Executive chef: Bill Kim, co-owner with wife Yvonne Cadiz-Kim
Location: 1912 N. Western, Chicago, IL 60647 (under Western blueline stop) (Map)
Resident Foodies say: Fantastic Korean-Latin fusion! Chef Bill Kim and wife co-owner, Yvonne Cadiz-Kim, opened a new restaurant on October 20, 2009, right underneath the blue line Western El stop. The Shack follows their acclaimed Urban Belly restaurant. We sampled: (1) quinoa ssam (lettuce wrap) with Korean chili paste, Bibb lettuce, and apples, (2) the boricua sandwich (fried plantains, marinated tofu, organic brown rice, spinach), (3) Korean BBQ kogi with pita and kimchi, and (4) kimchi.
Put simply, Chef Kim is killing it with these amazing fusion dishes. The ssam and BBQ kogi have unmistakable and authentic Korean flavors–yet they are transformed in wonderful modern fusion dishes. The ssam or lettuce wraps were so refreshing, and the portabello inside so tasty, that it brought a smile to our faces. The BBQ kogi was sweet, and, when coupled with kimchi inside a pita, made for the yummiest of Korean-influenced concoctions. Finally, the boricua sandwich used fried plaintains to create a mouth watering, vegetarian sandwich with tofu, rice, and spinach inside. Belly Shack may well turn out to be our favorite new opening in Chicago this year!