We'd read a few reviews about both Virginia locations, and heard comments from friends who'd been to one or both. What a fun place! It was helpful to have had a little info before going, and 5 minutes away in the car, I was still calling a friend for specific dishes to order. It pays to know what to expect before you go in the door ... as once you enter, it's a whole different world in there, and all in a good way. One review compared it to a Bladerunner atmosphere. Yeah, I can see that. Maybe it's in an Asian garage, who knows.
We'd heard it can be crowded and there might be a wait. It was busy, but we waited no more than 15 minutes. We were a party of 5, and before us was a party of 7, then a group of 9 was right behind us. No problem, we were all seated fairly quickly. The decor is interesting ... corrugated metal, behind screens outlined by pipes. Big exhaust fans over every table, concrete floors, and industrial tables and chairs. Not uncomfortable, but don't come here looking for 'posh'. Music is loud, and that brings an energy to this place that is both fun, and daunting. You don't come here to relax and enjoy a leisurely meal. It's off to the races once you sit down. Then again, we heard this is a great place to come when needing a late night meal after a bar binge. (There's even a Hangover Stew on the menu!) Open 24/7, it looks like it has a good thing going.
Servers and bus staff are hopping, taking orders, bringing it out, and then cooking it at your table, in the center grill. Salads were already on our table, lettuce with a light dressing and some sliced onions. If you haven't checked out the menu previously, you might be confused as to what to get. Meat, meat, meat ... that is the specialty here. All kinds of meat. We chose the thin sliced pork belly, brisket, and bulgoki. We also ordered steamed and fried dumplings and the server added kimchi and vegetables to our grill. This had a slightly vinegary taste to it, along with the expected spice, and it was a wonderful condiment and compliment to our order. Also on the table were several small dishes of sauces and spice. You can add any combination of these to your meat, and wrap it all up in the lettuce leaves you'll also find on the table. We passed on the lettuce, choosing instead to enjoy our meal with individual bowls of rice. One nice sauce we were told to ask for was the sesame oil with salt and pepper. We dipped the meats into this and yes, it enhanced the already nice flavors well.
Your server will bring out the meat and cook it for you, stopping by every so often to turn, or baste the meat on the grill. If needed, she might have some serious scissors to cut the meat up, before serving it on your plate. Or, she may just point to it on the grill, letting you know it's ready. Then again, she might take some of the meat, and put it in one of your sauce bowls. There is a team effort here with the cooking ... as we had 3 different servers all attend to our table grill.
We had two bowls of Steaming Egg come to our table. We didn't order it, but I think that if you order a certain amount of entree/meat, it will come automatically. If you like custardy type eggs, light and flavorful ... looking like a chemistry experiment on high boil, this is the soup for you. It warrants taking a video of it if you can. Guaranteed you've never seen soup bubble, boil and steam like this.
We're giving this 4 stars, as we'd like to come back and try the other menu items. What we had was great, and filling. The loud pop music will bore itself into your head ... which can be a good thing, or a bad thing. You'll probably be tapping your foot, but you might also be eating faster than usual ... keeping pace with the incessant beat.
We enjoyed ourselves, and we'll be back.
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