Image: KFC (Korean Fried Chicken).
Last Updated: June 2022
Current Status: Dine-in with indoor and outdoor (covered) seating. Take-out and Delivery also available.
Mandu, at one location or another, has been putting out very good Korean for almost two decades. As that might imply, it is a reliable choice sustained by neighborhood support. Some feel the need to compare it to the excellent choices to be found in Annandale, but that misses the point. Whether it is the namesake dumplings, a piled plate of Bulgogi beef or other favorites, Mandu delivers consistent quality with the focus of a family-owned business. It is comforting, filling, and friendly. On our most recent visit the Korean Fried Chicken of meaty wings double-fried and smothered in a sweet and spicy soy glaze and the Duru Jjigee of gochujang marinated pork belly stood out.
The space is in one of the first-wave glass and steel buildings in City Vista, with a high-ceiling dining room and a lower-ceiling bar. Covid-era elements are still in place like screens, take-out prep stations, and broadly-spaced dining tables. The drink list is not long, but has cocktails, beer (American on tap, Asian in can), a few wines and Soju selections, as well as non-alcoholic choices.
Chefs and Co-owners Danny Lee and Yesoon “Mama” Lee opened the first Mandu location in Dupont in 2006. The spot became a neighborhood favorite. They opened the second location in Mt. Vernon Square in 2011, and that is the spot that remains under the Mandu banner. The original Dupont location suffered a fire in 2017, which created an opening for Chef Danny Lee to re-purpose the location as the acclaimed Anju.
Washington Post: In 2011, he gave this location 2.0 stars complaining it was not spicy enough (no longer online). In 2016, Tom included the since-closed Dupont location in the Spring Dining Guide with a miserly 1.5 stars.
Washingtonian: No coverage?
Washington City Paper – Laura Hayes covered the bold pandemic-era move to bring in a new chef and spruce up the menu.
Nomtastic Foods – Must Try Asian in D.C.