International Food

Finding Authentic Korean restaurant in Adams Morgan


All photograph and Written by Jeonghyun Kim

Foreign nationals in the Washington D.C. area often try to satisfy their craving for authentic food from their homeland. But while there are many restaurants providing different countries’ authentic menus, the food is often Americanized.

As an area showcasing the cultures of many countries, Washington D.C has a good place for authentic Korean food. BUL opened last December 2014, and even if temperature outside the restaurant was freezing, it was nothing compared to inside BUL (BUL means fire in Korean language).

When going for a usual Korean restaurant, the Korean BBQ place is what comes to mind. But the menu at BUL carves its niche by offering a food line-up that is thoughtfully selected more than the typical Korean food restaurants nearby D.C.

One of my friends recommended BUL, and I just have to visit it to figure out how the BUL expeDSC_5092rience really is.

The interior is very casual with small bars, communal tables and more tables on the second floor. The Korean style wall painting is pretty impressive. The dining area is open and spacious with dark color, black comfortable chairs and televisions embedded on walls and turned to Korean music channels.

I am not entirely a fan of beef and pork. I still prefer chicken and seafood. I ordered Chicken Kalbi Ssam and a large serving of Seafood Pajeon. There is also a wide array of alcohol, with Korean beer, soju, and Japanese sake. There are even North Korean alcohol.

A lot of restaurants kill the lettuce by grilling or boiling the greens, but BUL has the fresh lettuce with just the side perfect spice Korean authentic dressing.

DSC_5112Chicken Kalbi Ssam comes out with small chunks of chicken in a sweet and spicy marinade, and slabs of boneless chicken. The chicken goes perfect with the fresh lettuce.

Everything about Seafood Pajeon which is the tempura-like seafood pancake was perfect: crunchy and chewy, and packed with octopus, squid, clams and even some shrimps.DSC_5117

Despite the successful attempts at providing a diverse Korean menu, vegetarians should know that non-meat options are few and far from here- but there are some delicious options such as Three Shroom Bibimbap. Desserts are also familiar for Koreans. Taiyaki ($5) is cute and small size to eat easily.

Service is smooth and effortless because servers check in frequently to offer help every time and try to be conversational.

Overall, thr BUL experience felt like sending me back home to Korea.


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