The Patch Korean Barbecue Battle

An introduction to Korean Barbecue etiquette–and our new contest!

Since everyone’s mad about something in March, we at Patch have decided to get Krazy about Korean barbecue. We’re pitting eight local Korean barbecue restaurants in the Annandale area against a crack team of reviewers, and we’re asking our readers to weigh in on which restaurant is the best. Details about the Patch contest (you can win a $50 gift certificate to a local Korean barbecue restaurant) are below.


Annandale has long been known for the best Korean barbecue in Northern Virginia.

The Korean style of grilling and devouring dishes is wildly different than American barbeque and it’s polite to be knowledgeable about the correct etiquette. Korean barbecue is a group meal that is cooked on gas or charcoal grills in the center of each table and eaten with lettuce, flavorful sauces, Korean side dishes and a handful of cultural rules.

Korean barbecue is a great family or group activity that engages everyone and challenges them to try new flavors.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming coverage of local Korean BBQ restaurants so you can enjoy a real champion of a meal or take a look at our bracket and be your own judge.

Rule 1: Meat

A wide variety of beef, pork, chicken and seafood are available to grill and enjoy, but make sure you don’t mix meats on the grill top in impatience. It’s customary to cook each type of meat completely before moving on to the next instead of cramming several species on at once.

Rule 2: Lettuce

Though the Romaine lettuce served is usually in large sheets, the leaves should be torn into small pieces, not used to make a giant lettuce wrap. Simply place a piece of grilled meat on the lettuce, drizzle with the accompanying chili sauce or hot sesame oil and pop the bite into your mouth with your chopsticks.

Rule 3: Banchan

Most restaurants will offer a selection of traditional Korean side dishes (banchan),like pickled vegetables called kimchiThese are for munching and savoring while the meat cooks, not for stuffing into your BBQ wrap, burrito style.

Rule 4: Rice

Unlike most Asian meals, the rice isn’t served until the end of the dinner and can be served with a hot bean curd soup to finish filling you up. Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter to serve the rice earlier, but know you’re committing a cultural faux pas and could potentially fill up on rice instead of delicious grilled meat.


The Patch Contest

Interested in winning a gift certificate to the best Korean barbecue restaurant in Northern Virginia?

Patch is pitting eight restaurants against each other in a bracket-style championship showdown—our own Elite Eight!

Our restaurant reviewers will report back on each restaurant, but it’s up to you, our readers, to decide which restaurant should win by voting for the winner of each round in the comments. Round 1 will start Friday, April 1, 2011.

To be eligible to win the $50 gift certificate, you need to fill out the bracket (attached to this article) and email your picks to Sherell Williams (sherell@patch.com), Annandale Patch editor, by 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 1, 2011. One winner will be selected at random from “correct” brackets after the final round of the battle. Complete contest rules are available here.

The following restaurants are participating in the 2011 Patch Korean Barbecue Battle. Look for reviews and participate in the voting every Friday (starting next week) here on Patch.

Questions? Contact Sherell Williams at sherell@patch.com.

Round 1:

, 7317 Little River Tpke., Annandale, Va.

, 4409 John Marr Dr., Annandale, Va.

Round 2:

, 7220 Columbia Pike, Annandale, Va.

, 4231 Markham St., Annandale, Va.

Round 3:

, 7243 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, Va.

, 7331 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, Va.

Round 4:

, 4121 Hummer Rd, Annandale, Va.

, 6231 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, Va.

Sharon Adarlo March 26, 2011 at 04:33 AM
We love Yechon and it's right next to Breeze Cafe, serving the best Korean pastries in the area!
May kim March 29, 2011 at 02:14 PM
I love Han Gang very much. They always served fresh and delicious food. If somebody ask me the best restaurant ,I'll recommend there.


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