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Best Taiwanese/Korean/"Chinese" in Chicago

SField

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Looking to eat very good food in Chicago...

All Korean BBQ I've been to here absolutely sucks. They serve dog meat, and the only good thing about it is the side dishes.

Recently had some nice TW food at a friend's house. This pork over rice dish was delicious as were noodles in broth with braised beef. Would like to explore this more.

Also, good Chinese food. Please advise.
 

impolyt_one

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Ate at Woo Lae Oak, it's okay. Korean food is 99% about the same everywhere across America.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by impolyt_one
Ate at Woo Lae Oak, it's okay. Korean food is 99% about the same everywhere across America.

So I've heard, except for in LA where it's supposed to be the best anywhere.
 

lee_44106

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There is a "chinatown" section in Chicago. You should be able to find some decent Taiwanese/Chinese stuff there.

Have you googled Chowhound and see what the recommendations are?
 

whiteslashasian

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Originally Posted by SField
So I've heard, except for in LA where it's supposed to be the best anywhere.

Best K BBQ I've ever had has consistently been at places in Fort Lee, Englewood, and Edgewater New Jersey.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by lee_44106
There is a "chinatown" section in Chicago. You should be able to find some decent Taiwanese/Chinese stuff there.

Have you googled Chowhound and see what the recommendations are?


Everything I've had in Chinatown has been horrific except for one mochi peanut ball at this bakery. I had dimsum there a few times but was so drunk I didn't notice how bad it probably was. I much prefer Argyle as a neighborhood but it's also Vietnamese.
 

gladhands

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San Su Gab San is my favorite spot for Korean BBQ in Chicago. They use real wood at the table, so the place gets really smokey. Their banchan is slightly subpar, but the meats are fantastic. They're also open ridiculously late.

For non bbq Korean, we prefer Cho Sun Oak.
 

gladhands

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FYI, the lunch counter in the back of Joog Boo Market has some amazing prepared food deals. I recommend the Hwe Dup Bab and the Yook Gae Jang.
 

arced

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Originally Posted by whiteslashasian
Best K BBQ I've ever had has consistently been at places in Fort Lee, Englewood, and Edgewater New Jersey.

+1
 

countdemoney

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Tang Dynasty in Naperville for Chinese.
 

Despos

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Solga on Lincoln is the place I frequent the most. I do the soups/ casseroles more than BBQ. All the busboys at this place are from Mexico and they were eating with the waitresses the other day, eating bulgogi with tortillas. You won't see many non Koreans here. Main cook is off on Wednesday and everything tastes a little different when he is not cooking.

Jin Ju on Clark at Foster is very americanized but the flavors are authentic. Great bar and modern presentation/plating of the food.

My favorite was Willow Tree House on Dempster. Owner passed away and it hasn't been the same since. They would bring me stuff out of the kitchen they were making for themselves, things not on the menu. It was really great while it lasted. This is the place Koreans that were traveling here would seek out. Most authentic from my experience. The flavor profiles have changed and things don't seem as fresh as before.

Woo Lae Oak is more commercial. Food was more bland to me.

If you are going west on Dempster from the Edens there is a small hole in the wall just before Willow Tree House on the south side that specializes in black goat. Had a 4 hour meal there that was fantastic. They made 5 dishes out of one pot at the table. They don't have an English name. Everything is written in Korean.
 

impolyt_one

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I also ate at Jinju, forgot about that. May have eaten at some of the others you listed throughout the years, Despos; though K-BBQ isn't always eaten when sober.
Basically, I think what it comes down to with these Korean restaurants is: 1. charcoal fired grills? if yes, better, if not, at least grate over gas. Cooking on an iron plate (or worse yet, not cooking it yourself) is least desirable, needless to say. 2. what cuts of meat are you choosing? For beef, choose something unmarinated, like boneless short rib (galbi sal), something like that, don't cook it death like Koreans do, and see if you like it. Forget the marinated meat and enjoy the flavor of the meat itself with basic seasoning, and as a ssam. Pork belly (samgyubsal) is also an obvious choice. Beef diaphragm and tongue are pretty good. 3. banchan is important because it indicates the quality of the restaurant (quantity and quality are both important here) - but all restaurants give banchan of some sort if you order the spread, so the differences are subtle. Only really ever been to one Korean restaurant across the Midwest where the food was not the same, and that was because the Korean wife died and her black husband took over the restaurant, and the food became a caricature of what it was before. Mexican staff in the back of the house is pretty common in all of these restaurants. I had pretty good Korean food in Bloomington IN well over 10 years ago and noticed the staff was all Mexican back then.
 

globetrotter

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they just opened a taiwanese place in evanston, it got some good reviews, but I have no idea how good it is. the times I've eaten in taiwan I ate mainland chinese food.
 

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