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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Daily 9:00am–11:00pm

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


Springfield, VA
6965 Hechinger Dr.
Springfield, VA
(703) 256-0780
Hung over? You have lots of good, nourishing soups to choose from here (ugh, choices)

The name Gamasot refers to the cast-iron cauldrons in which the restaurant’s claim to fame, seolleongtang, is brewed all day long. Every time we type that word, we screw it up, accidentally delete the sentence above it as well, hit Ctrl-Z, and start all over again. We repeat this pattern for about half an hour and our productivity is going down in ways that this economic climate will not support, so instead of typing seolleongtang (which everyone will complain has four different spellings and we’re not using their favorite one anyway), we’re going to call it oxbone soup. ‘Cause that’s what it is.

Traditionally, this soup is made from the bones of all four legs of the beast. Your first thought is: that’s a mighty big seolleongtang! (Dammit.) It takes all day to extract the marrowy richness from the bones, and the soup, which is milky white (like the cow in “Jack and the Beanstalk”), is left bare of seasoning, which we like, so you can add as much or as little salt as your palate desires.

The version here comes with thin slices of beef and skinny noodles. Ask for tripe to add complexity, although its evocative barnyard aspect isn’t for everyone. It is, however, for anyone with a hangover. It totally beats Saltines and 7-Up. But wait! There’s also haejahnkook, which literally translates to “hangover soup.” A similar conceit, but spicier and even more flavorful, if your tum-tum can handle such a thing.

Banchan (free small starter plates) are generous; the different kinds of kimchi are cut by hand at your table. Soondae (blood sausage) has also made an alluring and smoky appearance here. Dumplings are very good, and the early hours make for some great breakfast alternatives when dim sum, huevos rancheros, and pancakes get dull.

The décor at Gamasot is surprisingly more modern than that of its rivals. Cherrywood floors and accents give it a little elegance, and frosted glass windows help obscure the strip-mall world you’re in. Some low cushions and tables are optional for a more traditional Korean feeling, but if you’ve come to nurse your hangover, snuggling up on those—with the quiet Korean television in the background—may lull you to sleep in your soup.

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