7630 Little River Turnpike
Annandale, VA 22003
Joong Mi (no website, sorry) is probably a very typical Korean restaurant—if it were in the suburbs of Seoul. Having been exposed to high-end or Korean cuisine that caters to westerners, what we were expecting was not what was delivered. The best way to describe our experience is that it is more “home-style” than what you may be used to. The most telling feature of Joong Mi is that it is about as difficult to explain as it is to find.
First off, don’t rely on GPS or paper maps. Joong Mi is in the basement of a 1970-era office building off the Little River Turnpike on the back side of another popular Korean restaurant, Yechon. After calling for further directions, we stumbled upon a knocked over Joong Mi sign (it was very windy that day). We walked down the stairs and were greeted by a very pleasant staff. They seated us in a very open, non-descript dining room surrounded by post (and we mean VERY POST) Christmas decorations (it is February) and a large flat screen blaring a Korean game show. The menu, doubling as a placemat was difficult to parse through being written mostly in Korean.
We asked the server for suggestions and eventually were able to narrow down our dining selections. We expected to order a few main dishes and the customary sides of kim che, pickled veggies, and the like, but were disappointed to learn that was not the offering at Joong Mi. We did get a simple side of an unknown pickled fruit. Our orders consisted of Kan Poong-Sal, Jam Bong, and Chicken Broccoli; however, we can’t really tell you which one was which.
Even though there was another family dining that at first glance was probably from South America, this restaurant pretty much caters to a more Korean diner. Our best recommendation is to try Joong Mi (중미반점) and take the server’s suggestion for dining. Chances are you’ll like what is served, and if you’re feeling adventurous and want to experience a meal as if it was served in a suburb of Seoul, try Joong Mi. If you’d rather stick to something that caters more to a western dining experience, there is a host of great Korean dining in the Annandale area.