Han Gang Korean Restaurant
Annandale / Korean / $$$
The poke trend is hot in NoVA right now. We are thoroughly here for the raw-fish dishes. The only problem is we wouldn’t take a date we wanted to impress to one of the Chipotle-style counter-service spots that serve the stuff.
But I have a secret: You can get something similar, and just as delicious, at Han Gang Korean Restaurant. Hwe dup bap splits the difference between Hawaiian poke and Korean bibimbap. A bountiful bowl of salad comes to the table topped with rosy-hued cubes of ahi, salmon, and yellowtail.
One of the friendly servers mixes in a bowl of warm rice and then another filled with a crimson sauce of spicy gochujang and nutty sesame. The result is a lovably motley blend of flavors, from the briny fish to bright perilla leaves mixed with the lettuces.
This can be a warm-up for the top-flight meats ready to hit the barbecue grill at your table, but for a light meal, the hwe dup bap here is one of the best bets in town.
See this: Tables and booths in this blue-toned restaurant are usually full of diners grabbing a bowl of bibimbap.
Eat this: Haemul pajeon, modeum gui combination, hwe dup bap
Service: A cast of caring ajummas have been here long enough to know the menu backward and forward. Listen to their advice.
When to dine here: You’re willing to pay a little more for Korean that’s a literal cut above.