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Korean Food in Chicago


VeryApe77
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Hey,

I'm ashamed to say that I've never really eaten proper Korean food before. However, I'm planning to rectify this next Saturday. I know there are a ton of places in Chicago, so I'm looking for some advice on the best spots.

I was thinking of going to Hai Woon Dae on California, as I have heard good things about it, but I would love to hear some other suggestions.

Cheers!

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Hey,

I'm ashamed to say that I've never really eaten proper Korean food before. However, I'm planning to rectify this next Saturday. I know there are a ton of places in Chicago, so I'm looking for some advice on the best spots.

I was thinking of going to Hai Woon Dae on California, as I have heard good things about it, but I would love to hear some other suggestions.

Cheers!

This is my favorite Korean place -- we always eat there on New Years day. It helps if you have someone familiar with Korean food go along with you, as language can sometimes be a barrier. If wveryone is laid back and easygoing, you should have a blast! (I love their fish cake, chop chae, manu gok, bulgoi. Everything is delicious.)

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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Hai Woon Dae is a great choice & a great place to have BBQ!

You may also want to try Jin Ju (5203 N. Clark St.) as a way to introduce yourself to the cuisine. They don't have the same selection as a traditional Korean restaurant but the flavors are fairly authentic even if presentations are not. Also the waitstaff is friendly & knowledgeable.

You can also try Cho Sun Ok (4200 N. Lincoln). No grill-at-your-table BBQ but still great food. (They cook the BBQ in the kitchen).

And the venerable Korean Restaurant (2659 W. Lawrence). Solid food AND open 24 hrs!

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Try Jangmo Nim, I have never been disappointed. I was taken their by my Korean friends. It's their favorite. They have a gas grill at the table, unfortunately no coal. They are open until 11am, yes thats 11 A.M. I keep forgetting to see what time they open every time I go.

Jangmo Nim

6320 N. Lincoln Ave.

Chicago IL 60659

773 509 0211

They have parking in the rear.

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You may also want to try Jin Ju (5203 N. Clark St.) as a way to introduce yourself to the cuisine.

Agreed! While it's not the same as going to a purely Korean restaurant, JinJu is a superb way to meet Korean cuisine head on.

It's delicious!!

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I have never had a bad experience at The Korean Restaurant on west Lawrence Avenue. This could be because I've never been there before 2 am. It is a 24 hour restaurant that is packed with people of Korean descent at 3 in the morning. It is the craziest thing, and if you need a cab, you let the waitress know, 5 minutes later some guy in a minivan shows up and will take you where ever you need to go for 10 bucks. Korean friends of mine said that it was very typical Korean street food vs. being actual restaurant food.

Patrick Sheerin

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its very interesting how 2 posts on Korean food in Chicago have simultaneously popped up. I second Jinju as a decent intro for someone interested in Korean food but not sure if they're ready for the trip to some of the more "authentic" Korean places. Korean food is definitely growing in popularity in the US through places like Jinju and similar restaurants in other cities around the country. The Korean flavors aren't foreign to US tastebuds and such dishes like kalbi and bulgolgi will be appreciated even by the least adventurous eaters in any group.

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Have any of you tried Lincoln Noodle House? (Assuming that it is still there). It isn't 24 hours like the one on Lawrence, but it much better. There is also the one on Western Ave, further north than Lawrence--the one with the screens? It was always my favorite 24 hour one.

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Emily in London

http://www.august18th2007.com

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Went to Jangmo Nim for lunch on Saturday and I thought it was very very good. I think I like Hai Woon Dae just a bit better. I thoroughly enjoyed the food at both places, but if I had to choose one, I'd choose Hai Woon Dae because I liked the flavors and larger selection of their panchan (sp?) more and I prefer coal over gas. Based on my limited experiences, I don't think either place could ever be categorized as disappointing. I'd go back to either in heartbeat. :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Went to Jangmo Nim for lunch on Saturday and I thought it was very very good.  I think I like Hai Woon Dae just a bit better.  I thoroughly enjoyed the food at both places, but if I had to choose one, I'd choose Hai Woon Dae because I liked the flavors and larger selection of their panchan (sp?) more and I prefer coal over gas.  Based on my limited experiences, I don't think either place could ever be categorized as disappointing.  I'd go back to either in heartbeat.

ronnie_suburban, glad to hear you tried and liked Jangmo Nim. I have not tried Hai Woon Dae, but will very soon. I liked the open till 11:00 am thing at Jangmo, it's odd, I know, but I did go there at 5 in the morning (too much party'ing). :cool:

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one of the most fun (and more traditional) way to have Korean bbq is instead of gas or coal grills on the table, to place a large heated rock and let the beef cook on the rock. Unfortunately, not sure if this option is available anywhere in Chicago. I've heard some talk that Woo Lae Oak, formerly located in the River North area, has opened (or will be soon opening) in Rolling Meadows. I'm curious to know more...Woo Lae Oak originated in Seoul and spread to a number of large cities in the US, but it seems most have closed down (with the exception of the DC chain). The problem always was that the food was overpriced and the setting seemed a bit too nice for regular Korean bbq...

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Went to Jangmo Nim for lunch on Saturday and I thought it was very very good.  I think I like Hai Woon Dae just a bit better.  I thoroughly enjoyed the food at both places, but if I had to choose one, I'd choose Hai Woon Dae because I liked the flavors and larger selection of their panchan (sp?) more and I prefer coal over gas.  Based on my limited experiences, I don't think either place could ever be categorized as disappointing.  I'd go back to either in heartbeat.

ronnie_suburban, glad to hear you tried and liked Jangmo Nim. I have not tried Hai Woon Dae, but will very soon. I liked the open till 11:00 am thing at Jangmo, it's odd, I know, but I did go there at 5 in the morning (too much party'ing). :cool:

Well, we got there right around noon...I wonder if they're "Open 23 Hours" :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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one of the most fun (and more traditional) way to have Korean bbq is instead of gas or coal grills on the table, to place a large heated rock and let the beef cook on the rock. Unfortunately, not sure if this option is available anywhere in Chicago. I've heard some talk that Woo Lae Oak, formerly located in the River North area, has opened (or will be soon opening) in Rolling Meadows. I'm curious to know more...Woo Lae Oak originated in Seoul and spread to a number of large cities in the US, but it seems most have closed down (with the exception of the DC chain). The problem always was that the food was overpriced and the setting seemed a bit too nice for regular Korean bbq...

I once, maybe 10 years ago, had a meal served in this style at a place on N. Sheridan Road in Rogers Park called The Distant Mirror Cafe, although it wasn't a Korean place. I have no idea if TDMC still exists now. It was a very cool concept but no so well executed at TDMC. :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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one of the most fun (and more traditional) way to have Korean bbq is instead of gas or coal grills on the table, to place a large heated rock and let the beef cook on the rock. Unfortunately, not sure if this option is available anywhere in Chicago.

chengb02, I am not sure if you mean 'dol sot.' Not sure what it translates to, but any dish with this name attached to to it is served on heated stone ware. The meat (or whaterver) cooks on the thing. My favorite is the 'dol sot bi bim bop.' :raz:

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chengb02, I am not sure if you mean 'dol sot.'

as far as I know, dol sot refers to the kind of stone bowls that are used typically in dol sot bi bim bap that are heated and cook the rice on the bottom. What I'm talking about is a large, thick, flat rock that bulgolgi and kalbi is cooked on.

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  • 4 months later...
Went to Jangmo Nim for lunch on Saturday and I thought it was very very good. I think I like Hai Woon Dae just a bit better. I thoroughly enjoyed the food at both places, but if I had to choose one, I'd choose Hai Woon Dae because I liked the flavors and larger selection of their panchan (sp?) more and I prefer coal over gas. Based on my limited experiences, I don't think either place could ever be categorized as disappointing. I'd go back to either in heartbeat. :smile:

=R=

Just came back from Hai Woon Dae... And it's get my thumbs up. Prices are nice too.

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Hai Woon Dae is usually my choice for bbq but a few weeks ago I went there & they were closed for some reason...I believe it was a Thursday. So we decided to try San Soo Gap San on Western. It was great! Real wood coals, good selection of panchan and many of the tables are semi-private, which is a nice touch. AND...I believe it's open 24 hours! San Soo Gap San is a little closer to my house so it's now going to be my regular place Korean bbq. Although I'm sure I'll still get to Hai Woon Dae occasionally.

San Soo Gap San

5247 N. Western Ave.

773-334-1589

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I'm a little late to contribute, but we went to Kalbi on Lawrence avenue last week with a Japanese couple. Man, it was excellent. I've never had Korean BBQ before, so I don't know how this stacks up, but I really enjoyed it. We had the tongue, kalbi and kobe beef prime rib eye, and the whatever-its-called pancake with scallions and squid for an appetizer. I can recommend all of it.

What's more, a lot of Japanese movers and shakers eat there, so it must have a good reputation. Ichiro, the Seatle's baseball player from Japan was spotted eating there last year.... if your loaded, order off the menu for their special cuts of meat - they are much better (nd more expensive) than what's on the regular menu.

Ian

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