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A Critic Calls the New San Soo Korean BBQ a Faithful ‘Next-Generation’ Experience

But Mini Mott needs refinement, and more reviews

San Soo Korean BBQ
Barry Brecheisen/Eater

San Soo Korean BBQ is successfully making the grilled meats experience more approachable “without compromising the last generation’s standards too much,” writes Mike Sula. He laments the use of gas-powered electric burners in place of charcoal grills but concedes that the samgyeopsal, galbi, and bulgogi are “as good as they can be without the smoky kiss of live flame.” The rest of the menu features the original restaurant’s greatest hits alongside a few new items like kimchi fried rice and crispy kimchi pancake. One dish that “rises above the rest,” however, is the kimchi jigae. The traditional stew produces a “rich, mouth-glazing porky goodness normally associated with a good bowl of tonkotsu ramen.” [Reader]

Mini Mott misses the mark according to Michael Nagrant. The Mott Street offshoot’s burger features a “sexy soft” bun, hoisin aioli, miso butter, pickled jalapenos, and sweet potato frizzles. Unfortunately, the patty is cooked until it’s “Trump-friendly well done” and swaddled in American cheese to the point that “even if it had flavor, you’d never find it.” The burger is nonetheless still tasty but the “insipid” beef really dampens the whole package. Among the other items, double-fried wings have “crunch and umami and sweet.” Similar to the burger, though, the chicken itself is “dry, while the skin is soggy like a nonagenarian’s neck wattle.” The Belgian-chocolate shake fares better and is “velvety smooth, rich with cocoa, and served in a lithe elegant Pilsner glass.” Overall, the Mini Mott crew “has great ideas, they just aren’t executing them very tightly.” [Michael Nagrant]

Phil Vettel thinks Terrace 16 “is not as good as Sixteen was” but there are still great bites to be had. Though the menu “looks like every playing-it-safe hotel menu you’ve ever seen,” chef Nick Dostal “takes some of these dishes to surprising heights.” Wagyu carpaccio is “refined” by cumin, charred-onion puree, and fermented Fresno chile, while grilled oysters get dabs of pork fat and sprinkles, “imparting extra richness and a lovely aroma.” A “superb” piece of king salmon “plays well with Mediterranean accents,” but the whole crispy fried chicken is a “major swing-and-miss” due to the lack of legs and wings. Dessert ends on a high note with “basically, the best s’mores ever” made of graham cracker sablet, a thick marshmallow layer, and dark-chocolate ganache. [Tribune]

Aba is a delightful journey through the Mediterranean inside a “serene” and “welcoming” dining space. Ariel Cheung thinks the flavors at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s popular West Loop spot are “fun and vary widely.” Hummus topped with short rib is a “savory medley of rich, tender meat, grilled onions and mouthwatering jus” on a pita. Halibut is “nicely treated with a crisp coating and a hint of lemon,” and best paired with a side of “addictively good, perfectly crisp” potatoes. Desserts include an “intriguing” kulfi — Indian-style ice cream sprinkled with a toasted almonds and served atop a pool of coriander caramel. To drink, there’s an “eclectic assortment” of wines from Lebanon, Israel, Morocco, and Greece as well as classic cocktails “made with high-end spirits.” [Modern Luxury]

Aba

302 North Green Street, , IL 60607 (773) 645-1400 Visit Website

San Soo Korean BBQ

401 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60654 (312) 243-3344 Visit Website

mini mott

3057 West Logan Boulevard, , IL 60647 (773) 904-7620 Visit Website

Terrace 16

401 North Wabash Avenue, , IL 60611 (312) 588-8030 Visit Website

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