Chicago >Food & Dining > San Soo Gab San
5247 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6062541.977613 -87.688818
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Square, Far North Side
You might have to let your eyes adjust through the haze of this Korean BBQ favorite, but once they do, you will be happy to have found your way to a wooden booth. A parade of colorful banchan will appear before you, and then it's time to choose, grill and devour your meat.
Ok service, wait time a little too long – The wait staff seem to take on the atmosphere of the place,
I have gone there with my Caucasian friends and the
service was great, I have gone there with my Asian
friends and the service was terrible -the service is
not consistent. But I decided who cares, the food is
good and the price is right. I can never finish the portion
because of the side dishes so I make three meals out of
one. Bustling place on weekends.
Great Food! – My daughter and I tried this restaurant for the first time and we really enjoyed the taste of smokey flavor of beef and calamari and all the side dishes. We thought the service was good. Someone filled the water glass and changed the grill without asking. I have tried many many Korean restaurants in several big cities in the past and this restaurant was definately of one my favorite place. I will definately go back !
Please avoid this restaurant – Im Korean and lived in Chicago for 15 years. Ive been to this restaurant since I was a kid so I know alot about their service quality. If your looking for restaurant with decent food quality then you can go to this restaurant but if you want decent food and service this is not the right restaurant for you. When I go out to eat I pay 20% or more on tips but not here. My max tip is 10% or NONE. Thats how bad this place is.
My last visit to this restaurant ended 1 month ago. I can go to different restaurant with better food and better service. Kang Nam on Kedie and Lawrence is 5-10 min drive from San Soo Gap San and you can get better food and service there.
The servers hate you if you are white. They serve you hate beef. – We've been to this place approximately six times as it's close to our house and the food was, in the past, yummy. Every time I've gone the servers have been extraordinarily rude but I always go back because of the food and proximity to my house. They avoid eye contact, take 15 minutes to come to your table and have occasionally run over my foot with a dish cart - seemingly on purpose. If you are on the way to the restroom they will push you out of their way. I have gone in at 2am but have never been drunk, rowdy or loud. Last night was one of those nights when at 2am Korean BBQ seemed like the perfect thing. I went with my boyfriend and they seated us and again, took long enough to come to the table (approximately 15 minutes) that my guy went up to the counter and asked for a server. There were only two other tables with people in the place. After ordering they brought us food about 20 minutes later with 8 of the dirtiest most bland Korean side dishes I've ever seen. The beef they brought us was school cafeteria quality. It was a joke to say the least and we both felt like we were eating hate beef so we paid, and tipped and vowed NEVER to come back to this hateful place. I half expected to be throwing up all night.
Bad Service! Rude!!! – I have been there couple of times for BBQ. Food is good, meat is average. Atmosphere is good for groups.
Service is unbelieverablely bad.... avoid peek time on Sat nights.
Once I was with couple of friends having BBQ. 4 guys and 1 girls, obviously will eat alot of food and finish fast. They rushed us to put the meat on the grill and we needed to asked them to refill the charcoals and a new grill so many times and they were trying to avoid us. Then, we saw the meat bones still have chuck of meat on it. So my friend just put the meat bones on the grill. Couple mins later, one waitress/ manager came to us and give us a look and said "haha, why are you eating that, are you a dog?! only dogs would eat that..." Then she laughed as she walked away........
What a insult? Well, all of us just looked at each other but didn't response to her "funny insult"
.... What kinda restaurant is that?!... so rude! I have gotten some bad service from other restaurants, but not like this time... and we paid for it.
BEWARE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE SERVICE!!!! – The waitress' attitudes are horrible!!! They are rude and snap when you ask for simple things like another glass or extra side dishes. If you're looking for a nice Korean place to eat at without being treated like dirt and humiliated by the waitress look somewhere else!!!
Diners at this 24-hour Korean barbecue share a love of communal dining and plates upon plates of food--but don't miss the sushi bar. – The Scene
Discreet, partitioned booths create a sense of privacy perfect for lovers' rendezvous, but the crowd at this Ravenswood staple is equal parts family and couples on dates. Smoke floats over charcoal grills at each table, with the smell of kalbi permeating the air, despite the numerous, powerful vents. Or grab a seat at the sushi bar and avoid the smoke entirely.
Barbecue lovers be forewarned: Get ready for a parade of food. A stunning dozen or more sides--romaine lettuce, green onions, glass noodles, kimchee, beets, fish, bean sprouts, baby bok choy, rice and more--accompany marinated meats such as beef short rib, ribeye, pork, chicken and adventurous options like broiled octopus or squid. A sweet soy, ginger marinade flavors the meat, sizzling and tender right off the grill. Fried dumplings are standout appetizers, but with this much food plus miso soup, you might not need them. (Photo by Peter Behle)
So-So very average Korean. There are better to choose from. – Compared to other Korean Restaurants, just average at best. On the plus side, they use real wood charcoal for BBQing the meats, and lots of panchans. On the negative, the panchans were not particularly spicy or interesting. Most dissappointing was the Service, which as is often the case at Korean restaurants, we were treated as something less than desired guests, not being Korean. They paid no attention to us whatsoever, no refill of water until we flagged someone down, no offer to replentish the panchans, no offer of assistance with the BBQ (not that we needed it, but novices would have) -- and, all this even after we displayed our affinity for Korean by ordering Soju (and, even by name -- Jinro SoJu). Much prefer KangNam, as our favorite Korean.
Chuck the sushi chef ROCKS!! – We had sushi on the "quiet" side the other night, and it was wonderful. I highly suggest going there any night that Chuck works (He said he's off Wed.) and he'll treat you well. He made us some beautiful dishes, showed up some great tricks, and even sang us a few songs!! I can't speak for the Korean food yet because I havent tried it, but I'm sure I won't be dissappointed.
Almost like being in South Korea again! – If you haven't done Korean BBQ before, go to San Soo Gap San with someone who knows what they are doing. Korean BBQ is something that you cook yourself, and our waitress wasn't able to speak a lot on English. Lucky for us, we didn't need explanation. Although I don't speak Korean, I spent two months teaching conversational English in Taejon in 1995. I had been to Korean BBQ restaurants before. This restaurant was exactly like being in South Korea. It was loud, crowded, and had great food. We had bulgogi which is slightly garlicky and slightly sweet beef grilled and then wrapped in lettuce with little vegetables. Despite the fact that I kept the heat up too high for too long (Hey! I said I had done it before...not that I was an expert.), it was fabulous. I've been to several other Korean restaurants in Chicago, and I love most of them. However, this one is at the top!
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of San Soo Gab San on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.