By Liz Kirchner
“Sul” means “wine” in Korean. “Ga” means “house.” Together, in Korean, they mean “picturesque inn beneath the trees,” which conjures images of lounging under summer moons and quiet laughter on fragrant breezes.
From its dingy façade, the name of Annadnale’s newish restaurant, “SULDOGA,” blares these pretty ideas in an enormous, caution tape-yellow sans-serif sign across the vast asphalt of Giant’s pocked and swarming parking lot.
Standing in that parking on an overcast day, plum blossoms and lounging seem decidedly distant. But step inside: Classic Korean dishes (and a flurry of little amuse bouche dishes of kimchis of cabbage, radish, and bracken fern) share the menu with more familiar fare, like fettuccine alfredo, and more interestingly, fried chicken—the house specialty.
It’s a specialty because it’s good with beer, says the proprietress. “People in their 30s and 40s come here all day and evening. Young people come late for chicken. Oh! really late!, she says. The restaurant, at 7215 Columbia Pike, is open until 2 a.m.
She brings us a crispy, hot sample of chicken. We eat it with our fingers sharing a cold and foamy beer. It is dreary outside, but inside, we’re cozy.