Pyongyang Soondae (formerly Chung Jin Dong), 6499 Little River Turnpike, West Alexandria, VA, 202-360-2746 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Yelp]
Closed: now Bang Ga Nae
(See post on previous restaurant in this location, Chung Jin Dong, Crab House.)
The sausage is some of the best in the area, most of all because of the vibrant fresh pepper; it also comes with stomach and liver. Dip the pieces in the shrimp sauce. The soup also has the knockout fresh pepper. The menu is in Korean only and most of the staff do not speak much English. The food is recognizably Korean, although not like any Korean food I have had.
They assure me it is real North Korean cuisine, although they assent to any question I ask them. The owner and cook is from North Korea:
A little more than a decade ago, Ma was an undercover agent for North Korea’s Ministry of Public Security, conducting drug investigations. Her job was to bust smugglers—farmers, mostly—who were exporting opium to China.
It is not your go-to place for variety, but the quality is high and the originality is off the charts. Anyone interested in ethnic food should visit this outlet.
For the pointer I thank Annie Lowrey.
Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.
I second the sausage recommendation, but was not as taken with the soup. The seafood pancake special was also excellent. The roast duck(ling?) seems to be very popular with Korean diners.
Unfortunately pyongyang sundae is no more. Apparently the restaurant changed ownership a couple months ago. Does anyone know what happened to Ms. Ma?