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Restaurant Review: Meokja Meokja - Source Washingtonian

Posted on Jan 17,2019
Filed Under Restaurants , Local Tastes,
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Spicy pork and pork belly on the grill.

Source Washingtonian

BY ANN LIMPERT

WASHINGTON, DC. - There are few better feelings than sitting at a table at Meokja Meokja, for which you’ve likely waited at least an hour, and watching the server slap a thick, beautifully marbled rib eye on the tabletop grill. The meat is prime—yes, prime—and when the waiter hacks it into pieces, you’ll marvel at its juiciness. For me, nirvana came when I wrapped a nub of it in a shaving of marinated radish about the size of a pancake and added a bit of green onion and sweet soy sauce.

Meokja Meokja opened in May, and more than just that rib eye makes it stand out from the rest of Northern Virginia’s K-BBQ scene. For one thing, it’s in Fairfax, not Annandale. It’s open only for dinner (except on Sunday), not 24-7. The portions are smaller and more gently priced than at the competition, so groups can share more types of meat. Then there’s owner Christopher Kim, a 31-year-old econ grad with zero prior restaurant experience. Turns out he worships at the altar of Danny Meyer, the New York restaurateur who launched a customer-is-king hospitality movement.

The restaurant (whose name is pronounced “mukjah muk-jah”) is full of Kim’s idiosyncrasies—and his business savvy. The staff is unfailingly friendly and helpful, and Kim is so hyper-focused on the customer experience that he once chastised a server for delivering to-go boxes to a customer before she’d asked for them. Sunday and Thursday, the place plays Boyz II Men and other ’90s slow jams; other nights, it’s EDM. If it’s your birthday, you might get a light-up ring or pair of sunglasses, one of Kim’s Amazon impulse buys that double as Instagram bait. (Another oft-photographed quirk: the neon sign up front that reads good vibes only.)

Source Washingtonian



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