Lakeview

Our favorite Korean in the City…#chosunok

Cho Sun Ok – 4200 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL

Sara and I get urges for Korean food on a reasonably regular basis.  To get our fix, we usually head to one of two places – the first, is “pick your standard” Korean restaurant out in the burbs.  Sure, some are better than others, but there’s a number of solid options out in the NW suburbs – Woo Rae Ok, Woori Village, Jigul Jigul, to name a few.  In the city, there’s also a number of good options – San Soo Gap San is the obvious choice, Gogi has been getting some recent praise since it opened, Great Seas fills a nice niche, but for us, Cho Sun Ok remains the go-to Korean restaurant for us.  Logistically, it can be a bit tough – it’s a small room, BYOB, and no reservations, so during busy times, you can expect to wait.

But once your’e seated, expect a treat.  Thankfully, we went on the early side of a Saturday evening and got seated right away.  And ordered what we order there about 90% of the time – Haemul Pajun to start, and the Chadol Gui.

Haemul Pajun

Haemul Pajun

The Pajeon, a seafood pancake, is always a nice start to the meal – crisply cooked with a good mix of scallion and seafood, mostly pieces of squid.

Chadol Gui

Chadol Gui

Panchan

Panchan

Then comes the meat fest – ordered the Chadol Gui – deli-sliced brisket, so thin that a few seconds grilled on the stone pot is all you need.   The order for two is a huge amount for two people, and a solid amount for 3 or 4.  The panchan is a good variety and all fresh with two types of kimchi.  The shaved scallions are a nice touch as well.

Kimchi fried rice

Kimchi fried rice

And the best part of Cho Sun Ok.  Once you’re done with the meat, the pot gets cleared, and they swing up a nice plate of kimchi fried rice, the perfect end to a meal that hits the spot.

 

 

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After a long move, a wonderful burger @DMKburgerbar

DMK Burger Bar – 2954 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago, IL

So my fiancee Sara finally moved in last weekend!   An exciting but exhausting day left us in the evening wanting to take a much needed break – from moving, from wedding planning, from kitchen planning, and what better way to take a break than to hit up one of our favorite spots – DMK burger bar.  We got there around 6pm on a Saturday night and luckily was able to snag a table within 15 or 20 minutes.

DMK Burger Bar was the first of many joint projects from restauranteur David Morton and chef Michael Kornick, and while it seems like it was just recently that it opened up, DMK has been a fixture in Lakeview for almost 5 years now.

Fried Pickles and Okra

Fried Pickles and Okra

To start, we got an order of the fried pickles and okra, the pickles extremely sweet and flavorful, Sara took most of the okra, but I snagged a piece – cut in longitundinal slices as opposed to the usual crosswise gives it a different texture.  And who doesn’t love ranch with anything fried?

#4 - Fried Egg, hatched green chile, sonoma jack, Smoked Bacon

#4 – Fried Egg, hatched green chile, sonoma jack, Smoked Bacon

For a go-to burger, this is one of my favorites.  While I’m beginning to think that a burger with a fried egg doesn’t really need any cheese on it, the sonoma jack here gets a bit lost.  Not that it’s a bad thing.  The flavorful, well cooked burger mixes perfectly with the fried egg, and the fresh buns soften up as it soaks up the egg yolk.   The green chile adds just the right amount of spice to the stack.  And I think one of the best parts about DMK is that they don’t overpile the ingredients, and they don’t try to do too much (again, a la Kuma’s)  And as tempting as it to upgrade to a double, I held some restraint.

Shrimp burger, ginger, cilantro, sesame ginger slaw

Shrimp burger, ginger, cilantro, sesame ginger slaw

Sara went with the shrimp burger – the special #15.  She loved it so much, I didn’t get much of a taste, but with one bite, I could tell this was a keeper.  Very original, very tasty – her words.

Fries!  Sweet potato fries and Amish Blue & Smoked Bacon

Fries! Sweet potato fries and Amish Blue & Smoked Bacon

For sides, we went with fries over mac and cheese – got an order of sweet potato fries with a subtle lemon tabasco aioli and the fries with amish blue topped with smoked bacon.  Neither was as good as their cheddar and scallion fries or their parmesan truffle, but both were solid.  The sweet potato fries were well cooked, but not as crisp as I would have liked, and the lemon mayo was pretty subtle and didn’t add much.  The blue cheese and bacon fries were heavily topped and the blue cheese doesn’t spread well and makes it a bit difficult to scoop up the ingredients, but it’s a solid dish.

Based on the quality of the DMK Burger Bar, you can see why the DMK empire is rapidly expanding.  Good choices, solid ingredients, good atmosphere.  The beer list is formidable, and the have a decent selections of bourbon for a burger joint.   It’s not the place for massive appetites, if you’re looking for pure size, go somewhere else, but if you want a good, solid, well-sized burger, DMK is a great option.