip mall between Jerry’s Subs & Pizza, Austin Veterinary Clinic, River Side Hair Salon, and a karaoke recording studio.

You wouldn’t notice the place from the main highway, or even the turn-off, unless you were really looking for it. The doors are of simple glass, on which is printed “Oe Gad Gib” (pronounced way-cat-cheap); there are no real windows, so you’re completely shielded from the stark environs outside.

Inside, it’s a cozy oasis: there’s wood paneling everywhere and cute wood latticework. An open bar, bustling kitchen, and fun music makes it feel like home—if home is rural Korea. For us, this is the warmest, most enjoyable Korean restaurant in the DC area.

One big draw here is the barbecue table grilling, where the meat is cooked on hot stones instead of metal grates. It’s very tasty, but Annan-gol has it beat on quality of meat cuts. Pancakes—the ultimate shared starter—are light and fluffy (we like the pa jeon); spicy codfish soup and stone seafood bi-bimbap are standouts. Spicy whole cuttlefish is, hands down, our favorite dish here; it’s a rare treat, unusually tender, and paired well with the chili. There are also good hotpots, and soul-warming spicy casseroles. Even the banchan here are a cut above, and more diverse. At lunch, specials run $6-9, and you won’t do much more damage at dinner, unless you go crazy and order everything. It’s happened to us.

Make sure to wash it all down with dong dong ju, unfiltered rice wine—certainly not as complex as what filtered cold sakes are capable of, but it does the job. It creeps up on you, to be sure, but could your rapturous bliss be caused by the mere warmth of the food and feeling?

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