SUNdeVICH in the Shaw neighborhood of DC has all of the hallmarks of a hip, metropolitan restaurant. Locally sourced ingredients, specially baked baguettes from a nearby bakery, globally inspired menu. Each of SUNdeVICH's sandwiches represent the cuisine from different countries around the world, from Argentina to Turkey. But none of this would really matter if the sandwiches were gimmicky or contrived. Fortunately, SUNdeVICH's wide range of flavors are tastefully understated and consistently delicious. One of the best examples is the Seoul ($11).
The creation of one of the resident sandwich mavens, Eugene Chun (of Korean descent, naturally), the Seoul is an uncomplicated representation of the major staples of Korean cuisine. The sandwich is made with bulgogi (thinly sliced, marinated ribeye), kimchi (spicy pickled, fermented cabbage), Asian slaw, greens, and garlic mayo. The bulgogi is tender and well marinated and the kimchi is authentically pungent and potent (which it should be because they get it straight from the popular Korean grocery, H Mart). Chun decided against adding anything gimmicky, like cheese, that would not have traditionally been found in Korean cuisine. The end result is essentially bibimbap (a traditional Korean dish of mixed rice with bulgogi and vegetables) in sandwich form and SUNdeVICH's superb freshly baked baguettes are a worthy substitute for the rice. A lot of restaurants take shots at reproducing Korean flavors, but SUNdeVICH's Seoul is one that really hits the mark.