Monday, March 19, 2012


Looks can be misleading.  With its low-slung roof, brown wood siding, and neon signs, from the outside Yechon could pass for a cowboy bar, but is actually a traditional Korean & Japanese restaurant that is open 24 hours.  Inside, the room is bustling with costumed waitresses pouring beer and ladling soup, and a mixed crowd of animated diners, most of which are young, hip and Korean American.

Located in Annandale, VA, my mother treated me to lunch here and it was quite packed when we arrived.  We waited several minutes for a table to open up, but then service followed pretty quick.  The lunch specials are quite generous for the price and a variety of options are available.  I couldn't decide between Korean or Japanese, so I got a little bit of each with a chicken teriyaki lunchbox and sushi.  An array of customary Korean side dishes come with your meal featuring a mix of pickled vegetables and tofu in a range of spice levels.  The sushi was very fresh and the pieces of fish were slightly larger than at other sushi restaurants.  The price is also slightly higher ($5.50 for 2 pieces), so I suppose that makes up for it.  My chicken was chunks of white meat in a light sauce, unlike other presentations that tend to drown the meat in sweet teriyaki.  But I found the texture to be a bit tough, and the large salad that came with the box was overly dressed.  The tempura was not that great either - the batter a little too thick.  My mother ordered naengmyeon, meaning "ice noodles" in Korean, which is served cold and comes in a spicy sauce that you mix together (the bibim style) or in a clear broth that is much milder in spice level (the mul style).  This is one of her favorite dishes, especially during the warm summer months.  She also found her noodles to be overly sauced, yet had great flavor.  For an extra $2 she added the Korean beef ribs (kalbi) to her noodle dish - a great deal.  Overall, service was relatively quick and the crowd was a mix of older Korean folks and younger Americans.  The food portions were quite generous and worth the price, however I have had better Korean food elsewhere.

Total Rating: 3.35
Food: 3, Price: 4, Service: 3, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4

What I ate:
unagi (eel), hamachi (yellowtail), maguro (tuna)

Chicken Teriyaki Lunchbox
with salad, rice, tempura

Plus my mother ate:

Bibim Naengmyeon
homemade cold buckwheat noodles, pressed vegetables, sliced beef,
boiled egg, slice of pear, in a spicy sauce

beef short ribs

Yechon on Urbanspoon

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