So, for those of you who didn’t know (which is probably most of you), I’m currently in MD for my dongseng‘s wedding. I’ve got a lot of folks to see here and lots of stuff to do, so I’m spending a full two weeks. But naturally I can’t go two whole weeks without Korean food. I mean, seriously, after that long I start getting withdrawal symptoms.
So the natural solution was to look for a Korean restaurant within reasonable driving distance. Mind you, this wasn’t the first time I’d looked for one with no luck. But this time I found not one but two, both in the same shopping center! The one I picked was called Gah Rham, and I picked it for a very simple reason: it had a menu online for me to look at before I left LA, so by the time I got there I had already decided what my friend and I were going to order.Gah Rham has a sushi lunch buffet (they offer Japanese food as well as Korean), but we went for KBBQ. I think we were about the only people in the place eating anything but the buffet. There were also more non-Koreans than Koreans when we got there, although by the time we left the non-Korean lunch crowd had thinned and there were more Koreans in the place. That felt homier to me.
We ordered the traditional kalbi and bulgogi, both good choices since I was introducing my friend to Korean food for the very first time (she loved it). Both were marinated. The bulgogi was thicker than I’ve sometimes had, and in general the pieces of meat seemed to be cut bigger than I’m used to in LA. But the quality was excellent, and so was the taste. The meat was extremely tender. Unlike many KBBQ joints in LA, this place automatically provided lettuce leaves for wrapping the meat. And apparently the rice wrapper craze hasn’t made it across the country, or at any rate Gah Rham hasn’t joined it.
In addition to our BBQ, we also ordered a seafood pa jeon, which turned out to be huge. It was a little crispier than I’m used to, but very tasty. I enjoyed everything we ordered, although I have to say we ended up with a huge amount of food. There was lots of meat and then the huge pancake, and of course we’d been filling up on panchan as well (the panchan were pretty standard, but good: kimchee, bean sprouts, seaweed, pickled radish, a couple other things). With the barbecue also came the egg casserole that I love and a bowl of soondubu. And at the end we each got small bowls of miso soup. So yeah, HUGE lunch.
In addition to the delicious food, our server took excellent care of us (maybe she was pleased because we were the only folks eating Korean food instead of sushi). If anyone happens to be in the Maryland suburbs of DC with a sudden craving for Korean food, I recommend Gah Rham.
5027 Garrett Ave.
(off Route 1 between Odell and Powder Mill)
Beltsville, MD 20705