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336 Korean Wet Aging BBQ House - Niles

336 Korean Wet Aging BBQ House - Niles
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  • 336 Korean Wet Aging BBQ House - Niles

    Post #1 - May 27th, 2024, 6:51 pm
    Post #1 - May 27th, 2024, 6:51 pm Post #1 - May 27th, 2024, 6:51 pm
    I'm no expert in Korean BBQ and because I live so close to the excellent Cho Sun Ok, I rarely try new places. But a friend wanted to go and offered to drive, so I made the trek out to Niles to check it out. The first question on my mind was what the deal with the name was. Easy enough: 24 hours in a day times 14 days of aging equals 336.

    I thought the banchan was very good. There wasn't a ton of choices, but refills were happily provided when requested. The crowd favorite (and mine) were the jalapenos, which I'm guessing was their version of jangajji (note: my guess is based on googling jalapeno banchan and thinking it tasted like what some of the recipes sound like so I could be wrong).

    This soybean paste soup (they call it stew) comes free with meat orders. It's also available on the menu with brisket. It was a nice umami-rich soup but it definitely would have been better with some meat.

    We tried three meats: flap marinated with sesame oil sauce (top pic), pork belly with butter, garlic and herb salt (bottom pic), and marinated galbi (no pic). They got us started with the cooking and left us to our own devices. Service was friendly but not intrusive. They checked on us enough and there's a button at each table they encourage customers to push if they need anything.

    Back to the food. All three meats were very good with the pork belly and galbi both standing out. No idea about the provenance of the pig but the menu emphasizes they use Berkshire pigs. I found all of the meat better than what I've had at Cho Sun Ok.

    We also tried a couple of classic noodle dishes - japchae (top) and bibim naengmyeon (bottom). Both were very good and I'd order both again but, and maybe I'm unduly influenced by the Cho Sun Ok version, I could have used more flavor, textural variety, and a lot more heat in the bibim naengmyeon.

    For people who care about such things, other than one other person, we were the only non-Asian customers in the full restaurant. Were they all Korean? Old round eyes here couldn't tell you, but the place was crowded when we got there and completely full when we left and they've got a 4.6 on Yelp so 336 definitely has some fans. And there's a very good chance most of them know more about Korean BBQ than me.

    8357 W Golf Rd
    Niles, IL 60714
    (224) 251-7067