Finally! This Korean bbq byob has been on my list for YEARS. Seriously, there is always a line out the door. Really, always. So my byob pals and I decided to check it out early on a Saturday evening in early June. To beat the crowd we arrived around 5:30, which turned out to be a good plan since we were seated right away.
My friends brought champagne (their usual) & I brought some Schofferhofer Hefeweizen Grapefruit Beer which is similar to a Radler. Though I love a good, dry, sparkling wine, I like to mix it up. Both went well with the fresh, slightly spicy & delightfully delicious food.
We were overwhelmed by the menu but being a rather adventurous group we figured it out. It helped that one of us is a personal chef and the rest of us like to eat despite each having some kind of dietary preference.
We started ordering a bunch of dishes to share which included the Gun Mandu (pork pan fried dumplings), Mul Mandu (pork steamed dumplings) and HaeMul PaJeon (Korean pancake with seafood and scallions). The dumplings came with a delicious dipping sauce made with soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions and other tasty ingredients.
We liked the steamed dumplings and the pancake the most. Before the appetizers, they brought probably 10 little side dishes from kimchi, pickles, to other Korean delicacies that we couldn’t actually identify but were all interesting & delicious.
For entrees we ordered the BulGoGi (charcoal broiled sliced tender beef marinated in house specialty sauce) and the NakJi-Gui sliced octopus cooked in stone pan (mixed with Korean noodles). Both were very good although the beef went a lot quicker.
The servers were all very efficient & helpful Korean ladies. They come around periodically to stir the dish cooking on the edge of your table and to bring you more food.
We all left very satisfied & stuffed! I would put this on your byob list for sure.
If you find yourself on the Northside of Chicago, it’s late afternoon and you are hungry, you’ll want to check out Cho Sun Ok, Korean bbq in North Center. Enjoy!