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San Soo Gap San
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  • Post #31 - February 18th, 2008, 8:59 pm
    Post #31 - February 18th, 2008, 8:59 pm Post #31 - February 18th, 2008, 8:59 pm
    rlguffman wrote:I'm hoping this is just a post-Check Please phenomenon since this is one of my favorite restaurants. But next time a korean craving comes on, I might give another place a go. Kang Nam perhaps...


    I have been to San Soo Gab San a couple of times before the Check Please effect. I was somewhat surprised with how they welcomed and hosted us. It was almost rude and it felt like they did not care whether we were there or not. My Korean friends also let me know that this pretty typical for the Korean crowd as well. Often times when eating at a restaurant my primary interest getting good food and I appreciate SSGS’ food. However, restaurants are in hospitality business and it seems like SSGS has some improvement opportunity in that area. I’m not giving SSGS up yet but I might try some other options as well.
    “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life” – Omar Khayyam
  • Post #32 - February 20th, 2008, 11:24 am
    Post #32 - February 20th, 2008, 11:24 am Post #32 - February 20th, 2008, 11:24 am
    serkansener wrote:However, restaurants are in hospitality business and it seems like SSGS has some improvement opportunity in that area.


    Trust me, ain't gonna happen. :wink: I wouldn't like it any other way neither.
    Last edited by fenger on February 20th, 2008, 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #33 - February 20th, 2008, 12:50 pm
    Post #33 - February 20th, 2008, 12:50 pm Post #33 - February 20th, 2008, 12:50 pm
    serkansener wrote: However, restaurants are in hospitality business and it seems like SSGS has some improvement opportunity in that area.


    I like to be seated quickly, and like to eat food that's good and arrives quickly, but care not about the Cheshire grin of the waiter serving me.

    Jimthebeerguy and I had the experience of being told off by the waitress at Sun Wah. When Jim ordered the food, the waitress interjected and said, "that's enough food" with a flat tone and a dour expression. Honestly, it was funny! Jim said later that he wished he'd answered, "but that's just for me; here's the rest of my order!"
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #34 - February 20th, 2008, 1:11 pm
    Post #34 - February 20th, 2008, 1:11 pm Post #34 - February 20th, 2008, 1:11 pm
    Saint Pizza wrote:Jimthebeerguy and I had the experience of being told off by the waitress at Sun Wah. When Jim ordered the food, the waitress interjected and said, "that's enough food" with a flat tone and a dour expression. Honestly, it was funny! Jim said later that he wished he'd answered, "but that's just for me; here's the rest of my order!"


    Although I haven't seen her there in quite some time, I think that same Sun Wah waitress has yelled at me more times than my mother has.
  • Post #35 - February 21st, 2008, 12:46 pm
    Post #35 - February 21st, 2008, 12:46 pm Post #35 - February 21st, 2008, 12:46 pm
    I got smacked upside the head (lightly) with my own wallet by a waitress at Cho Sun Ok before, for leaving it there. She came outside with it, chastising me in Korean - and in front of all my friends. It was great. :oops: :lol:
  • Post #36 - February 22nd, 2008, 12:36 pm
    Post #36 - February 22nd, 2008, 12:36 pm Post #36 - February 22nd, 2008, 12:36 pm
    For our Feb 15 visit, I think we had just outstanding service, on the relative scale of Korean eateries in Chicago. I think the Korean/Caucasian interface is often still a problematic one because of language and custom. But the SSGN ladies (and gentlemen) were patient, helpful, friendly and prompt when we were there.
  • Post #37 - May 24th, 2008, 3:59 pm
    Post #37 - May 24th, 2008, 3:59 pm Post #37 - May 24th, 2008, 3:59 pm
    FIGmolly, El Panzone, Myself and 7 others popped into ssgs last night. I used to regular this spot 4 or 5 years ago and all of the waitresses still work here. They sat us immediately and before half of the party had arrived we had already finished 2 bottles of Chamisu, my favorite. It was jammed and the embers were smoking. The Kalbi was incredible and the sushi remains as good as it was when Sushi Mike was around. The decor has changed a bit, due to the removal of some wall, but I must say that it opened it up in a good way. I really must make it up there more than once every 2 years. Cheers.
    Justin Hall
    FIG Catering
    FIGcatering.com
    MMMMM, Moon Waffles.
  • Post #38 - August 29th, 2008, 11:02 pm
    Post #38 - August 29th, 2008, 11:02 pm Post #38 - August 29th, 2008, 11:02 pm
    My birthday week meal #1 was dinner at SSGS last night, our first time there. Probably my favorite Korean BBQ place is in LA, called The Corner Place, where the meats are plenty and of high quality, and the cold noodle soup is amazingly refreshing and, for lack of a better word, zippy (there are rumors that they use 7-up or some other carbonated ingredient). The recipe is so secret they don't let you take any of it home, lest you send it to the lab for testing!

    Anyway, it's a lot to live up to. SSGS was good, it didn't blow our socks off but it was a tasty way to celebrate the passing of another year (sigh). We ordered two bbq plates - the marinated kalbi and baby octopus, and also their cold noodles. And of course, the numerous panchan, which were all serviceably tasty.

    I enjoyed the real coal application (although, really, what were we thinking? Cooking by fire in this muggy weather?!?) and the kalbi was tender and well seasoned. The baby octopus was nice too, though the line between just-cooked and over-cooked is very fine indeed. I quite enjoyed watching them shrink up and roll around on the grill, as if they were still alive. The cold noodles hit the spot after all the smoke and oil - I've never had "mix-ins" like the mustard they gave us, but it deepened the flavor of the stock nicely. Slices of asian pear were also a nice surprise.

    We left SSGS stuffed and sated. We probably won't return any time soon, but only because there are many other K-BBQ places on our list to try (Kang Nam, Hai Woon Dae, etc.) - otherwise it would be a fine go-to placei. Oh, and a note about the service - no complaints here. I shamefully went in expecting the worst - at one point a server asked if we were finished and I assumed she was trying to rush us out, so I rather defensively said, "uh, no, not yet," only to realize she was just asking if we were done with the coals since we were out of meat :oops:

    Next up on the birthday week recap - tonight's Beijing duck dinner at Sun Wah...
  • Post #39 - September 1st, 2008, 3:50 am
    Post #39 - September 1st, 2008, 3:50 am Post #39 - September 1st, 2008, 3:50 am
    I am currently in love with San Soo Gap San. I have been eating there 3 times a week for the last seven months. I am a pretty streaky eater, but this is the longest streak of my life.

    IMO, the best items on the menu are (in order of greatness) -


    1. The large ribeye (dipped in the delicious oil)
    Image

    2. The kalbi (dipped in the brown bean sauce)
    3. The dak kalbi (chicken)
    Image

    3. Chop Chae (its like delicious noodle bubble gum)

    I am so obsessed with this place that I even made a video professing my love.

    Enjoy (warning, there are some swear words & a little booty shaking in this video):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukzZ8jqBXEQ

    :)
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    I burp so I can taste my meal one last time.
    ChicagoGluttons.com
  • Post #40 - September 1st, 2008, 10:16 am
    Post #40 - September 1st, 2008, 10:16 am Post #40 - September 1st, 2008, 10:16 am
    Did you really do that yourself? I thought I saw that as an ad for SSGS last night on a cable channel. Thanks for the laugh.
  • Post #41 - September 1st, 2008, 12:32 pm
    Post #41 - September 1st, 2008, 12:32 pm Post #41 - September 1st, 2008, 12:32 pm
    I actually did make that myself, for a chicagogluttons.com review I wrote. Did you seriously see it on TV? That'd be hilarious and make my day. (I shoulda put more booty shakin in there)
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    I burp so I can taste my meal one last time.
    ChicagoGluttons.com
  • Post #42 - September 1st, 2008, 6:58 pm
    Post #42 - September 1st, 2008, 6:58 pm Post #42 - September 1st, 2008, 6:58 pm
    Wow, that was a flash from the past... After I YouTubed the original 2 Live Crew video, I had to YouTube Young M.C.'s classic during the same year - flashback...
  • Post #43 - May 8th, 2011, 12:27 pm
    Post #43 - May 8th, 2011, 12:27 pm Post #43 - May 8th, 2011, 12:27 pm
    Based on recommendations from an exhaustive search on the forum, we are trying San Soo Gap San tonight. I'm new to Korean BBQ (I know, hard to believe).

    I'd love some tips or a "101" on what to order. I'm an adventurous eater, dh loves meat. Kids will eat meat and dumplings of any sort.

    I want a grill, lots of great food and an adventure- any tips on what to order? And how to eat?

    Thanks -
    Hungry Oak Park Mom
  • Post #44 - May 8th, 2011, 6:12 pm
    Post #44 - May 8th, 2011, 6:12 pm Post #44 - May 8th, 2011, 6:12 pm
    Sorry no one responded. Probably too late now. Good thing is you really can't go too wrong with anything you order.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #45 - May 20th, 2011, 10:45 am
    Post #45 - May 20th, 2011, 10:45 am Post #45 - May 20th, 2011, 10:45 am
    Hosting a birthday dinner for about 15 people on Saturday at San Soo Gab San. I've been there before with smaller groups and ordered a la carte, which we could certainly do this time, but I've also heard they will do a prix fixe per person and just bring a variety of meats for table-grilling? Anyone know any more about the prix fixe (what price levels and what it includes)? Many in the group are Korean BBQ beginners (I'm not) but they are reasonably adventurous.

    Thanks!
  • Post #46 - May 4th, 2012, 8:48 am
    Post #46 - May 4th, 2012, 8:48 am Post #46 - May 4th, 2012, 8:48 am
    Like other Korean restaurants originating within the city of Chicago, San Soo Gab San has followed its Korean clientele to the North/Northwest suburbs and, about 3 weeks ago, opened up its second location in Morton Grove. As the Korean population diminishes in Chicago proper, the numbers of Koreans moving/living in suburbia consistently keeps growing. Consequently, the ever-increasing number of Korean restaurants setting up shop outside the city limits (as is also the case with other ethnic groups such the Chinese, Indians, and Eastern Europeans) is constantly expanding to help serve these suburban ethnic enclaves.

    I had lunch there last week and marveled at how lovely San Soo Gab San’s new space is compared to their seedy Chicago restaurant.

    The banchan on my initial visit were super-fresh tasting as well as plentiful (maybe 15 or more), and were easily the highlight of the meal. When the banchan is on at SSGS (Chicago), it can be some of the best to be had around. However, I've noticed a big problem with consistently over the last few years there, having many outings where the banchan tasted 1-2 days past its prime and had a sad, weepy appearance to boot.

    I tried the pork neck and potato soup (Gamja Tang - 감자탕) which was served with over-the-top amounts of perilla (shiso) leaves and seeds. Besides the fact that the potatoes were served completely raw, the soup's base was pretty respectable despite it being haphazardly and sloppily constructed overall. If you're going out that way and have a yen for this super-homey, hearty soup I'd highly recommend going right down the road to Cho Jung instead. Their version completely blows SSGS's rendition out of the water.


    San Soo Gab San
    7901 Golf Road
    (at Washington Ave)
    Morton Grove, IL
    (847) 972-1252

    (Edited for factual correctness)
    Last edited by PIGMON on January 8th, 2013, 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #47 - May 5th, 2012, 3:58 pm
    Post #47 - May 5th, 2012, 3:58 pm Post #47 - May 5th, 2012, 3:58 pm
    PIGMON wrote:Like their Chicago restaurant, San Soo Gab San (Morton Grove) uses live coals for BBQ.


    San Soo Gab San
    7901 Golf Road
    (at Washington Ave)
    Morton Grove, IL
    (847) 972-1252

    Do they have the same hours?
  • Post #48 - May 5th, 2012, 4:42 pm
    Post #48 - May 5th, 2012, 4:42 pm Post #48 - May 5th, 2012, 4:42 pm
    LAZ wrote:Do they have the same hours?


    Sun.-Thur.
    11am-11pm

    Fri. & Sat.
    11am-12midnight
  • Post #49 - May 5th, 2012, 6:41 pm
    Post #49 - May 5th, 2012, 6:41 pm Post #49 - May 5th, 2012, 6:41 pm
    Thanks. Not as late in the suburbs, then.
  • Post #50 - May 13th, 2012, 7:23 am
    Post #50 - May 13th, 2012, 7:23 am Post #50 - May 13th, 2012, 7:23 am
    My wife and I had dinner at the Morton Grove outpost last night. Thanks to PIGMON for the heads up on the new location.

    We arrived at about 7pm and the place was jumping. We had about a 20 minute wait for a table. They don't take names when you get there - sort of a first come first served arrangement. Though it appears that some larger groups had a reservation.

    A woman who appeared to be a manager of sorts asked us and and another couple if we wouldn't mind sharing one of the larger tables as they had a no-show for a large reservation. Not a problem and we ended up having a great conversation with them.

    They have a policy that you need to order a minimum of two BBQ items in order to use the table grill. Otherwise, they'll grill your order in the kitchen. I wasn't in the mood for grilling and my wife was. Only one half the other couple wanted to grill as well. The manager who seated us also acted as our waitress for the evening. She suggested that we share one grill with the other couple. We agreed and all was good.

    I could have easily made a satisfying meal from the banchan. My wife doesn't care for spicy food which means more banchan for me. 8)

    I started out with Hae Mool Pah Jun - seafood pancake. That was followed up with Bee Bim Neang Myun - buckwheat noodles in a spicy sauce with beef and vegetables. My wife had seaweed salad followed up with Seang Kal Bee - unseasoned beef short ribs for her grilling option.

    All in - a great meal. I can definitely predict that a certain LTH group will be dining here in the near future.
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #51 - May 16th, 2012, 3:14 am
    Post #51 - May 16th, 2012, 3:14 am Post #51 - May 16th, 2012, 3:14 am
    Had a terrific meal at the Morton Grove branch tonight. I notice they use gas-lit charcoal there rather than lugging the hot coals from the kitchen. Everything tasted just as good as in Chicago. Our party of four received 20 different banchan, all fresh and good, and the marinated meats our group ordered were all first-rate (whong kalbi, joo mool luk and bulgogi). We also got markedly more attention from servers than the Koreans dining there -- they did a lot more of the cooking for us, something that rarely happens at the original location.

    Chap chae was excellent, though the goon mandu were a little dull and greasy -- surprising because the tempura appetizer was very crisp and light. (I'm not sure the city location even has tempura, and it would never have occurred to me to order it there, but this was not an adventuresome bunch.) I also think San Soo Gab San (or San Soo Kab San, as it says on the sign, or San Su Gap San, as it's spelled on the menu) makes some of the best miso soup around.

    By the way, the kitchen closes an hour before closing time, so basically you can't eat at this location after 10 p.m. weeknights.
  • Post #52 - June 26th, 2012, 9:20 am
    Post #52 - June 26th, 2012, 9:20 am Post #52 - June 26th, 2012, 9:20 am
    A +1 on the above commentary for me also.
    Having eaten at the City location, it has a bit more atmosphere but the Golf Rd location is easier to get to for me.
    Three of us had lunch at a BBQ table yesterday with pork belly, beef of some sort and baby octopus. All excellent, very nice panchan and OB beer.
    Only problem is convincing the servers and management that we were ok with heat. Server could not comprehend I wanted pork belly spicy. Manager said pork belly only came with dipping sauces, one mild and one with a salty oilt charachter. The mild sauce appeared to be of the same ingredient we were given at another Korean Pork Belly restaurant in dry form for dipping, so I may be missing some knowledge of Korean cusine here?
    I had to request garlic spears for the wraps, they brought it in a foil container to cook at table side. We ate it raw, cultural mistake? All other Korean restaurants i have eaten at serve it raw. I supose it really doesn't matter how you have it!
    I had to ask for the red pepper paste and was brought a squirt bottle and little dish, told the server to take the dish and leave the bottle please.
    It is my perception, that it is hard for a Westerner to be served spicy(authentic) Korean Cusine or Korean Cusine has maybe changed over a few decades and is not the fiery, garlically cusine I once knew?
    In any event better than Wooil in my opinion and well worth the drive from Wisconsin.
    There are traditional tables available where one can sit with the table at traditional height but you must have a party of 10, remove your shoes and there is space for you legs to hang rather than sit folded beneath the table(a concession to Western habits or maybe Korean's that don't dine in the manner very often?).
    BTW, I much prefer my baby octopus live in Korean pepper paste rather than cooked but for that you of course must have live tanks of which I did not see any.-Dick
  • Post #53 - January 8th, 2013, 10:16 am
    Post #53 - January 8th, 2013, 10:16 am Post #53 - January 8th, 2013, 10:16 am
    Enjoyed a meal at SSGS a couple weeks ago, took a friend there for the first time, and we all really enjoyed our visit. Grilled food, cold beer, conversation.

    Image

    The asparagus beef roll was a new item for me, thin sliced, marinated beef wrapped around tender asparagus,

    Image

    Plenty of banchan:

    Image

    Personally I prefer live coals for my Korean BBQ:

    Image

    went with Bul Ko Ki(thin sliced beef), and the Deung Shim Gui(ribeye), also Dol Sot Bi Bim Bob.(kind of beef heavy and not a ton of food but this was a first stop):

    ribeye - decent, (but the bul ko ki was really good - didnt get a good pic of that though):
    Image

    dol sot bi bim bob(really nice, could have used another egg. Crispy rice at the bottom of the dish was great:

    Image

    I wont wait so long again to return to SSGS,
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #54 - January 8th, 2013, 3:23 pm
    Post #54 - January 8th, 2013, 3:23 pm Post #54 - January 8th, 2013, 3:23 pm
    I certainly agree about the live coals, the other location on Golf uses gas. -Dick
  • Post #55 - January 8th, 2013, 3:44 pm
    Post #55 - January 8th, 2013, 3:44 pm Post #55 - January 8th, 2013, 3:44 pm
    budrichard wrote:I certainly agree about the live coals, the other location on Golf uses gas. -Dick

    Yes, I was kind of surprised to see that when I was there.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #56 - April 5th, 2013, 8:28 am
    Post #56 - April 5th, 2013, 8:28 am Post #56 - April 5th, 2013, 8:28 am
    Mildly late night Soondubu at San Soo Gap San last night. Might not have the depth/complexity of Cho Jung's version but it sure hit the spot.

    Image
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #57 - October 17th, 2013, 12:48 pm
    Post #57 - October 17th, 2013, 12:48 pm Post #57 - October 17th, 2013, 12:48 pm
    Terrible news: the restaurant's owners were killed in a traffic accident this week:

    http://skokie.suntimes.com/news/gvfatal ... 13:article
  • Post #58 - October 17th, 2013, 1:11 pm
    Post #58 - October 17th, 2013, 1:11 pm Post #58 - October 17th, 2013, 1:11 pm
    TomInSkokie wrote:Terrible news: the restaurant's owners were killed in a traffic accident this week:

    http://skokie.suntimes.com/news/gvfatal ... 13:article

    Wow! Incredibly sad. I'd read about the accident earlier this week and had no idea about the idienties of the victims. What a terrible tragedy.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #59 - October 19th, 2013, 11:04 am
    Post #59 - October 19th, 2013, 11:04 am Post #59 - October 19th, 2013, 11:04 am
    Not that it's any less tragic, but they were not the owners, according to this: http://glenview.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/victims-of-tuesdays-crash-mourned-possibly-identified
  • Post #60 - July 25th, 2014, 9:19 am
    Post #60 - July 25th, 2014, 9:19 am Post #60 - July 25th, 2014, 9:19 am
    SueF and I had dinner at the Morton Grove location (whose sign reads San Soo Kab San, just to further confuse). At :30 on a Thursday, there was no problem getting in, but they were certainly busy. It could easily be a long wait on a weekend, I speculate.

    We started with the fried "mahndu" (never seen it spelled that way, the problems with transliteration run rampant, I guess). They were nicely crisp, and the chile-laden sauce was perfect on it.

    We were struggling with what to choose -- not from unfamiliarity, but from the wide variety. The server kept trying to steer us to the standards (gal bi / bul go gi), and we thought we had chosen a nice pairing... until the rules got in the way.

    1) We'll have the shrimp from the grilled section, and the special pork belly, no problem if you do the cooking in the kitchen since only one is from the grilled section.
    Sorry, no shrimp today
    2) OK, how about the squid instead
    we can't do the seafood items in the kitchen, they have to be done at the table
    3) *sigh* Ok, the brisket
    no, only the most common dishes (bul go gi, gal bi, and the chicken) are done in the kitchen
    4) So... if we want the brisket and pork belly, we have to have the grilled one. OK. We'll have one spicy, one mild.
    neither of those is spicy
    5) No, no, we'd like it spicy, like it says on the menu, "Spicy or mild?"
    No, that's just indicating that some of the dishes are spicy (the ones with the pepper sign), not that you have a choice

    At this point, I nearly walked out in frustration... but I'm glad I didn't. They fired up the gas grill with several lumps of hardwood charcoal, and quickly overflowed the table -- six chairs, but filled with food for two -- with the ready-to-cook beef and pork, and more than 20 banchan. The staff comes by regularly to add more stuff to the grill, flip the meat and cut up the pork belly (we could have handled it, but it's entertaining to watch them stop by and potchke regularly).

    The pork belly was outstanding -- it gets nicely crispy, but watch for the tips of ribs that may be present in the slices. The brisket I'm less crazy about: razor-thin slices melt down to almost nothing very quickly, but still very tasty. The salt-and-sesame-oil seasoning is amazing, the bean paste very good, and of course the array of banchan keeps everything exciting. Favorites in the banchan were sweet-pickled chiles, soybean sprouts, potato salad (wish we knew what made it crunchy), dried squid (mmm cthulhu jerky), dried tofu... it just goes on and on. The meat portions weren't huge (especially the meltaway brisket), but the soup, rice, and banchan abundance makes it a great value.

    Image

    We looked in the windows of Shahi Nihari, in the same strip -- they were prepping for Iftar, they have a different buffet every night of the week ($12? $12.95?). We may have to go back for a late dinner buffet soon.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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