Puzukan Tan Brings Korean Barbecue to Falls Church
This meat-lovers' paradise in Merrifield hits the spot with bulgogi, pork belly, brisket, ribs and banchan.
Here’s one for the carnivores. At Puzukan Tan in Merrifield, a server seasons my tabletop grill with beef fat, then proceeds to grill the “Tan A” combination ($55), a meat-fest that includes thick slabs of pork belly and razor-thin slices of brisket, plus rib-eye steak and pork ribs marinated in soy and garlic. The aromas are as tantalizing as the drama as the server wields a pair of scissors and chef-like moves to cut the belly into bite-size pieces for dipping in three sauces.
The regular combo—plenty of food for two people—comes with a plethora of accompaniments, including four banchan (spicy cucumber salad; kimchi; glass noodles; pickled radishes); a flavorful beef-radish soup; a leafy house salad; rice; steamed eggs; and corn sauteed with gooey mozzarella cheese.
Opened in October, the Korean barbecue restaurant is owned by brothers Sunghoon (Sam) and Kibum Kim, Seoul natives who gained restaurant experience in that city before relocating to the DMV in 2018, lured by the area’s large Korean population and robust economy.
Puzukan means “butcher shop” in Korean; Tan means “charcoal.”
Together, the brothers also own Matsui Sushi & Ramen and Puzukan (a fast-casual Korean bowl concept) in Alexandria, as well as Rateba Grill & Ramen in Fairfax and a catering company in Manassas. A master butcher oversees the meat operations for all of their restaurants.
Puzukan Tan is 3,000 square feet and seats 60 inside and 20 outside, though the outdoor tables are not equipped with grills. The menu features pork and beef only—no chicken or seafood—with many Wagyu and dry-aged prime beef offerings.
In addition to the four combination platters ($55 to $99 for regular; $105 to $190 for large) and a butcher’s omakase menu ($59 per person), items are offered a la carte. The restaurant has a beer and wine license, so pair a combo with soju.