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  • Cho Sun Ok

    Post #1 - January 20th, 2006, 5:07 pm
    Post #1 - January 20th, 2006, 5:07 pm Post #1 - January 20th, 2006, 5:07 pm
    I'm not sure if this warrants it's own post so if it gets moved to one of the other few Korean threads no problem.

    After doing a bit of research(thanks LTHforum!) under the assumption we were meeting friends at San Soo Gab San, I was a tad underwhelmed that we were acually to dine at the supposedly lesser Cho Sun Ok.

    I've always loved Korean food having first gorged upon it at the aptly named Korean Restaurant, a long gone establishment that opened in the small town surrounding my university.

    aside: I specifically remember being chided by the waitress/owner that I didn't mix my meat/veg/rice together. So sue me; I, in general, prefer my rice seperate...it's a texture thing. And, I like the flavor of bland perfectly-cooked rice whatever the variety.

    Years ago, I had a truly horrid experience at the long gone Bando(great sign tho'). Lacking adequate exposure to Korean cuisine and friends relishing :) fermented/preserved/mystery things as much as I =
    no Korean in quite awhile...aside from my regular consumption of store-bought kimchee.

    yadda...yadda...yadda: I was pleasently surprised by Cho Sun Ok.

    Line out the door: check
    Mostly Korean clientele: check
    Smoky as Hell: check

    Our friend's girlfriend is Taiwanese, so no Korean special treatment there.

    We ordered bulgogi, galbi, a vegetable pancake and Hite beer.

    Contrary to prior reports the bulgogi arrived raw and marinated at our table for us to cook with relatively little interference from the waitress.

    At first we put too much on, supposedly, and, later, I, again, supposedly, removed a bit of beef before it was to our waitress's doneness. Really tho', there was none of this hovering/cooking-for-you that many gringos report. The galbi they brought out ready to eat.

    A nice spread of panchan; no little fish...but, you know, what can ya do?

    I would've enjoyed some sort of chili/garlic condiment to spice things up a bit. Our table held soy sauce and vinegar. I gather our main dishes aren't necessarily supposed to be spicy in and of themselves.

    The vegetable pancake was a tad insipid, the table sauce erring on the side of the innocuous.

    Maybe it's because I haven't had Korean cuisine in so long, but, all in all, I heartily enjoyed the experience.

    My final caveat being that tho' we waddled out the door, the bill seemed a bit high(we could have had more panchan...or been offered refills...maybe the amount of beef for the price was on the skimpy side).

    Anyway, I'd do it again...maybe octopus.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #2 - January 20th, 2006, 7:24 pm
    Post #2 - January 20th, 2006, 7:24 pm Post #2 - January 20th, 2006, 7:24 pm
    I liked cho sun ok on my one visit, although the panchan assortment seems smaller than at many other places.

    When we were there they were using gas everywhere, even on the tables that were set up to use charcoal. Was it an all gas operation for you, too?
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - January 21st, 2006, 12:17 pm
    Post #3 - January 21st, 2006, 12:17 pm Post #3 - January 21st, 2006, 12:17 pm
    Yep. It was gas. I would've preferred coals.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #4 - January 21st, 2006, 2:07 pm
    Post #4 - January 21st, 2006, 2:07 pm Post #4 - January 21st, 2006, 2:07 pm
    I was there for a quick pre-rehearsal dinner this week - I had a cod/tofu soup casserole that was very uninspiring. Lots of folks at adjacent tables had buckwheat noodles and almost everybody had bulgogi (i think) with a gas fired frying pan which looked very good. I noticed the waitresses stepping in to cook for everyone, gringo or not. After people's beef was done, they'd dump in the all the leftover kimchi style panchan, rice and hotsauce and make some fried rice in the bulgogi pan. Actually looked awesome. Panchan was varied - some very good. It was much more comfortable than I had imagined from the outside appearance. Clean, lots of wood, big tables, friendly service. I'd go back for the bulgogi if I had a couple of beefeaters along.
  • Post #5 - January 21st, 2006, 4:18 pm
    Post #5 - January 21st, 2006, 4:18 pm Post #5 - January 21st, 2006, 4:18 pm
    Seth Zurer wrote:After people's beef was done, they'd dump in the all the leftover kimchi style panchan, rice and hotsauce and make some fried rice in the bulgogi pan. Actually looked awesome.

    Seth,

    Best part, in my estimation, of a meal at Cho Sun Ok is the rice, kimchee, garlic etc leftovers cooked on the stone.

    Image

    Here's a few pics from '04, our original dish was octopus, not bulgogi.

    Jju Kku Mi Gui, baby octopus cooked at the table
    Image

    First you cook, and eat, the octopus mixture, including whole cloves of garlic, then a veg mix is added to the pan, cooked a bit, the rice mixed in. The rice at the bottom of the stone pan gets very crisp, the crisp bits are slightly difficult to get out of the pan, but the best part of the meal.

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Cho Sun Ok
    4200 N Lincoln Ave
    Chicago, IL 60618
    773-549-5555
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - January 22nd, 2006, 12:20 pm
    Post #6 - January 22nd, 2006, 12:20 pm Post #6 - January 22nd, 2006, 12:20 pm
    ok, that rice looks amazing!!! how do you order it?
  • Post #7 - January 22nd, 2006, 8:00 pm
    Post #7 - January 22nd, 2006, 8:00 pm Post #7 - January 22nd, 2006, 8:00 pm
    the rice comes with most of the "grill at table" meats but not all. i think the menu mentions it.
  • Post #8 - October 17th, 2007, 4:33 pm
    Post #8 - October 17th, 2007, 4:33 pm Post #8 - October 17th, 2007, 4:33 pm
    I think this is the name of a Korean place on Lincoln near Berteau. Anyone have any comments? It's so walking distance from where I live that I'll have to try it sometime but I was curious what other's experience has been.
    Howard
  • Post #9 - October 17th, 2007, 4:45 pm
    Post #9 - October 17th, 2007, 4:45 pm Post #9 - October 17th, 2007, 4:45 pm
    Howard,

    Your query was merged into an existing Cho Sun Ok thread. I have been going to CSK since the very early '70's. It is considered the oldest Korean restaurant in Chicago.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - October 17th, 2007, 5:21 pm
    Post #10 - October 17th, 2007, 5:21 pm Post #10 - October 17th, 2007, 5:21 pm
    No discussion of Cho Sun Ok's cha dol baegi?

    That's what Cho Sun Ok is known for (and, imo, the only reason to go).
  • Post #11 - October 17th, 2007, 6:05 pm
    Post #11 - October 17th, 2007, 6:05 pm Post #11 - October 17th, 2007, 6:05 pm
    OK, I am clearly not using the search function properly because I searched for this and didn't find it. I'm not new to this style of forum but I guess I could use a brief primer. Is there one somewhere?

    Thanks
    Howard
  • Post #12 - October 17th, 2007, 6:12 pm
    Post #12 - October 17th, 2007, 6:12 pm Post #12 - October 17th, 2007, 6:12 pm
    Howard,

    To find this thread I used the keywords: cho sun ok

    I then clicked 'search for all terms.'

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - October 17th, 2007, 6:19 pm
    Post #13 - October 17th, 2007, 6:19 pm Post #13 - October 17th, 2007, 6:19 pm
    I know what I did wrong. I put the cho sun ok in the search author space. D'oh.

    Thanks
    Howard
  • Post #14 - October 18th, 2007, 2:39 pm
    Post #14 - October 18th, 2007, 2:39 pm Post #14 - October 18th, 2007, 2:39 pm
    I hope my question is "okay" for this thread... I was wondering if there are any dishes here that you can order takeout-style. Is there such a thing, when it comes to korean food?
    "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 #15 - October 19th, 2007, 2:37 pm
    Post #15 - October 19th, 2007, 2:37 pm Post #15 - October 19th, 2007, 2:37 pm
    Regarding carryout, they have a neon sign that specifically advertises Carry Out... I haven't done it myself, but I would recommend stopping in and asking them about it.

    I would imagine that they'd grill up whatever meats that you wanted, then accompany it with a side of rice and a few panchan.

    For a stew they may not be able to do it, but could put it into a large styrafoam container... carry at your own risk!
  • Post #16 - October 19th, 2007, 3:01 pm
    Post #16 - October 19th, 2007, 3:01 pm Post #16 - October 19th, 2007, 3:01 pm
    jonjonjon wrote:For a stew they may not be able to do it, but could put it into a large styrafoam container... carry at your own risk!


    I actually got dduk mandu guk from there as a carry-out a couple years ago - I had a terrible cold and all that sounded good was that. So, I sent the hubby out to get some. I can't remember if they packaged it in styrofoam or in plastic, but it made the journey back home unharmed. I'm guessing that they would do the same for any jjigae order.

    --gtgirl
  • Post #17 - February 17th, 2010, 5:48 am
    Post #17 - February 17th, 2010, 5:48 am Post #17 - February 17th, 2010, 5:48 am
    It's been a couple years but consider me a fan. good times...bulgogi and Hite at Cho Sun Ok... Good quality and variety of panchan. The mandu were tasty. Agree that the best part is mixing the rice with other bits at the end of the meal on the stone.
  • Post #18 - February 17th, 2010, 8:41 am
    Post #18 - February 17th, 2010, 8:41 am Post #18 - February 17th, 2010, 8:41 am
    they were closed over the weekend. not sure if i can say why. have they reopened?
  • Post #19 - February 17th, 2010, 7:24 pm
    Post #19 - February 17th, 2010, 7:24 pm Post #19 - February 17th, 2010, 7:24 pm
    It was Lunar New Year over the weekend, a holiday observed by both Chinese and Koreans, amongst others.
  • Post #20 - February 18th, 2010, 7:41 am
    Post #20 - February 18th, 2010, 7:41 am Post #20 - February 18th, 2010, 7:41 am
    i am pretty sure the lunar new year had nothing to do with their closing.
  • Post #21 - February 20th, 2010, 6:01 pm
    Post #21 - February 20th, 2010, 6:01 pm Post #21 - February 20th, 2010, 6:01 pm
    They are open now, just called and going in tonight!
    I'm not picky, I just have more tastebuds than you... ; )
  • Post #22 - July 6th, 2010, 8:06 pm
    Post #22 - July 6th, 2010, 8:06 pm Post #22 - July 6th, 2010, 8:06 pm
    In the sweltering afternoon heat, I found myself walking down Lincoln away from the Salzer Public Library, where I had been encamped for many hours studying for the New York Bar (drinking and otherwise). My initial thoughts for lunch were Asadero, where I haven't been, but about which I've heard good things. A quick peek inside killed my appetite for tacos as the place wasn't well ventilated and the steak on the grill looked old and chewy. Calling an audible, I made haste to Cho Sun Ok, the first Korean restaurant I ever ate at, and a place a I haven't been in over a year now.

    My first and only thought was naengmyon - cold buckwheat noodles in chilled beef broth with egg, radish kimchee and Asian pair. There are many variations on this basic formulation, one with raw skate (too hot for raw fish, even if I do trust the restaurant), others with various combinations of beef, egg, and vegetables. I settled on bibim naengymon, which featured small chunks of beef, half an egg, lots of radish, and thick, sweet and quite spicy pepper paste.

    As I waited for my dish, I enjoyed the well-positioned flat-screen above the counter showing the Netherlands-Uruguay match, the volume setting set tastefully low. Groups of Koreans, many of whom seemed to know the proprietors as friends, came and went, and nearly everyone ordered naengymon. Without asking, I was brought out a modest array of panchan, 4 plates, and way more than I needed anyway.

    The naengymon arrived shortly after and was absolutely delicious and perfect in the summer heat. Tender, slippery noodles; mineral, tangy beef broth; a huge tangle of radish kimchee and small pieces of tender beef; topped thoughtfully with half a hard boiled egg and some Asian pear slices. The stern waitress reached over and gave the noodles a cut or two with her handy scissors, I gave the bowl a mix or two, and presto: a perfect summer lunch dish.

    A great reminder that there is Korean food out there that isn't 4am beef bbq. Cho Sun Ok, still one of the greatest.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #23 - July 6th, 2010, 8:49 pm
    Post #23 - July 6th, 2010, 8:49 pm Post #23 - July 6th, 2010, 8:49 pm
    Yes! I LOVE their bibim naeng myun! I went last night for dinner and it was incredible, as always. I think their panchan is the best in Chicago.

    Image
    Bibim naeng myun.

    Image
    Panchan.
    Last edited by spiffytriphy on December 21st, 2010, 6:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #24 - July 7th, 2010, 2:28 pm
    Post #24 - July 7th, 2010, 2:28 pm Post #24 - July 7th, 2010, 2:28 pm
    Hey Spiffy (or anyone else who might know for that matter)-- in your panchan photo, what is the item in the bottom row, center? What is it named, and what is it composed of? Some sort of rice starch with sesame oil? It's one of my favorite panchan, but I always wondered about it.
  • Post #25 - July 7th, 2010, 2:36 pm
    Post #25 - July 7th, 2010, 2:36 pm Post #25 - July 7th, 2010, 2:36 pm
    emdub wrote:Hey Spiffy (or anyone else who might know for that matter)-- in your panchan photo, what is the item in the bottom row, center? What is it named, and what is it composed of? Some sort of rice starch with sesame oil? It's one of my favorite panchan, but I always wondered about it.


    It's called "mook"/"muk" and it's acorn jelly. It's basically like flavorless jello. I'm not sure how it's made but I'm assuming it's a powder that's mixed with water and allowed to set, like gelatin?
  • Post #26 - July 7th, 2010, 2:43 pm
    Post #26 - July 7th, 2010, 2:43 pm Post #26 - July 7th, 2010, 2:43 pm
    Cheongpomuk (mung bean jelly).
  • Post #27 - July 7th, 2010, 2:44 pm
    Post #27 - July 7th, 2010, 2:44 pm Post #27 - July 7th, 2010, 2:44 pm
    lol it's actually one of my favorite panchan as well! I think it's acorn jelly or mung bean jelly? Not certain though. Whatever it is, I love its texture!
  • Post #28 - May 18th, 2011, 10:59 pm
    Post #28 - May 18th, 2011, 10:59 pm Post #28 - May 18th, 2011, 10:59 pm
    After being told twice by people born and raised in Korea that cho sun ok is the best korean in chicago i'm going to have to finally give it a try, this weekend. It came on a personal recommendation of a friend from korea, and a korean cab driver on separate occasions. I told the cab driver that I liked San Soo Gap San, only to be informed that that place uses too much MSG (whatever..), and if i want really healthy korean BBQ I should go to cho sun ok. Though i doubt it's any healthier. I'm excited to give it a try! I see it's BYOB, anyone aware of a corkage fee or is it straight up BYOB?
    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 #29 - May 19th, 2011, 6:00 am
    Post #29 - May 19th, 2011, 6:00 am Post #29 - May 19th, 2011, 6:00 am
    I just visited Cho Sun Ok for the first time last weekend. It's BYOB and I didn't see anything about a corkage fee on the menu.

    They don't use live coals, but the stone has the advantage of making a killer fried rice at the end of the meal. We ordered the tripe which was a mistake because it came out really chewy and underseasoned. When we were done chewing the tripe like gum, they brought out a big bowl of white rice and kim chi. They fried up the rice and kimchi while mixing in the leftover panchan from the table to make a delicious (and crunchy!) bowl of fried rice that we had no chance of finishing since we were so full. It made great leftovers.

    On the side we ordered the seafood pancake and the bibim naengmyeon. The pancake had a crisp exterior with plenty of tender seafood. The noodles packed plenty of spice that married well with the crunchy cucumbers and cabbage. Both were excellent renditions, definitely worth returning for.

    It's entirely possible that the beef is much better than the tripe so I'll reserve judgement on their BBQ until then. But the panchan, noodles, and pancake were all good enough to merit a return trip. Particularly since everything is so affordable.
  • Post #30 - May 19th, 2011, 7:24 am
    Post #30 - May 19th, 2011, 7:24 am Post #30 - May 19th, 2011, 7:24 am
    Cho Sun Ok is one of my neighborhood favorites and I highly recommend it. There is no corkage fee. And the beef (either the Galbi or the Bulgogi) is terrific, mostly due to the crunchy rice dish at the end. One warning--go early or late--it gets very crowded at primetime, there is nowhere to wait and they won't take your name--so, literally, it's a line out the door once it gets full.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington

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