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50 Best Restaurants: Visit the land of Korean barbecue at Meokja Meokja

Let Korean barbecue be fun at this meat-grilling spot in Fairfax.

Photo by Rey Lopez

By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano

Meokja Meokja

Fairfax | Korean Barbecue | $$

Korean barbecue can be a frenetic affair with K-pop blasting, various meats in various marinades sizzling and smoking and little plates (banchan) settling into any pocket of open space on the table. It’s a fun time, for sure, but not all galbi is the same. Instead of hiding behind sweet sauces, Meokja Meokja lets the beef itself shine: a 16-ounce prime rib-eye is a gorgeous, marbled hunk with only salt to bring out its fatty flavoring. A few minutes on a searing-hot grate—an inset in the table, and manned by servers—helps, too. The sides can be fun, like a vat of melted mozzarella and corn, and traditional, like gyeran-jjim, the custard-like steamed egg over broth that is reason enough to visit the land of Korean barbecue theatrics. // 9619 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax

This post originally appeared in our November 2019 issue’s 50 Best Restaurants cover story. For more food reviews, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

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