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Side Dishes 04.12.13

A serving Sout Tue Gung (slice bacon/Korean BBQ) is presented with all extras San Soo Gap San restaurant Wednesday April

A serving of Sout Tue Gung (slice bacon/Korean BBQ) is presented with all the extras at San Soo Gap San restaurant on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 10, 2013 1:48PM

After a visit or two to Ahjoomah’s Apron, you’ll be a Korean expert, ready to forge into the wider Korean offerings of Chicago. Here’s where you should go:

HAE WOON DAE, 6240 N. California; (773) 764-8018

Vibe: Features private shoji screen-divided grill rooms, and “Brady Bunch”-worthy reddish-orange Formica-topped tables.

Flavor: This is my go to spot for DIY tableside grilling. Everything’s great, but the basic marinated short-rib or kalbi, featuring a little red chili paste and sesame oil is the place to start.

SAN SOO GAP SAN 888, 5247 N. Western; (773) 334-1589

Vibe: Black metal chairs, wood panels and a healthy coating of orange paint, this spot is pretty utilitarian.

Flavor: In addition to Hae Woon Dae, this is one of the few spots that still features live-coal, tableside grilling. The sout tue gung or sliced bacon is the thing, because, well, even Korean BBQ is better with bacon.

DAK, 1104 W. Granville; (773) 754-0255;

Vibe: Tiny storefront with clean-honeyed wainscoting, silvery-industrial chairs and a chalkboard menu.

Flavor: The chicken wing is certainly the thing here, but so too is the bulgogi dukbokki, a heaping pile of grilled beef tossed with chewy, chili-slathered rice cakes.

— Michael Nagrant

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