I moved to the Northwest side a little over a year ago. I noticed there are several Korean places in Niles by Greenwood and Golf. First, I should qualify that I am not an expert on Korean food, although I have eaten at numerous places over the years.
I was first attracted to the Cabana by the name and because from the outside it looks like a Laundromat in a very small strip mall (which includes a oriental grocery). However, what made me decide I had to go was the Metromix reader review that say If you aren't Korean don't bother going.
The sign outside says they serve Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. But most of the clientele seems to be Korean and the menu is predominately Korean. The English (I dont read Korean) menu has Americanized wording for dishes, with such things as Camp Casey Casserole (18.95 for 2), Roast Fresh Bacon (12.95) and Hash (8.95).
I still have to learn what everything is on the menu, the Hash I had is the Chap Chae Ive been served at places on Lawrence, but one Hash dish was a Hot Pot. The non hot pot Hash was a mixture of spinach, sprouts, carrots, radish, mushrooms, onion, noodle, & marinated beef, with egg on top and a side of rice to mix in. It had a good garlic, soy, sesame oil, beefy flavor. The Hot & Spicy Codfish Soup is well spiced with garlic, hot pepper with plenty of codfish pieces. They also offer a Goat Meat Casserole, which is very good, the goat meat is tender and marinated, and there are dishes for the more adventurous Hound, Octopus & Cows Small Intestines and Small Intestine Casserole The menu is confusing with appetizers that seem like main dishes (Boiled Monkfish with Bean Sprouts $25), and they list Jap Chae and Udong as Chinese dishes. Ill put up the menu if anyone is interested.
Dinners come with 7 to 8 small dishes of kimchi (or kimchy here?) and marinated vegetables; the thinly sliced radish has a vinegary crunch that complimented the hot spices. If you get the raw squid appetizer, make sure you ask for the Korean version. Otherwise, it wont be very hot.
The décor inside is well done and the service helpful and efficient. On my first visit, I had to tell them to make it spicy. They didnt, but brought a ketchup bottle of hot sauce. Once they saw how much of it I used, they now give me the full treatment. It made me realize that you need to frequent a place like this to appreciate it. You have to prove you are worthy of the real thing. I need to get a Chowhound Passport.
If anyone gets a chance, try it out; Id like a second opinion from the experts of this group.
Your novice Hound, Jim S.