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Korean Food Lovers: Hello Pyongyang, DC Calling…

by Borderstan.com July 2, 2012 at 11:30 am 0

"Pyongyang Gang"

Pyongyang Gang at the Blaguard Irish Pub, 2003 18th Street NW. (Laetitia Brock)

From Laetitia Brock. Email her at laetitia[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow her at @FrenchtwistDC and on her own  blog French twist DC.

It almost starts out like an Irish joke: two guys walk into an Irish bar and take over its kitchen every Wednesday night… with Korean food. The joke of course, is on every one who doesn’t make it to the Blaguard Irish Pub to check out the Pyongyang Gang pop-up concept. The best part of it? While it’s definitely not the most authentic Korean food (and doesn’t pretend to be), it’s simple, good and cheap. The menu is short and sweet, featuring just 4 items. If you order one of each, plus drinks for two, the meal will barely set you back $30.

But back to the two guys… Mike Thompson and James Jang are your pretty typical D.C. types. Thompson got tired of his government job and decided to switch gears and pursue a career behind the stove. Jang was already busy working in a kitchen but dreamt (well, still dreams) of opening his own restaurant. They met and decided to team up to take over willing under-utilized bar kitchens with their Pyongyang Gang concept. The Blaguard gives them a shot on Wednesday nights and the result is two juicy burgers, the Seoul with ground beef and the Pyongyang with marinated pork, sweet and spicy chicken wings and fries with ssamjang aoili. The fries are nothing spectacular, but it’s always nice to have a little side with your burger and the two burger options are definitely worth waking up early the next day to go to the gym. They’re also testing out some new items like a vegan noodle dish and a pork belly special, just in case the regular menu isn’t enough to keep you from coming back.

Pyongyang Gang Pop-Up at the Blaguard Irish Pub: The Details

  • Where Am I Going: 2003 18th Street, NW
  • When Am I Going: Wednesday nights for the Pyongyang Gang pop up but the Blaguard also has a brand new menu that includes Irish car bomb sundaes and they will be introducing a new raw bar soon with fresh oysters from the Chesapeake Bay, so you’re covered any night really. Happy hour is until 8PM. Also, on July 4, since the holiday couldn’t possibly be celebrated without one BBQ, the Pyongyang Gang is pairing up with D.C. and throwing a Korean BBQ bash for Blaguard patrons.
  • Paycheck Pain: Intern pay check friendly.
  • Say What?: Head upstairs if you’re on a cheap date night, it’s newly renovated and much quieter than downstairs. There are also a few seats outside on the street if you get there early enough.
  • What You’ll Be Eating: An American take on Korean bar food in an Irish pub. How you’ll be eating it? With your fingers. The food comes in brown paper bags, it’s pretty laid back.

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