Jeff Bs query and RSTs subsequent mention of San Chae Dolsot jogged a fuzzy memory of excellent rice in a stone pot to be had at San Chae Dolsot, so I dusted off the wallet, fired up the Vespa and off we went.
SCD started off the meal with four small dishes consisting of garlicky green beans, crunchy/savory bamboo shoot (Ellen thought it was burdock) marinated soybeans and small simmered savory potatoes. The potatoes were excellent, dense and quite savory and the green beans had enough garlic to discourage a vampire.
For an appetizer we ordered Hae Mul Pah Jun, which is a flat pancake filled with veggies and seafood; shrimp was predominate, but there were also small pieces of octopus and clam. This was very good, not greasy as with some versions and was nicely decorated with slices of red pepper imbedded in the mix.
Our waitress suggested Go Duong A Gu I Rice, which was grilled buterflyed marinated whole mackerel served with bowls of steamed rice and various side dishes. The mackerel was excellent, crisp, meaty and full of flavor, though some may not enjoy the mackerel as it is strong flavored and slightly oily.
The Dol Sot Jong Shick Special was Stone Pot rice accented with pine nuts, dates, peas, sesame seed and a few other things I seem to have forgotten. This was served with a wide variety of side dishes, including cold steamed cabbage that was wonderful. The main accompaniment to the Dol Sot was a delicious whole red snapper. San Chae really does fish well. Of course, the best part of the Dol Sot was the crisp rice on the bottom of the pot, a little bite of fish, a crunch of fresh hot Korean pepper and crisp toasty rice, quite a delicious combination.
We also had an order of Bul Go Gee, which is not cooked at the table. Not bad, but by far the weakest dish of the evening. Next time we will pass on the Bul Go Gee and order another Dol Sot, of which there are 8-9 types.
We were also served a nice light daikon radish soup, rice, tea, a few types of kim chee, loads of side dishes, basically all the usual suspects, but nice quality.
Very friendly place, when we left the owner walked us to the door and said he hoped we would come back soon. I should also mention that, even though we had two whole fish, bul go gee and an appetizer our bill was only $50, and was more food that three adults could comfortably consume.
We brought our own wine, but SCD may serve liquor, I am not sure. I saw one table drinking soju, but neglected to ask if it was brought in or served by SCD.
All in all an excellent meal, I cant wait to go back.
We stopped at the Penguin for dessert, the hazelnut and grapefruit were particularly good.
I posted a few pictures, link below.
The attached Raspa picture is for Jeff B.
San Chae Dolsot
3737 W Lawrence Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
I thought they said closed Sunday, but the menu says Wednesday, call before going either day.
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