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“Solid Korean BBQ for AYCE” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kogiya Korean BBQ

Kogiya Korean BBQ
4220-A Annandale Rd, Annandale, VA
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Ranked #4 of 104 Restaurants in Annandale
Cuisines: Korean
Restaurant details
Short Hills
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Solid Korean BBQ for AYCE”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

I went with my family (3 kids who are 14, 12, and 9), and we chose option A for $19 per person. The meat was surprisingly good for an AYCE Korean BBQ, and the staff was attentive despite the multiple rounds of grilling required at the various tables. The inside of the restaurant reminds me of a clean garage with all the stainless steel. Get there early (6 pm) to avoid waiting too long (no reservations) and park across the street if necessary. Don't go here for the lettuce, sliced scallions, or peppers - just the meat.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7
    6
    1
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Falls Church, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“This is how Korean BBQ should be experienced!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

Kogiya is a relatively new Korean BBQ restaurant that opened its doors in mid-March. They are open from 10:30am-2am daily. Their lunch menu does not offer BBQ, but they have a varied dinner menu that offers two All You Can Eat buffet options, as well as popular set menu options for individuals or to share with parties of 2 or more. We were a party of 4 and considered the AYCE option, but decided that we wanted to order a la carte. We ordered one order of chadol bakgi (brisket), miso sam kyup sal (miso marinated pork belly), and o-kyup sal (5-layered pork belly), and a carafe of yogu-soju (yogurt flavorted soju). This ended up being just enough food for the four of us, though I think my little brother and boyfriend could have had another round of meat. At my age, I can't pack away plates of meat anymore, so I rather just pay a little bit more to get what I want without wasting food.

Banchan were fresh and varied. My favorite was the pickled sliced daikon, which no one cared for, but I loved its gingery flavor. We also liked the kimchi, potato salad, watercress and bean sprout salad. In addition to the banchan, we also received mini cast iron pots of steamed egg and soybean soup. There was also a variety of fresh vegetables to make ssam, which included kombu and some bitter greens. They served us the traditional dipping sauce for the brisket but there was also two other dipping sauce. One of them was a mustard-flavored one that I thought was delicious. It had a combination of mustard with the grainy texture of white miso, but it had a hint of sweetness. Maybe mirin? I stopped short at licking my little dipping dish.

Aside from the delicious food, this was a truly exceptional dining experience due to the little touches.

The first big impression through Kogiya's website, which is well-designed and written in English. Most of the Korean restaurants in the area use Menu Sarang, which is all in hangul. Not very useful for non-Korean speaking patrons.

When you enter the restaurant, you'll notice the popular industrial-style space. Tables are spaced so you don't feel you're on top of other patrons. One big screen TV played a soccer match, while the other had a video playlist of Kpop music videos. Volume was low so we can actually hear the server and hold a conversation.

At Korean BBQ restaurants, you come out of the restaurant smelling like char-grilled meat. In winter, we always left our coats in the car to avoid smelling like bacon the next day. Kogiya's stools are hollow, so you can lift off the lid of your seat and stash your coat and purse in there.

At some Korean restaurants, a service bell is placed at each table. At Kogiya, if you need assistance, ring the bell. Your table number should flash on a panel above the host stand and your server will come by to see if you need anything. Little drawers on each side of the table are stocked with chopsticks, napkins, and spoons. This frees up counter space and you don't have to bother the server for utensils.

When we dined there on Wednesday night, our server remained at our station to cook the meat, which is a sharp contrast to other Korean BBQ restaurants in the area. Our server would cook one round of meat, let us know when it's ready to eat, and gave us time to consume it before coming back and cooking the second batch at our table. Prior to this, we were accustomed to other restaurants slapping the meat on the grill and coming back 5 minutes later. At that point you either started cooking the meat yourself, or risk your food being overcooked. This always puzzled me because some cuts of meat, such as beef brisket, are sliced extremely thin, so the cooking time is literally under a minute, yet the server will still wander away from the table. There's nothing worse than overcooked meat.

Our friendly waitstaff was approachable and was able to make suggestions and answer questions. At other Korean restaurants, the staff's English may be limited or you may receive bare bones service because you don't speak Korean. My brother had a question about one of the types of soju they offered. Our server didn't know how to explain its taste, but then he went and found someone who did. We decided to go with yogu-soju. If you don't like soju, you'll like it with yogurt. It goes down really well. (Also if you've never had soju, just be aware that soju is one of those "sneaky" alcohols.)

The only downside to this experience was the parking lot, which is rather small. However, if you go past 6pm, you are allowed to park in the spots reserved for the Beauty School and other businesses in the strip mall.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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