When friends get together in Korea, the destination typically isn’t a single restaurant or bar but rather a whole entertainment district with several stops along the way, each round with its own name in Korean. In the North Shore’s version of Koreatown, the crawl might go something like this:
1. Eel Cha
The first round is often a tabletop barbecue restaurant with shots of soju to wash down the grilled meat. Try Pro Samgyubsal (3420 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook), where the house specialty isn’t beef but pork belly. Geonbae!
2. Ee Cha
Traditionally, the second round is at a hof, or beer garden, where fried chicken and, yes, beer are the order. But many places (like New Village Gastro Pub in Northbrook) will offer fresh fruit plates to lend some balance. For the bird, try Choong Man Chicken (9850 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview), where the twice-fried chicken is keeeee-runchy and the outdoor tables beckon on a warm evening. Geonbae!
3. Sam Cha
For the third round, you might just want a bar bar for a quick slug if you’re going on for a fourth round (sa cha). Otherwise, get thee to a noraebang (karaoke bar), like Jurang (611 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview) or Agit (9098 W. Golf Rd., Niles). Be prepared to order some food, as custom, even if you don’t think you’ll want it. Because guess what? You’ll want it. Geonbae!