LTH Home

Dancen - Korean bar food at its best.

Dancen - Korean bar food at its best.
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Dancen - Korean bar food at its best.

    Post #1 - February 7th, 2013, 1:38 pm
    Post #1 - February 7th, 2013, 1:38 pm Post #1 - February 7th, 2013, 1:38 pm
    I recently nominated Dancen for a GNR, so I figured I'd start up a dedicated thread to compliment the nomination. Whether it is wins GNR award or not, it still doesn't deserve to be hidden within the other thread about Korean Bars in general.

    Here is some of my content copied from the other post.
    Dancen:
    Smallest of the bunch, with more of a dive bar layout than the others. It has arcade game shaped tables (think pong) made of brushed metal which made it a bit uncomfortable to get snug up to the table.

    The food however really blew me away here. In my opinion, clearly the better of the 3 buldaks that we tried. All dark meat cut off the bone and grilled right on the bar by the bartender. We tried a whole array of grilled skewered meats, which were good. The one dish that really surprised me was the cod roe soup. Typically this soup doesn’t excite me but the broth in this was bright and clean, and the cod roe was soft and savory, not grainy or mealy as it typically is. Some people who were with us didn’t even want to try it (since they don’t like it typically), but they loved it and ended up eating more! If you go here get that soup and buldak and you will not be disappointed.

    In all I’m really glad i finally found the fire chicken, and my search led me to discover a few new dishes along the way! All 3 were great, but If you pick one of these places to try, I’d recommend Dancen.

    Image

    They even grill up the bones for you!
    Image

    Image

    Cod Roe soup
    Image

    Fire Chicken
    Image


    Dancen
    5114 N Lincoln Ave
    Chicago, IL 60686
    (773) 878-2400
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #2 - February 10th, 2013, 1:37 pm
    Post #2 - February 10th, 2013, 1:37 pm Post #2 - February 10th, 2013, 1:37 pm
    At Saturday's event, through all the past favorites, we managed to try a new (to me) dish, the fried pork skin. We were given the option of spicy or crispy. We tried to order both but were told (I think i understood through the language barrier) that there wasn't enough pork skin to meet the demand, so we could only pick one! It appears it's another very popular dish here, and for a good reason.

    We got them crispy. They were served so fresh from the fryer they still crackling at the table for a good few minutes. Alek made some sort of joke about ordering the pork skin fajitas from applebees. They were very crispy with a juicy fatty center. They were served with sesame oil and some kind of bean powder for dipping. A definite new must order item. The yogurt soju always surprises me in that it's WAY better than I'd have ever guessed.

    On Wednesday's event I'll try to capture some better pictures of the place and new dishes with my new camera (better in low light conditions). I'll also do everyone a favor and get pictures of the menu, as it's not online anywhere, and I'm probably calling these dishes by the wrong names...
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #3 - February 14th, 2013, 10:52 am
    Post #3 - February 14th, 2013, 10:52 am Post #3 - February 14th, 2013, 10:52 am
    Very much enjoyed rounds of Hite pitchers and aggressively seasoned meats with the boys here last night. The fire chicken is the main event- very juicy, nice char flavor, and a fiery, salty, and slightly sweet marinate/ glaze. One version is oddly topped with a co-jack like shredded cheese that to me was inoffensive but a bit redundant. Two styles of crispy pork skin were crunchy, fatty good times and as GWiv retorted "how can you go wrong with pig fat". The pork "cartilage" dish, which reminded me of thinly sliced rib tips- served with slivers of fresh green chile and shiso leaf wrappers- provided the most complex bites of the evening- the tender meat slathered in a healthy dose of gochujang, heat offset nicely by the herbal smoothness of the shiso. The cod "roe" soup was chock full of much-fresher-tasting-than-my-last-encounter-with-milt, cod sperm sack, which may have converted me to a sperm eater afterall. This soup had a definitive burn to it.

    I can see putting in some serious time at Dancen. This dimly lit cantina has a great afterhours vibe that inspires pounding frosty mugs of lager and more dubious slushy, dairy based cocktails. Love the in- plain- sight grilling station at the bar and don't even mind the incessant K-pop soundtrack.
    The assertive hot, salty, and greasy flavors of the grub is the perfect foil to said libations. Drinking food at its best. A great find!
  • Post #4 - February 15th, 2013, 7:07 am
    Post #4 - February 15th, 2013, 7:07 am Post #4 - February 15th, 2013, 7:07 am
    With my new camera in hand (and some lighting assist), I managed to capture some better lit pictures, which is hard to do in this place. Enjoy!

    Image

    Image

    Pork Skin (served crispy)
    Image

    Seasoned sesame oil and bean powder to dip the skins in.
    Image

    Pork Skin (served spicy)
    Image

    Fire Chicken
    Image

    More Fire Chicken
    Image

    Cheesy Fire Chicken
    Image

    Fried Chicken
    Image

    Cod Roe Soup
    Image

    Cod Roe Soup
    Image

    Pork Cartilage
    Image

    Pork Cartilage
    Image

    Seafood Pancake
    Image

    Spicy Rice Cake (ddeokbokki)
    Image

    Image
    Last edited by laikom on February 15th, 2013, 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #5 - February 15th, 2013, 7:14 am
    Post #5 - February 15th, 2013, 7:14 am Post #5 - February 15th, 2013, 7:14 am
    Also, here is the menu.

    Image
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #6 - February 15th, 2013, 7:53 am
    Post #6 - February 15th, 2013, 7:53 am Post #6 - February 15th, 2013, 7:53 am
    Jefe wrote:Very much enjoyed rounds of Hite pitchers and aggressively seasoned meats with the boys here last night. The fire chicken is the main event- very juicy, nice char flavor, and a fiery, salty, and slightly sweet marinate/ glaze. One version is oddly topped with a co-jack like shredded cheese that to me was inoffensive but a bit redundant. Two styles of crispy pork skin were crunchy, fatty good times and as GWiv retorted "how can you go wrong with pig fat". The pork "cartilage" dish, which reminded me of thinly sliced rib tips- served with slivers of fresh green chile and shiso leaf wrappers- provided the most complex bites of the evening- the tender meat slathered in a healthy dose of gochujang, heat offset nicely by the herbal smoothness of the shiso. The cod "roe" soup was chock full of much-fresher-tasting-than-my-last-encounter-with-milt, cod sperm sack, which may have converted me to a sperm eater afterall. This soup had a definitive burn to it.

    I can see putting in some serious time at Dancen. This dimly lit cantina has a great afterhours vibe that inspires pounding frosty mugs of lager and more dubious slushy, dairy based cocktails. Love the in- plain- sight grilling station at the bar and don't even mind the incessant K-pop soundtrack.
    The assertive hot, salty, and greasy flavors of the grub is the perfect foil to said libations. Drinking food at its best. A great find!


    Jefe pretty much hit the nail on the head here. I don't have too much to add here except I really loved the cartilage, and I'm not normally a huge fan of it. There wasn't a single dud here and I feel like I'll have trouble trying other things on the menu because I'll always want to reorder these dishes.
  • Post #7 - February 15th, 2013, 8:49 am
    Post #7 - February 15th, 2013, 8:49 am Post #7 - February 15th, 2013, 8:49 am
    This place looks amazing! Any idea on their hours? I'd love to go here late night. I can't find anything online.
  • Post #8 - February 15th, 2013, 9:17 am
    Post #8 - February 15th, 2013, 9:17 am Post #8 - February 15th, 2013, 9:17 am
    PopcornMegaphone wrote:This place looks amazing! Any idea on their hours? I'd love to go here late night. I can't find anything online.


    I believe that they are open until 2am and serve food until they close, per our discussion at dinner Wednesday night.
  • Post #9 - February 15th, 2013, 10:06 am
    Post #9 - February 15th, 2013, 10:06 am Post #9 - February 15th, 2013, 10:06 am
    The biggest two surprises for me were how good the cod roe soup was, and how unoffensive the fire chicken with cheese was. :wink: Both were great dishes, as was pretty much everything else that was ordered. My least favorite dish was the fried chicken, but even that was pretty good. If I were more of a night owl, I'd be at Dancen on a regular basis. I hope more people visit this hidden-in-plain-sight gem and post about it.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - February 15th, 2013, 10:09 am
    Post #10 - February 15th, 2013, 10:09 am Post #10 - February 15th, 2013, 10:09 am
    stevez wrote:The biggest two surprises for me were how good the cod roe soup was, and how unoffensive the fire chicken with cheese was. :wink:


    I was going to ask about that chicken with cheese. It looks terrible, but I could see it scratching a certain itch and certain hours of the night/morning.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #11 - February 15th, 2013, 10:11 am
    Post #11 - February 15th, 2013, 10:11 am Post #11 - February 15th, 2013, 10:11 am
    jesteinf wrote:
    stevez wrote:The biggest two surprises for me were how good the cod roe soup was, and how unoffensive the fire chicken with cheese was. :wink:


    I was going to ask about that chicken with cheese. It looks terrible, but I could see it scratching a certain itch and certain hours of the night/morning.


    I expected to hate it, but it turned out to be my favorite of the two fire chicken preps. Somehow, despite the cheese, it seemed to be spicier with flavors that really popped.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - February 15th, 2013, 10:25 am
    Post #12 - February 15th, 2013, 10:25 am Post #12 - February 15th, 2013, 10:25 am
    stevez wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:
    stevez wrote:The biggest two surprises for me were how good the cod roe soup was, and how unoffensive the fire chicken with cheese was. :wink:


    I was going to ask about that chicken with cheese. It looks terrible, but I could see it scratching a certain itch and certain hours of the night/morning.


    I expected to hate it, but it turned out to be my favorite of the two fire chicken preps. Somehow, despite the cheese, it seemed to be spicier with flavors that really popped.


    I agree. I also found it to be spicier and found the cheese to be very inoffensive. In the future this will probably be the fire chicken I choose to order.
  • Post #13 - February 15th, 2013, 11:43 am
    Post #13 - February 15th, 2013, 11:43 am Post #13 - February 15th, 2013, 11:43 am
    stevez wrote:The biggest two surprises for me were how good the cod roe soup was, and how unoffensive the fire chicken with cheese was. :wink:


    fropones wrote:I agree. I also found it to be spicier and found the cheese to be very inoffensive. In the future this will probably be the fire chicken I choose to order.


    Oh, you guys and your restrained, word-mincing "inoffensive" cheese. Come out and admit you liked it! Against your better judgment too. :wink:

    Not to mention - and this is always an important consideration among the voracious types I tend to dine with - for only a dollar more than the un-cheesed type, you seem to get more chicken. Even if toward the end you end up peeling off congealed, rubbery cheese to get to the spicy chicken bites, it is a good value!
    The meal isn't over when I'm full; the meal is over when I hate myself. - Louis C.K.
  • Post #14 - February 15th, 2013, 11:51 am
    Post #14 - February 15th, 2013, 11:51 am Post #14 - February 15th, 2013, 11:51 am
    laikom wrote:Pork Cartridge
    Image


    Do you know if this is compatible with my NES? (Sorry Matt, I couldn't resist.)
    The meal isn't over when I'm full; the meal is over when I hate myself. - Louis C.K.
  • Post #15 - February 15th, 2013, 12:35 pm
    Post #15 - February 15th, 2013, 12:35 pm Post #15 - February 15th, 2013, 12:35 pm
    I corrected the spelling. I guess that's what I get for posting without my glasses on.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #16 - February 15th, 2013, 2:30 pm
    Post #16 - February 15th, 2013, 2:30 pm Post #16 - February 15th, 2013, 2:30 pm
    Teresa wrote:
    laikom wrote:Pork Cartridge
    Image


    Do you know if this is compatible with my NES? (Sorry Matt, I couldn't resist.)


    Only if you blow on it
  • Post #17 - February 15th, 2013, 11:21 pm
    Post #17 - February 15th, 2013, 11:21 pm Post #17 - February 15th, 2013, 11:21 pm
    Do you guys know what exactly the cod roe is? It certainly doesn't look/taste/feel like roe. Is it some organ?
  • Post #18 - February 15th, 2013, 11:25 pm
    Post #18 - February 15th, 2013, 11:25 pm Post #18 - February 15th, 2013, 11:25 pm
    mgmcewen wrote:Do you guys know what exactly the cod roe is? It certainly doesn't look/taste/feel like roe. Is it some organ?


    On the menu it's listed as cod roe, but has been verified by many (including Google image search) that it is actually milt or "soft roe". Milt is male fish genitalia.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #19 - July 14th, 2013, 10:06 pm
    Post #19 - July 14th, 2013, 10:06 pm Post #19 - July 14th, 2013, 10:06 pm
    Thanks to LTH and especially laikom for tipping me off to this GNR right in my N. Stopped by today, Sunday night, for a solo dinner at the bar before picking up some staples at the Dominick's across the street. Had an awkward opening moment when I walked into the empty space, and requested of the server/bartender/grillman, "Dinner for one, please. May I sit at the bar?" He responded, "We don't serve dinner." I looked dumbfounded, dreaming of the fire chicken I was sure was here, then he clarified, "We just serve food that goes with our drinks." Oh, OK, that will be great. So I sat at the bar, and ordered a bottle of Hite. A few moments later I ordered the fire chicken, a side of rice, a beef skewer, a grilled quail, and at his suggestion, a chicken skewer. He cooked all of the meats himself, at the barside grill. I really enjoyed watching his process at the grill. It was obvious he was very deliberate of the timing of starting, turning, and finishing each protein. The food was all top-notch, and the fire chicken was the spicy star you promised it would be. I brought home almost half the meal, and my husband, who had to work tonight, will get to taste it all tomorrow (I suspect the chicken might be even better on day two), and is already asking that we plan a visit together.
  • Post #20 - July 19th, 2013, 9:36 am
    Post #20 - July 19th, 2013, 9:36 am Post #20 - July 19th, 2013, 9:36 am
    Does anybody know what time Dancen opens? I can't find any indication of its hours in this or other LTH threads or anywhere on the internet. I did call to try to ask, but no one answered.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #21 - July 19th, 2013, 9:51 am
    Post #21 - July 19th, 2013, 9:51 am Post #21 - July 19th, 2013, 9:51 am
    According to Time Out, the hours are Sun–Fri 6pm–2am, Sat 6pm–3am (food served till 1:30am Sun–Fri, 2:30am Sat).
  • Post #22 - July 27th, 2013, 9:11 am
    Post #22 - July 27th, 2013, 9:11 am Post #22 - July 27th, 2013, 9:11 am
    This place looks right up my alley... Except that I don't drink alcohol. Would it be weird to go just for the food?
  • Post #23 - July 27th, 2013, 1:35 pm
    Post #23 - July 27th, 2013, 1:35 pm Post #23 - July 27th, 2013, 1:35 pm
    Smassey wrote:"We don't serve dinner." I looked dumbfounded, dreaming of the fire chicken I was sure was here, then he clarified, "We just serve food that goes with our drinks."


    This story gave me a good laugh, and it is precisely accurate. They may self-identify as a bar, but I'll be damned if the food isn't the star of the show, and as the Koreans we have befriended there attest: better than what you get at most bars in Korea. A pitcher of Hite or bottle of soju has never tasted so good as it tastes while enjoying a sizzling plate of fried pork skins. Which brings me to ...

    mtyf wrote:This place looks right up my alley... Except that I don't drink alcohol. Would it be weird to go just for the food?


    Sure it would be weird, but the food is worth it and no one is going to persecute you for just asking for water. If you would really feel that uncomfortable, you can always bring friends who will sling a beer or two to put you at ease (maybe an lther?). If you're not strict about not drinking, though, I would suggest giving a sip of yogurt soju a try. At Dancen, the drink and the food really go hand in hand and enhance one another. For me, who has never had any strong feelings about food paired with alcohol, it really was an eye opener.
    The meal isn't over when I'm full; the meal is over when I hate myself. - Louis C.K.
  • Post #24 - July 30th, 2013, 12:55 pm
    Post #24 - July 30th, 2013, 12:55 pm Post #24 - July 30th, 2013, 12:55 pm
    Darren72 wrote:According to Time Out, the hours are Sun–Fri 6pm–2am, Sat 6pm–3am (food served till 1:30am Sun–Fri, 2:30am Sat).
    Thanks, Darren.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #25 - February 15th, 2014, 9:07 am
    Post #25 - February 15th, 2014, 9:07 am Post #25 - February 15th, 2014, 9:07 am
    I noticed last night they have fantastic makgeolli(mak gu li on the menu) for $14. It's a pretty good sized bowl of it to share (you ladle it into little bowlish cups). I think it's the locally brewed stuff. It is very fresh and bubbly, with a slight sour taste.
  • Post #26 - December 1st, 2014, 2:31 pm
    Post #26 - December 1st, 2014, 2:31 pm Post #26 - December 1st, 2014, 2:31 pm
    Sadly they no longer have the local makgeolli- they have imported/pasteurized stuff that isn't very good.
  • Post #27 - December 2nd, 2014, 11:40 am
    Post #27 - December 2nd, 2014, 11:40 am Post #27 - December 2nd, 2014, 11:40 am
    mgmcewen wrote:Sadly they no longer have the local makgeolli- they have imported/pasteurized stuff that isn't very good.


    Boo. The big wooden bowl of Slow City was a welcome, cooling highlight of my meal there.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more