Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tired of K Street Sandwiches? Try Bulgogi for Lunch!!!

Lighter Restaurant
1400 I St. (exit McPherson Square Metro on 14th St side)
3 out of 5 grains of rice

by Sr. Non-Roving Correspondent Lily C.

One of the best things about my new job is that I am now across the street from Lighter, a Korean-owned mom and pop place next to the escalators leading down to the McPherson Square metro on 14th St. I first notice this nondescript place when I saw a large sign in the window that said "What is Bulgogi ?" In my mind the answer was total deliciousness and I was not disappointed. Lighter is my new lunch staple. I get takeout here at least 2-3 times per week. There are also tables outside and inside.

Generally, I am stoked when I do not have to have a sandwich for lunch. DC, unfortunately, is sandwich centric when it comes to lunch options. Lighter offers a mix of Korean and Japanese fare. You can get a rice bowl topped with bulgogi, spicy chicken, or bi bim bap veggies + miso soup for $7-8. They also offer udon (but I have never tried it). Today I got bulgogi + extra bi bim bap veggies for $8.80. It was so good. I got a huge bowl of rice topped with a ton of bulgogi and veggies. It was enough for 2 meals. Brown rice is also available for the health nuts. The bulgogi here is a bit sweet but still tasty.

Other days, I usually get the special bento lunch box ($10). It comes with 1 california roll, 4 pieces nigri (salmon, tuna, whitefish, shrimp), 3 pieces of white tuna sashimi, 2 different sides that change daily (usually seaweed salad, yam noodle (jap chae), cucumber + tomato, marinated tofu, dumplings, etc.), and miso soup. It is a winner. The sushi is much better than Wasabi and you get a really good value for the money.

The food here is not gourmet by any means but it is really really solid lunch fare. So the next time you can't face another sandwich from ABP or Potbelly or Subway, check out Lighter. They also have a wide assortment of bubble tea, cold green teas (the good japanese kind not snapple), and espresso.