Mandu, web site, 1805 18th Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-588-1540 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [WaPo | MenuPages | City Paper | food-plan | Yelp]
The District gets Korean food, reviews are bad, and I will never try this place. Shame on you for even thinking of going, you’ve got to get to Annandale.
Let me know what places
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Don’t blame me! I was visiting DC and wandering around DuPont looking for this restaurant called Mt. Everest or Himalaya. It had an all-you-can-eat Indian-type buffet that I used to enjoy when I lived in DC. It was gone. Shut down. And, I really had to use the bathroom. So, I saw Mandu and ate lunch there just so I could use the restroom. The interior looked so familiar…I must have been there when it was a different restaurant. What did it used to be? I agree that the Annandale/Falls Church area (where I used to live) is the end-all-be-all place for Korean food. I lived in Korea six weeks so I appreciate authentic Korean restaurants. Mandu has a very limited menu, it is far too high priced, and it is not the place to go for an authentic Korean experience. It IS a place to go to snack on some mandu and drink a beer (and use the facilities) while walking around DuPont. The food was ok, and the customers looked satisfied. However, I think the whole idea behind Mandu is to be “trendy DuPont/Korean” as opposed to offering folks an honest, authentic Korean experience. Decent bathroom, though.
Maybe Mandu is expensive compared to KOREA but for DC the food is very reasonable and quite good. I find it bizarre that someone would knock a restaurant without even trying it.
I’ve been out to Annandale a decent amount for authentic Korean, but I also had a great lunch with a friend at Mandu this spring. It isn’t “traditional Korean” as their website advertises, but the dwenjang chigae was sufficiently spicy and the service responsive but unobtrusive. Of course, the portions are smaller than what you receive in the suburbs, but overall it’s not too bad for Asian food in the city.
I like this site, but I’m a DC’er without a car, so the suburbs are out of the picture unless the restaurant is in walking distance from the metro. DC is so slim on good ethnic food, I appreciate any pretty good, not too expensive ethnic food. I agree with the others–this is not “authentic” Korean, but it’s solid. We had some good chigae and very standard but comforting bibimbap. Also, they have a great happy hour with cheap dumplings and beer–nice thing to do with friends during this yucky recession.
I go to school in the DuPont area and so was delighted to find a Korean restaurant in the area. I talked some friends who had never had Korean in to coming with me and was embarrassed to have taken them to this place– I hope it didn’t turn them off to Korean entirely. I love anything and everything Korean, and am generally not too picky, but this place was all wrong. The flavor was off and even the dumplings were bad (sad when the place is called mandu). Good call, Mr. Cowen.