Cho Jung is destination dining among those in the know when it comes to Korean food in the north suburbs. Proving that one doesn't have to travel into the city for decent Korean food, the Glenview
spot has devotees who appreciate its somewhat slightly skewed take on Korean favorites.
In particular, regulars would tell you there are a couple of dishes Cho Jung does that beat both the local competition as well as a few overseas. The dotorimook, or acorn jelly salad, is a standout. To the uninitiated, the odd-looking brown slabs of what looks like muddy jello, mixed in among a few greens and spiced with a sweet and hot sauce may be off-putting, but it's a special of the house. Cho Jung is known for its take on this dish, and curious Korean-loving foodies come from far and wide to give their verdict.
Another dish Cho Jung does well is geijang, or spicy blue crab. The secret of this dish isn't in the cooking: in fact, the crab is fermented in a mixture of soy sauce and chili pepper powder.
Cho Jung isn't much to look at, but the food is best eaten on the premises. The wait staff is attentive and friendly, without being overbearing. For a place where food is the big star, however, how the restaurant itself looks is hardly a concern.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman