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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Daily 10:00am–11:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted

Annandale, VA
4121 Chatelain Rd.
Annandale, VA
(703) 333-3436

Rockville, MD
12710 Twinbrook Pkwy.
Rockville, MD
(301) 881-1178
Daily 10:00am–11:00pm
Light House Tofu (Vit Guel)
The tofu, not the service, is the draw at this cute Korean restaurant

It’s an unlikely beacon, this rather industrial-looking building of brick, whose windows are those tiered glass panels that crank outward, threatening to slide out of their worn aluminum sleeves and fall to the pavement below. Yet, there it is, lit up in sun-yellow Korean characters, “Light House Tofu & B.B.Q.” Inside, every inch of wall is covered in artful Korean calligraphy. The seating is made from blond wood, giving off a warm, cozy vibe, and clay pots make appearances everywhere, often on tables.

The mostly Asian crowd is lively, and the draw? Tofu. Some of the best in the mid-Atlantic region. It’s silky and amazing. Try it in the soon dubu, which everyone who’s into Korean food pretty unanimously agrees is the best around. The broth is seafood-based, so if you add only seafood or mushrooms, it’s pescatarian. If there is anything wrong with you—emotional, physical, or whatever—the soon dubu here will fix it. Accoutrements abound: there’s the raw egg to crack into your stew; banchan dishes of various pickles; and a bowl of rice which, once emptied, is filled with hot water to create a pleasant broth for sipping.

As usual, the portions are generous, bordering on eternal. A nice touch is that your spice levels are entirely up to you—“white” means unspiced, and it goes in degrees to “spicy spicy.” A simple “spicy” is great for amplifying flavors without tasting only pain. Seafood always tastes fresh here, unlike at some of the competition, and the pancake makes a great sharing snack. If you need gnarled, glistening meat, get it in the form of barbecue, which is quite good—though maybe not as good as Annan-Gol. But no one’s got Light House beat on tofu.

Service ranges from curt to confrontational. But you know what? We love it. It lets us know they aren’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes: the food is the real deal. Nothing says lovin’ to a food junkie like authentic dishes made fresh to order. Do junkies complain when their dealers don’t speak English, offer them a beverage, or smile a lot? They’d better not. That’s the fastest way to get shivved.

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