Food and Drink, The Features

First Look: Mandu

Photo courtesy of
‘Ducks, Mandu’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

It’s fascinating to me how one place can unite a diverse selection of people. Mandu, the unassuming, lively Korean restaurant in Dupont Circle, does just that for many friends of mine who don’t even know each other. Crowding into the tiny front bar enjoying one of the best happy hour deals in town, I’m guaranteed to bump into any number of people from all areas of my life.

The Lee family have opened a second location of their much-beloved Mandu, with a larger, sexier space in the CityVista complex. I’m sure it will become just as popular as the original location. I recently checked it out and was thrilled to see bar manager Christian Diep, one of the most gregarious and fun-loving bartenders in town. Sitting at the end of the floating wooden bar (hooks underneath? check), I tucked into several of my favorite Mandu dishes and got a tour of the modern space. It was just as welcoming as it always is at the Dupont location – somehow they make everyone feel like they’re home.

And with a late night menu where you can nosh on shredded pork tacos or quesadillas filled with kimchi, chicken and cheese… well, you may not ever have to leave. Continue reading