BEST KOREAN RESTAURANT
Dong Yang Oriental Food
So much noise is made in the sense-world of food about the importance of taste—as well as its Siamese twin perception, smell—that we tend to ignore the rest of our senses in the midst of a meal. Sure, sight, with its inverse relationship with the stomach, gets some play, as does touch, what with Iron Chef judges flapping their lips about texture and "mouthfeel." But a good meal also appeals directly and passionately to that lonely fifth sense: sound. No joke. Remember the first time you heard fajitas whizzing past your table at Chi-Chi's? Human beings respond to that sound much like sharks react to the splashing of injured seal pups. That same killer instinct kicks in the moment you hear the approach of a sizzling dish, and no dish sizzles quite like the Dolsot Bibimbap at Dong Yang—a hidden grocery-store lunch counter known only to devout food-seekers and Columbia Heights' sizeable Korean population. We're telling you, so ferociously will you devour this meal that it may as well be chum. The name means "hot stone bowl of mixed rice," and that stone is so scorching that its contents—rice, vegetables, and beef, topped elegantly by a single raw egg—sputter like sweat on a Harley tailpipe for five solid minutes while you gullet them down. Order "No. 13" and do as the Koreans do: Mix everything in the bowl before you eat it, dig for the crusty golden rice at the bottom, and don't forget to pile on the chili paste (it's in the ketchup bottle). Bring friends and round out the meal with succulent sliced beef (bulgogi), fried dumplings (mandu), kimchee pancakes (jeon), or short ribs (kalbi). Then commence with the full symphony of epicurean acoustics: slurping, mmmm-ing, burping, sighing, and groaning with the bloated pleasure of eating one of the Cities' most sensational culinary masterworks.