If you’re interested in a more adventurous dining experience, check out Pyongyang Soondae, a North Korean restaurant at 6499 Little River Turnpike in Lincolnia, just east of Annandale.
|Soondae, Pyongyang style|
Diners at Pyongyang Soondae, also known as Hermit Kitchen, are served the ubiquitous small plates, banchan, with kimchee, pickled radishes, and other tidbits like you’ll find at other Korean restaurants.
But you’ll also find some unusual dishes here. Soondae means sausage, and the featured dish is a form of blood sausage called soondae PyungYang style, which is made of pork, rice noodles, onion, garlic, chili, and chives—and is actually tastier than it sounds or looks. A huge plateful, which serves as an appetizer for a large group, is $13.99.
|Ma Young-Ae (in front with red |
apron and black shirt with
employees and guests.
The fascinating life of the owner, Ma Young-Ae, was described in a lengthy article in the Washington City Paper in March. She had been an undercover agent busting drug smugglers for North Korea’s Ministry of Public Security years, and after running afoul of the government, escaped to China. After securing asylum in the United States, she became a political activist, lobbying against the North Korean government.
Ma is also an accomplished musician (on piano, accordion, and yanggeum) and will perform at the upcoming Asian Festival, which takes place July 23-24 at George Mason University in Fairfax.