On certain blocks in Albany Park, the neighborhood known as "Koreantown," it seems Korean restaurants outnumber residents two to one. But where Albany Park prevails in quantity, North Center makes up for in quality. The neighborhood's only Korean restaurant, Cho Sun OK, attracts a sizable crowd with its bold barbecue.
The always-crowded restaurant looks like a tiny Benihana’s. Three cooking tables with hooded vents seat up to six people, but if those are occupied you can still cook with a private, gas-powered burner on your tabletop. This do-it-yourself option for two people (the minimum) costs $22.95 for selections like the adventurous jju-kku-mi gui (sliced baby octopus) and $9.95 for one serving of the more run-of-the-mill bulgogi (sliced marinated beef). Like other Korean cooking spots, Cho provides you with steamed rice and a number of small sides to cook on the stone pan.
Other dinner entrees include galbi gui (marinated beef short ribs), dogangi tang (deep-boiled cow ankle tendon soup!) and a veggie-heavy bibim bap (steamed rice mixed with beef, egg and hot sauce). Most dishes cost $7-$13 and allow you to be as daring as you want. If a cow's ankle doesn't adequately test your courage, you can order the whole foot.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Karl Klockars