Food & Wine

DC Dining: New Contender for Best Korean BBQ?

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One of the best things of living in the Washington, DC area is easy access to amazing ethnic food. We have the best Thai food in the US, Dim Sum that can almost compare to San Francisco, great Laotian, Vietnamese, I could go on and on. I feel like every week I find some wonderful new place.

I love Kogiya Korean BBQ in Annandale — the meats are amazing and the dozens of sides they bring out are delightfully overwhelming and the coffee they offer at the end…wow.

Kogiya Korean BBQ Annandale sides

Kogiya Korean BBQ Annandale coffee

But this weekend I discovered Iron Gate in Centerville. I was skeptical, but it was close, and better yet, had no wait times at 5PM on a Saturday. Like Kogiya, the interior is modern and metallic with loud Korean music videos playing on the walls.

As soon as we sat down they brought out the sides. More than Honeypig but not as many as Kogiya. A salad, several spicy pickled veggies, tart potato salad, and garlic and jalapenos.

Iron Age Korean BBQ Centerville plates sauce

Iron Age Korean BBQ Centerville sides

Unlike Kogiya which has ala cart, Iron Age only offers all you can eat options. But where Kogiya (at least they used to) requires you to finish all of one option before starting on the next, Iron Age lets you have three at a time.

With option B you can have your pick of lots of food for $22, with option A, lots and lots of options for $30.

Iron Age Korean BBQ Centerville Menu Option B

Iron Age Korean BBQ Centerville Menu Option A

You choose three at a time and cook it yourself. Turns out this is the first time in my life where the more you cooked/overcooked the meat, the more flavorful it is 🙂

I sampled the beef bulgogi (thumbs up) and soy chicken (eh).Iron Age Korean BBQ Centerville bulgogi

The Spicy Rice Cakes (my favorite!!!).

Iron Age Korean BBQ Centerville spicy rice cakes

After two rounds of that we branched out and tried the Korean pancake — good but mostly greasy.

Iron Age Korean BBQ Centerville pancake

And the beef brisket, which arrived frozen, was mostly flavorless until it was grilled to the point of crispy bacon.

Iron Age Korean BBQ Centerville beef brisket

Sadly there was no orange or coffee option for dessert, but I was full to bursting anyway.

The service was great! They have a call button to get their attention if they don’t come by soon enough, but seemed like someone was checking in on us every couple of minutes and offering to help grill our meet when we seemed stuck.

Iron Age Korean BBQ Centerville call button

Is it better than Kogiya? Tough to say. But it’s good enough that if it’s your closest option you won’t be missing out!

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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