Modern Chinese and Korean cuisine
In 2006, Lee and his mother decided to open their own restaurant, one that played to their strengths and represented their culinary traditions and culture. They opened Mandu, DC’s first full service Korean restaurant, near Dupont Circle in November 2006. Five years later, the family opened a second location in DC’s Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood.
Mandu has won “Best Korean” in the Washington City Paper annually since 2010. In the Fall of 2016, Lee and his mother were invited to London to showcase a Korean tasting menu for a two week Mandu residency at Carousel Restaurant in South Central London.
In 2017, Lee started a new restaurant group with Andrew Kim and Chef Scott Drewno, called The Fried Rice Collective. The group’s first restaurant, CHIKO, opened in July of 2017 on Barrack’s Row in Washington, DC. CHIKO serves modern Chinese and Korean cuisine in a fun and casual environment. CHIKO has since expanded with additional locations in DC and Encinitas, CA.
CHIKO has been awarded three-star ratings from both the Washington Post and Washingtonian, and was also nominated as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in the country in 2018. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington awarded CHIKO Best New Restaurant at the 2018 RAMMY Awards.
The original Mandu location suffered a fire in the summer of 2017. Due to his family’s history in the building, Lee wanted to stay and rebuild, but open as a new concept. In the summer of 2019, Anju opened, with The Fried Rice Collective partnering with the Lee family. Anju serves eclectic Korean cuisine in a vibrant atmosphere, paying homage to both traditional and modern aspects of Korean culture.
Anju immediately garnered a three-star review in the Washington Post, and the Washingtonian awarded Anju with a 3.5-star rating along with naming Anju the #1 restaurant in their 2020 100 Very Best Restaurants issue.
Danny was nominated as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in the Spring of 2020. Lee has been featured in several national and local publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine, Men’s Health, Washington Post, Washingtonian, and many more.