Since Jing Da closed a couple of years ago, we have had to get in the car and drive to Annandale or Maryland for Korean food. (We tried Woo Lae Oak in Pentagon City once, but found it washed up and overpriced). Last week, Yee Hwa opened at 1009 21st Street (between K and L). We tried it last night.
We started with haemol pajun - scallion pancake with seafood (shrimp and squid) - and dumplings. Both were very good, crispy and not too greasy. Unfortunately they do not serve vegetable dumplings, so my wife was left out of this.
My wife had her usual denjung chigae, a very rich, flavorful stew based on bean paste, with tofu, clams, and vegetables. She liked it well enough, but did not rave. I had kimchi jigae, a spicy stew based on kimchi and pork. This was quite a good rendition of the dish, extremely spicy with tender pieces of meat and cellophane noodles. My cousin had dolsot bibimbap and seemed to like it very much.
The food is serviceable, but not outstanding, and prices are a little higher than they should be. Our soups, which cost about $8 or $9 at Hee Been and Sorak Garden, were more on the order of $12-13. The menu is also pretty limited. There was no japchae and as far as I could tell the only barbecue options were bulgogi and kalbi. Apparently they do the barbecue in the kitchen, for there were no grills built into the tables. It's possible that they bring a small grill to the table, but I did not see that going on. The selection of pan chan was pretty disappointing. We received four offerings, and three (kimchi, some kind of pickled root, and seaweed) came straight from a bottle. The fourth - deep fried pieces of tofu - was pretty bland and ought to have been served with a soy/scallion sauce. In contrast, Hee Been usually serves about 10 different pan chan, many of which are made fresh there.
Anyway, Yee Hwa is a decent option if you want Korean food and don't have time or the means to get out to the better and cheaper places in Annandale. It was pretty empty last night.
1009 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
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