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.
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.
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.
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.