QUI Korean BBQ Makes a Big Splash in Fairfax

QUI Korean BBQ Makes a Big Splash in Fairfax

Customers love the delicious food and cool ambience.

Enjoying their feast are (clockwise from left) two people named Anna Ko, Wanda Park, Maria Han and Hae Kim.

Enjoying their feast are (clockwise from left) two people named Anna Ko, Wanda Park, Maria Han and Hae Kim.

Featuring quality ingredients and authentic cuisine, The QUI Korean BBQ & Bar has become a huge hit in Fairfax City. And co-owners John and Ellie Kim couldn’t be happier.

“The QUI brand started in 2020, and we’re honored to come to Fairfax,” said John Kim. “The Korean community here is tremendous, and we appreciate all the support from the City and mayor. We also have locations in Chantilly and Gainesville, and we chose to come to Fairfax because the Korean community is very vibrant here.”

“We wanted to go with a set menu and something more upscale,” he explained. “And we wanted to try different menu items here and bring a more unique taste to the Fairfax community.”

At the restaurant’s recent ribbon cutting at 10160 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax Mayor Catherine Read welcomed QUI to the City, as did Tara Borwey, the City’s Economic Development Programs Manager, and Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Rose. 

“I love this restaurant,” said Borwey. “They’ve done a fantastic job of creating a wonderful barbecue place, and I’m glad they chose Fairfax City to open their restaurant.”

Server Chan Lim cooked ribeye steak and L.A. Galbi for Josue Godoy and Jennifer Martinez. 


“This place is so popular,” said City Treasurer Tom Scibilia. “Whenever I drive by, it’s always packed – so they must be doing something right.”

What sets QUI apart from other restaurants, said QUI, is “the quality of the meat we use and the really good side dishes. We pay attention to all the small details in the side dishes with the same dedication to quality as we give to the large ones.”

Pleased that business has been so good, he noted that, “Because of K-pop music, Korean culture is trending worldwide. So people come here to try out our food. And once they do, it’s game over. You’re getting your food directly off the grill – cooked over an open fire, in front of you, in the middle of your table.”

One of the most popular dishes, said Kim, is Bibim Bap – assorted, stir-fried vegetables with a fried egg on top and rice underneath, and then mixed with a spicy, Korean gochujang sauce. Another is Beef Bulgogi – thin-cut, ribeye steak marinated in soy sauce, garlic and onions. 

“The meat comes with four sauces for dipping,” said Kim. “And you can also get that dish with short ribs cut sideways. It’s called L.A. Rib Galbi because it was made popular in Los Angeles. Most Americans start with these dishes because their tastebuds appreciate the flavors, and then they experiment with other menu items.”

QUI also serves Korean, Japanese and American beers, plus red and white wines. But, said Kim, “The one we sell the most of is Soju, which is Korean rice wine. It comes in various flavors, including apple and yogurt.”

Overall, he said QUI is great for gatherings because of the shared experience people enjoy there. “You’re centered around a grill and cooking together, talking, flipping steak and eating. And it’s an explosion of flavor in your mouth, while you’re enjoying the camaraderie. 

Kim also explained the origin of this type of cooking. “Korea was a poor country, so families would share their food together, such as a bowl of soup in the middle of the table,” he said. “That’s how it started.” 

He noted, as well, that the meal combo comes with free side dishes, such as salad, sauces, egg custard, corn cheese and pickled veggies called Ban Chan. And, he added, “You can build your meal any way you want – for example, as a lettuce wrap – with the food you like, and cooked to the temperature you prefer.” To see the full menu, go to https://theQUIkoreanbbq.com/.

“When you want to have a meal in a unique way, this is the place to come,” said Kim. “Everyone can have an inclusive experience in a warm and inviting atmosphere.”

On a recent afternoon, Anna Ko was enjoying the Prime Combo, which includes L.A. Galbi, with four other women. And they cooked the meat themselves. “It’s very good, and the beef is the best – it’s fresh and top quality,” she said. “I also love the salad and the corn cheese. We went to the QUI in Chantilly and came here today for the first time. I’d recommend it to others because the food is tasty, the people are friendly and nice, and I love the cool atmosphere.”

At another table, husband and wife Josue Godoy and Jennifer Martinez were dining on ribeye steak and L.A. Galbi. Godoy liked the side dishes, especially the pickled onions, cucumbers, jalapeños and radishes, plus Odeng – fish cakes with soy sauce, sesame seeds and bell peppers. “It’s really delicious,” he said.

It was their second time at QUI. “I hadn’t tried a Korean barbecue place before,” said Martinez. “And when Josue brought me here for the first time, it was really good. The meat was very tender and the sides were tasty. I’m gluten-free, so I also appreciated the salad and broccoli.”

“The ribeye was cooked at the right temperature, and our waiter asked if I wanted some char on my short ribs,” added Godoy. “So the servers are very knowledgeable. I’ve been to other Korean barbecue places, but this one is more relaxed, and I can have a conversation without screaming.”

Agreeing, Martinez said, “I prefer a place that’s calm and welcoming and where I can bring my family. And this restaurant has a very nice ambience.”

If You Go...

QUI Korean BBQ is at 10160 Fairfax Blvd., and reservations aren’t usually needed. It’s open Sunday-Thursday, noon-11 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, noon-midnight. QUI serves both lunch and dinner; but Monday-Friday, it’s closed from 3:30-4:30 p.m.