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  • Post #61 - July 26th, 2014, 4:39 am
    Post #61 - July 26th, 2014, 4:39 am Post #61 - July 26th, 2014, 4:39 am
    My expereince at the Morton Grove location mirrors the above somewhat.
    The gas grill with a few pieces of charcoal doesn't compare to charcoal only cooking.
    I will drive the further distance for me to the original location.-Dick
  • Post #62 - February 6th, 2015, 1:12 pm
    Post #62 - February 6th, 2015, 1:12 pm Post #62 - February 6th, 2015, 1:12 pm
    Stopped for a mildly late night Soondubu, surprised by the remodel job. Open interior and one can actually look in the windows.

    Soondubu, San Soo Gab San on Western Ave

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

    Low & Slow
  • Post #63 - March 20th, 2016, 1:00 pm
    Post #63 - March 20th, 2016, 1:00 pm Post #63 - March 20th, 2016, 1:00 pm
    Yep, I certainly appreciate the remodeled SSGS on Western Ave, even though I still walk out smelling like I've been bbq'd. For me though, it's the panchan that keeps me coming back. Don't get me wrong, the meat's perfectly fine, I like their kalbi seasoning, and enjoy grilling over live charcoal. But if I'm mostly concerned about the meat and meat quality, I might choose Gogi.

    But how can you possibly ignore the unique, varied and extensive selection of panchan at SSGS. Is there a Korean restaurant in Chicago that offers anything close to this selection? I'm not aware of any such place. But solid bbq (and other offerings), live charcoal and mostly the amazing panchan ensures that I'll keep returning to SSGS and leaving a happy (and stuffed) customer.

    Image
    Panchan at San Soo Gab San
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #64 - February 15th, 2017, 12:59 pm
    Post #64 - February 15th, 2017, 12:59 pm Post #64 - February 15th, 2017, 12:59 pm
    Lunch time at Morton Grove last week was really annoying. Overworked, understaffed service made the experience unpleasant and, if you actually have a job, just about impossible because of how long the lunch took. If I ever go there again for lunch during the week, I'll be sure to get there right when they open.

    Foodwise, only a smattering of mediocre banchan were served. The tabletop burners do seem to hold more charcoal than they used to but both the kalbi and bulgogi we ordered were cooked entirely in the kitchen, though the burners at other tables were in use. Perhaps this is because we ordered 'lunch special' versions of these dishes. It was not entirely clear. The highlight was my very tasty bowl of KahmJa Tahng but considering what I had to endure to get it, I'm not sure it was worth it. Two examples: our waters were never refilled once, and I burned 90 minutes of my day in the restaurant.

    =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 #65 - February 15th, 2017, 1:38 pm
    Post #65 - February 15th, 2017, 1:38 pm Post #65 - February 15th, 2017, 1:38 pm
    Petite Gourmande, Less Is More and I had a pretty terrific dinner at the Western location a few weeks ago.

    First, I've never had so many different banchan anywhere--it didn't fit on the table--and was replenished constantly.

    We also ordered a couple of new (to us) items--a beef selection--Joo Mul Luk (Rib eye mini steak) and the Hae Naeng Myun, a raw seafood with cold noodles. Both were terrific.

    And in case you haven't visited lately, the interior has been completed gut rehabbed--much cleaner, more industrial feel. But the improvement in service is really the best part aspect of the remodel.

    Happy to experience SSGS firing on all cylinders!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #66 - February 15th, 2017, 2:14 pm
    Post #66 - February 15th, 2017, 2:14 pm Post #66 - February 15th, 2017, 2:14 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:Happy to experience SSGS firing on all cylinders!

    Yes, the Western Avenue location remains infinitely superior to Morton Grove. Same as it ever was.

    =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 #67 - February 16th, 2017, 9:40 am
    Post #67 - February 16th, 2017, 9:40 am Post #67 - February 16th, 2017, 9:40 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Lunch time at Morton Grove last week was really annoying. Overworked, understaffed service made the experience unpleasant and, if you actually have a job, just about impossible because of how long the lunch took. If I ever go there again for lunch during the week, I'll be sure to get there right when they open.

    Never done lunch there, but dinners have had stellar, almost too-attentive service (probably helps that we tend to dine early). They are very fussy about whether you get to use the on-table burner: two or more guests must order BBQ dishes that use the burner (a few of the specials don't). Banchan always plentiful.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #68 - February 16th, 2017, 10:05 am
    Post #68 - February 16th, 2017, 10:05 am Post #68 - February 16th, 2017, 10:05 am
    JoelF wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Lunch time at Morton Grove last week was really annoying. Overworked, understaffed service made the experience unpleasant and, if you actually have a job, just about impossible because of how long the lunch took. If I ever go there again for lunch during the week, I'll be sure to get there right when they open.

    Never done lunch there, but dinners have had stellar, almost too-attentive service (probably helps that we tend to dine early). They are very fussy about whether you get to use the on-table burner: two or more guests must order BBQ dishes that use the burner (a few of the specials don't). Banchan always plentiful.


    My lunch experiences in MG echo Ronnie's. Service almost to the point of racist disregard.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #69 - February 24th, 2017, 4:31 am
    Post #69 - February 24th, 2017, 4:31 am Post #69 - February 24th, 2017, 4:31 am
    stevez wrote:
    JoelF wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Lunch time at Morton Grove last week was really annoying. Overworked, understaffed service made the experience unpleasant and, if you actually have a job, just about impossible because of how long the lunch took. If I ever go there again for lunch during the week, I'll be sure to get there right when they open.

    Never done lunch there, but dinners have had stellar, almost too-attentive service (probably helps that we tend to dine early). They are very fussy about whether you get to use the on-table burner: two or more guests must order BBQ dishes that use the burner (a few of the specials don't). Banchan always plentiful.


    My lunch experiences in MG echo Ronnie's. Service almost to the point of racist disregard.

    What about it was racist?
  • Post #70 - February 24th, 2017, 11:17 am
    Post #70 - February 24th, 2017, 11:17 am Post #70 - February 24th, 2017, 11:17 am
    Rocky419 wrote:What about it was racist?

    My experience wasn't racist. It was definitely equal-opportunity lousy service. :wink:

    =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 #71 - February 24th, 2017, 11:46 am
    Post #71 - February 24th, 2017, 11:46 am Post #71 - February 24th, 2017, 11:46 am
    I had a conversation with June, the owner/bartender across the street at BDG Gastropub about the ladies at San Soo Gap San, where I commented about how crabby and unfriendly they are. His opinion is that the 'aunties' at SSGS are crabby with everybody, Korean or not.

    I've had similar 'service' at the Western Ave. location, as well.

    OTOH, I've gotten very friendly service at whatever Dempster Ave. storefront Korean I've ever walked into.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #72 - February 24th, 2017, 12:10 pm
    Post #72 - February 24th, 2017, 12:10 pm Post #72 - February 24th, 2017, 12:10 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Rocky419 wrote:What about it was racist?

    My experience wasn't racist. It was definitely equal-opportunity lousy service. :wink:

    =R=


    In my case, all of the Korean occupied tables around me got decent service while I was completely ignored. I had to flag down a manager to even get a glass of water. When the banchan came, I got only three selections, while other tables got a full compliment of goodies. Was this racist? I don't know, but I do know that my service sucked and seemed to be not as good as most of the other tables around me.

    Having said that, I have found the service at the Western Ave. flagship to be much better, including at lunch yesterday. I've completely written off the Niles location, but Western Ave. continues in my regular rotation.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #73 - February 24th, 2017, 1:44 pm
    Post #73 - February 24th, 2017, 1:44 pm Post #73 - February 24th, 2017, 1:44 pm
    I used the Western Ave. location for my budae jjigae comparison article http://www.lthforum.com/2015/09/a-big-bowl-of-wrong-or-right/ and as stated in the piece the waitstaff was funny/surly, almost like a Korean Ed Debevic's. They get it.

    At the Morton Grove location, I've usually been there at off times, and service is fair--quick but very impersonal. Food still darn good. I'll say one thing--ventilation is a ton better in Morton Grove. Western Ave. makes my clothes smell.
  • Post #74 - February 25th, 2017, 11:11 am
    Post #74 - February 25th, 2017, 11:11 am Post #74 - February 25th, 2017, 11:11 am
    Giovanna wrote:I had a conversation with June, the owner/bartender across the street at BDG Gastropub about the ladies at San Soo Gap San, where I commented about how crabby and unfriendly they are. His opinion is that the 'aunties' at SSGS are crabby with everybody, Korean or not.

    I've had similar 'service' at the Western Ave. location, as well.

    In their defense, have you seen what their job entails? At least at the Western location, they seem to be racing nonstop through several unbearably hot, smoky rooms while being barked at by drunken patrons. If I had to do that for even a day, I might turn a bit surly, too. Hell, I'm plenty surly now and I do none of that.
  • Post #75 - February 25th, 2017, 8:09 pm
    Post #75 - February 25th, 2017, 8:09 pm Post #75 - February 25th, 2017, 8:09 pm
    cilantro wrote:
    In their defense, have you seen what their job entails? At least at the Western location, they seem to be racing nonstop through several unbearably hot, smoky rooms while being barked at by drunken patrons.


    I understand what you're saying. However, I'm confident that the times I've been to either location were at lunch time, when the place wasn't full and no-one was noticeably drunk.

    I strive to be a good customer: be decisive, say 'please' and 'thank you', tip reasonably. At times, I dine alone [like lunch during the working day], and I am certain that a lone female diner does not always get good service.

    cilantro wrote: If I had to do that for even a day, I might turn a bit surly, too. Hell, I'm plenty surly now and I do none of that.


    Oh, amen, my brother. Me, too.
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #76 - February 26th, 2017, 7:48 am
    Post #76 - February 26th, 2017, 7:48 am Post #76 - February 26th, 2017, 7:48 am
    My experience between the two locations leads me to conclude that one is frequented by a predominately Korean Clientel and one is frequented by a mixed clientel. Guess which is which and which one has better ambiance and service?
    At the Morton Grove location, I felt an outsider but at the Western location, one of the family!-Richard
  • Post #77 - September 7th, 2017, 8:56 pm
    Post #77 - September 7th, 2017, 8:56 pm Post #77 - September 7th, 2017, 8:56 pm
    I hit the Morton Grove location for dinner tonight. Tried the Yum Soh Tahng for the first time. Plenty of tender goat meat in a mild curry stew. Some bitter greens and high-grade toasted sesame seeds added some good complexity. My friend's seafood pancake was less greasy than one I had at lunch earlier this year. Banchan were well executed.
    I have always had brusque service here at lunch, but tonight our main server actually smiled and took good care of us.
    A very satisfying visit.
  • Post #78 - September 9th, 2017, 6:52 pm
    Post #78 - September 9th, 2017, 6:52 pm Post #78 - September 9th, 2017, 6:52 pm
    I grabbed dinner as a singleton while in the area of the Western location yesterday, after the Oktoberfest in Lincoln Square. If you eat as a singleton, they certainly skimp on the banchan, specifically in the variety offered, as evidenced by other tables. I've had this problem with other Korean restaurants, even while dining with others; insipid potato salad always finds its way to me, while another table gets the braised eggplants or seasonal squash. I suppose I could have asked for more, but given the very brusque attitude, and my inability to articulate in an efficient manner precisely which specific banchan I saw from other tables I would want specifically (I forgot the word kongjang for soy-braised black soybeans), I did not bother. Altogether it was a somewhat disappointing meal. It wasn't exactly bad but it didn't quite hit the spot.
  • Post #79 - September 22nd, 2017, 8:15 am
    Post #79 - September 22nd, 2017, 8:15 am Post #79 - September 22nd, 2017, 8:15 am
    One of Chicago’s premier Korean barbecues is opening a downtown location, as San Soo Gab San is coming to River West.

    https://chicago.eater.com/2017/9/21/163 ... angry-crab
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde

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