The DC area is home to a lot of restaurants, and among them are hidden gems that many Washingtonians aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share with us their under-the-radar recommendations for Dining Confidential.
It should come as no surprise that the man responsible for taking care of guests at District Commons appreciates a restaurant with great hospitality. In the latest edition of Dining Confidential, District Commons' general manager Boo Young Kim shares his favorite neighborhood spots, including Saigon Saigon, Busboys & Poets and Honey Pig:
"Since a majority of my week is spent inside a restaurant taking care of other peoples' experiences, when I finally have the opportunity to go out and eat for myself I don't want to worry about a single thing. Somewhere low maintenance and unpretentious, where I can let my hair down and relax but still receive awesome service, good food, and all that: something I like to call the 'give a shit' level. Also once I'm done with work, I like to get out of the city and close to home, and for me, that's Arlington.
Saigon Saigon is about two miles away from my house and offers some of the best Pho I've ever had. Their broth is so aromatic and flavorful, and I always go straight for the Hanoi Nam Noodle Soup. Not only does their pho always hit the spot, but it's a neighborhood joint and they all know me, which you can’t help but love.
The Busboys & Poets in Shirlington is definitely one of my go to destinations. Just give me the Cobb Salad with caramelized onions, chicken, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, and egg and their Beans & Wild Rice with fresh guacamole and I'm a happy guy. They also have a wine a list that fits all my needs, and I know I will always feel well taken care of there, making it a perfect after-work stop.
An all-time favorite will always be Honey Pig in Alexandria. I mean really, who doesn't love it? They are like a factory there — no where else can you get your food that quickly, and because it is literally cooked in front of you can enjoy your meal almost immediately. Sometimes they’re almost too efficient, but what they lack in warmth of service they make up for it in all of the families and friendly faces eating around you, and also the heat and smells of the grill at your table. My order is the Galbi and Naengmyeo — you truly cannot beat their meats."
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Honey Pig [Photo: Norry H./Yelp]