Chicago Kalbi Japanese BBQ

★★★☆☆
Chicago's Favorite Japanese BBQ Restaurant - Specializing in Kobe & Wagyu Beef!
  • 3752 W Lawrence Ave

    Chicago, IL 60625

    Map & Directions
  • 773-604-8183

Food

Food
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This is an AMAZING PLACE. I highly recommend it. The service was great. The waitress was attentive and friendly. The owner came by and spoke with us at the end of our meal for a few minutes, which has never happened to us before. She was very happy that we drove out all the way to the west side of Chicago to eat at her restaurant. This place has been open for 20 years, and you can tell by the worn, but welcoming atmosphere.

To add a little balance to this review, the exterior decor isn't the best if you're trying to impress someone. Actually, even the interior decor shows the 20 years of life this place has had. Therefore, if you're taking someone out on a first date and trying to impress them with your flashiness (I know some of you are ;) ), I would not necessarily bring them here. On the other hand, if your date likes you for who you are and just wants to have a good time, THEN BRING THEM HERE! Also, the meats are pricey. Kalbi was $16 and Kobe was $22. That being said, 1 order is enough for 1 person unless you eat like a sumo. This was definitely one of the best dining/experiences I have ever had, and I highly recommend it.

2
★★★★★

This is an AMAZING PLACE. I highly recommend it. The service was great. The waitress was attentive and friendly. The owner came by and spoke with us at the end of our meal for a few minutes, which has never happened to us before. She was very happy that we drove out all the way to the west side of Chicago to eat at her restaurant. This place has been open for 20 years, and you can tell by the worn, but welcoming atmosphere.

To add a little balance to this review, the exterior decor isn't the best if you're trying to impress someone. Actually, even the interior decor shows the 20 years of life this place has had. Therefore, if you're taking someone out on a first date and trying to impress them with your flashiness (I know some of you are ;) ), I would not necessarily bring them here. On the other hand, if your date likes you for who you are and just wants to have a good time, THEN BRING THEM HERE! Also, the meats are pricey. Kalbi was $16 and Kobe was $22. That being said, 1 order is enough for 1 person unless you eat like a sumo. This was definitely one of the best dining/experiences I have ever had, and I highly recommend it.

Pros: Service, quality of the food, atmosphere

Cons: A little far from where I live (Hyde Park)

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I discovered this place because they won Best of Citysearch so I thought I would check it out. The owners are the sweetest ever and the food is delicious! I've been looking for a great Japanese/Korean BBQ place for a particular group and their side rooms were perfect for my private party. Check it out!

2
★★★★★

I discovered this place because they won Best of Citysearch so I thought I would check it out. The owners are the sweetest ever and the food is delicious! I've been looking for a great Japanese/Korean BBQ place for a particular group and their side rooms were perfect for my private party. Check it out!

Pros: Good for dates/groups, great service and food

Cons: A little pricey - but worth it!

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I've been to this place several times now. I stumbled on to it trying to find a different Korean BBQ place that was in a strip mall a few blocks away......\r
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Anyways, this place is actually run by a Korean Family that moved to japan and owned a restaurant there. So it's a Japanese version of Korean BBQ, which I thought was a good combination.\r
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The food is a little expensive, but absolutely delicious. Their chicken wings are the best I've ever had. And the actual bbq'd meat is to die for. \r
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The only complaints I have is that I usually end up with Meat sickness when I get home, because I absolutely gorge myself. But I can't blame Kalbi for serving up such delicious food.\r
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It's an absolute blast to go with a group of friends, sit around drinking and eating delicious appetizers and cook meat over an open charcoal fire at your table. Great way to spend an evening.\r
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The staff is very friendly and courteous....Once you get your table. It can be frustrating when you are waiting for your table though, because you kind of get ignored until you get seated. \r
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It's a lot cleaner than the strip mall Korean bbq place, so my wife will go here with me. Why go to a steak house when you can get some Korean BBQ at Chicago Kalbi.\r
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Going there tonight with 8 friends. Can't wait.

2
★★★★★

I've been to this place several times now. I stumbled on to it trying to find a different Korean BBQ place that was in a strip mall a few blocks away......\r
\r
Anyways, this place is actually run by a Korean Family that moved to japan and owned a restaurant there. So it's a Japanese version of Korean BBQ, which I thought was a good combination.\r
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The food is a little expensive, but absolutely delicious. Their chicken wings are the best I've ever had. And the actual bbq'd meat is to die for. \r
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The only complaints I have is that I usually end up with Meat sickness when I get home, because I absolutely gorge myself. But I can't blame Kalbi for serving up such delicious food.\r
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It's an absolute blast to go with a group of friends, sit around drinking and eating delicious appetizers and cook meat over an open charcoal fire at your table. Great way to spend an evening.\r
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The staff is very friendly and courteous....Once you get your table. It can be frustrating when you are waiting for your table though, because you kind of get ignored until you get seated. \r
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It's a lot cleaner than the strip mall Korean bbq place, so my wife will go here with me. Why go to a steak house when you can get some Korean BBQ at Chicago Kalbi.\r
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Going there tonight with 8 friends. Can't wait.

Pros: Absolutely delicious with a fun atmosphere

Cons: Smokey, Expensive

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This is one of our very favorite restaurants. It's our birthday celebration place because the staff is so much like family now. We love the pajun and the specials that the chef prepares with fresh seasonal offerings, be sure to ask your server. The private side-rooms make for a special occasion, especially if you have a group. The ventilation isn't great so wear clothes that you can wash. I don't eat beef or pork so I particularly appreciate the chicken, shrimp and squid that you can order for the bbq. Wrapping it all in a fresh lettuce leaf with a little miso paste: heaven! If you want an authentic experience with fresh food and great service don't miss Chicago Kalbi. My favorite dish other than pajun and bbq is the is shrimp Bokum. Be sure to ask for rice, I don't believe it's included.

2
★★★★☆

This is one of our very favorite restaurants. It's our birthday celebration place because the staff is so much like family now. We love the pajun and the specials that the chef prepares with fresh seasonal offerings, be sure to ask your server. The private side-rooms make for a special occasion, especially if you have a group. The ventilation isn't great so wear clothes that you can wash. I don't eat beef or pork so I particularly appreciate the chicken, shrimp and squid that you can order for the bbq. Wrapping it all in a fresh lettuce leaf with a little miso paste: heaven! If you want an authentic experience with fresh food and great service don't miss Chicago Kalbi. My favorite dish other than pajun and bbq is the is shrimp Bokum. Be sure to ask for rice, I don't believe it's included.

Pros: great service, authentic asian atmosphere, cool bathroom!

Cons: can be very smoky when busy

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My fiance and I go to Chicago Kalbi at least twice a month. It's a reasonably good overall Korean restaurant. I've never had a problem with their service. The staff are actually pretty nice. They are pretty skimpy on their banchan (side dishes) in comparison to other places. But their pajun (Korean pancake) is the best I've ever had. It's really crispy and has a great flavor. The bi bim bob is just ok. The soups/stews that I've had are reasonably good, but they seem to have a slightly Japanese interpretation rather than a strictly traditional Korean view point. What I mean is that the soups tend to have a lighter/cleaner flavor. I really like it, but if you're expecting really traditional Korean food, it might not completely work for you. I don't like cooking bbq, so we've never ordered it but it smells pretty good. The main con about this place is just that if alot of people are ordering bbq, you leave smelling like a chimney.

2
★★★★☆

My fiance and I go to Chicago Kalbi at least twice a month. It's a reasonably good overall Korean restaurant. I've never had a problem with their service. The staff are actually pretty nice. They are pretty skimpy on their banchan (side dishes) in comparison to other places. But their pajun (Korean pancake) is the best I've ever had. It's really crispy and has a great flavor. The bi bim bob is just ok. The soups/stews that I've had are reasonably good, but they seem to have a slightly Japanese interpretation rather than a strictly traditional Korean view point. What I mean is that the soups tend to have a lighter/cleaner flavor. I really like it, but if you're expecting really traditional Korean food, it might not completely work for you. I don't like cooking bbq, so we've never ordered it but it smells pretty good. The main con about this place is just that if alot of people are ordering bbq, you leave smelling like a chimney.

Pros: good food, reasonably priced, good service

Cons: street parking

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The food is expensive and awful as is the service, even by lax Asian-diner-hole-in-the-wall standards. The only people who'd recommended this place to me were not Korean and later admitted this is the only Korean food they'd ever had, so really, they didn't now how good it can be compared to what you get at this dump.\r
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I paid $18 for a piece of gristle that was as hard as a chunk of charcoal - and when I complained I was yelled at by one of the owners who actually came over to the table and argued with me for 5 minutes. How this place stays open is beyond me. \r

0
★☆☆☆☆

The food is expensive and awful as is the service, even by lax Asian-diner-hole-in-the-wall standards. The only people who'd recommended this place to me were not Korean and later admitted this is the only Korean food they'd ever had, so really, they didn't now how good it can be compared to what you get at this dump.\r
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I paid $18 for a piece of gristle that was as hard as a chunk of charcoal - and when I complained I was yelled at by one of the owners who actually came over to the table and argued with me for 5 minutes. How this place stays open is beyond me. \r

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I really can't understand who wrote the good reviews for this restaurant. I agree with lake that the boss hired some cheated did it. Misled by such reviews, I stopped by this restaurant with my family for Friday dinner. The experience is terrible, even horrible!! \r
1. Super expensive!!! A short rib for BBQ (cost $17) is no more than 100g (almost equal to 10 chew GUM). You need to order at least 10 orders, which can feed a single full. \r
2. Very fairly taste. Nothing is better than \r
3. I guess my family and I are the only fools last night, because we can't see more than 3 custumers in the restaurant during the rush dinner hours. \r
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Don't go there! Don't be cheated!!!!!!!!\r
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0
★☆☆☆☆

I really can't understand who wrote the good reviews for this restaurant. I agree with lake that the boss hired some cheated did it. Misled by such reviews, I stopped by this restaurant with my family for Friday dinner. The experience is terrible, even horrible!! \r
1. Super expensive!!! A short rib for BBQ (cost $17) is no more than 100g (almost equal to 10 chew GUM). You need to order at least 10 orders, which can feed a single full. \r
2. Very fairly taste. Nothing is better than \r
3. I guess my family and I are the only fools last night, because we can't see more than 3 custumers in the restaurant during the rush dinner hours. \r
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Don't go there! Don't be cheated!!!!!!!!\r
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The most tTerrible restaurant I ever been. \r
Based on the review online, on July 6, my family and I drove for 10 miles and had dinner in this restaurant. We ordered for two combination including a little bit rib beef (no more than 100g) and 6 shrimp, which cost $35/each, and a small korean pancake. The portion is very very little. The taste is very common. Super experience (3 people spent $ 76) but nobody is even half-full after such a dinner . \r
Although the waitress is very nice, sunny and tender. But there is no more than 8 custmer during the dinner time. \r
I guess the boss let some guy wrote the good review and post online. Don't be misled like me!!

0
★☆☆☆☆

The most tTerrible restaurant I ever been. \r
Based on the review online, on July 6, my family and I drove for 10 miles and had dinner in this restaurant. We ordered for two combination including a little bit rib beef (no more than 100g) and 6 shrimp, which cost $35/each, and a small korean pancake. The portion is very very little. The taste is very common. Super experience (3 people spent $ 76) but nobody is even half-full after such a dinner . \r
Although the waitress is very nice, sunny and tender. But there is no more than 8 custmer during the dinner time. \r
I guess the boss let some guy wrote the good review and post online. Don't be misled like me!!

.

I can't believe the gushing praise for this place. I have to believe Chicago offers better Korean joints than this. \r
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Having lived in Korea and sampled Korean restos in a dozen cities in four countries - including Seoul and Pusan - I will say most of the food is fairly decent, but not great and certainly not a great value for the dollar. The kimchee is good, as are the basics, like the chigae stews and the banchan. But mandu dumplings that work out to a dollar a piece? Oh, please.\r
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On my most recent and decidely last visit, I ordered it's namesake Kalbi rib dish for $17 only to be served a charred piece of over-cooked gristle. The parts that weren't leathery and thin were donkey-meat tough, despite being pink. When I sent it back, the owner came over the table and proceeded to argue for 10 minutes, insisting that it TASTED GOOD. She then charged me full price for it anyway - though I'd sent it back intact. When I stated my case, she took off the charge, but proceeded to charge me for every side dish banchan they brought out -- including for a plate of lettuce that came with the kalbi. Pure class.\r
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As a lifestyles writer for consumer pubs, I normally abide by a code to not waste space on a total lost cause - if it's that bad, give it a miss and avert attention to worthier businesses, but this experience warranted a write-up. It could have been an off night - but it did happen. Go at your peril.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I can't believe the gushing praise for this place. I have to believe Chicago offers better Korean joints than this. \r
\r
Having lived in Korea and sampled Korean restos in a dozen cities in four countries - including Seoul and Pusan - I will say most of the food is fairly decent, but not great and certainly not a great value for the dollar. The kimchee is good, as are the basics, like the chigae stews and the banchan. But mandu dumplings that work out to a dollar a piece? Oh, please.\r
\r
On my most recent and decidely last visit, I ordered it's namesake Kalbi rib dish for $17 only to be served a charred piece of over-cooked gristle. The parts that weren't leathery and thin were donkey-meat tough, despite being pink. When I sent it back, the owner came over the table and proceeded to argue for 10 minutes, insisting that it TASTED GOOD. She then charged me full price for it anyway - though I'd sent it back intact. When I stated my case, she took off the charge, but proceeded to charge me for every side dish banchan they brought out -- including for a plate of lettuce that came with the kalbi. Pure class.\r
\r
As a lifestyles writer for consumer pubs, I normally abide by a code to not waste space on a total lost cause - if it's that bad, give it a miss and avert attention to worthier businesses, but this experience warranted a write-up. It could have been an off night - but it did happen. Go at your peril.

Pros: mostly decent fare; opened late

Cons: seriously misguided about customer service; over-priced; poor quality ribs

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The food was good and the activity of cooking your own food at the table was better. Great for first dates with meat eaters. Korean vodka was great. slight vodka taste with no bite.

2
★★★★☆

The food was good and the activity of cooking your own food at the table was better. Great for first dates with meat eaters. Korean vodka was great. slight vodka taste with no bite.

Cons: non english speaking servers

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One of my favorite places to eat at. The flavors are amazing and authentic. The owners are always there w/a smile on their face. And for dessert you have to try their sorbet which comes in the actual fruit. Yummy!

2
★★★★★

One of my favorite places to eat at. The flavors are amazing and authentic. The owners are always there w/a smile on their face. And for dessert you have to try their sorbet which comes in the actual fruit. Yummy!

Pros: Great food, great service

Cons: You leave smelly but worth it

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I had high expectations going into this restaraunt. My favorite place was the 24 hour Korean Restaraunt on Lawrence...They closed, unfortunately. This was the other option. The only positive thing about this place was the decor, contempoary looking, with a nice bathroom. When we received our food, we were disappointed at the portions, since most Korean restaraunts give you much more food. We had Bulgolgi and Kalbi. The flavors were pretty bland and the kimchi was also bland and watered down. They charge at least a dollar just to get more sides. We have never had Korean out, where it is not free. A dollar for four little pieces of radish or cucumber, I mean come on. I was so hot that we were sweating during our meal. The staff was not very attentive either.We spent over $40 for the two meals and a soda. We will never go back!

1
★★☆☆☆

I had high expectations going into this restaraunt. My favorite place was the 24 hour Korean Restaraunt on Lawrence...They closed, unfortunately. This was the other option. The only positive thing about this place was the decor, contempoary looking, with a nice bathroom. When we received our food, we were disappointed at the portions, since most Korean restaraunts give you much more food. We had Bulgolgi and Kalbi. The flavors were pretty bland and the kimchi was also bland and watered down. They charge at least a dollar just to get more sides. We have never had Korean out, where it is not free. A dollar for four little pieces of radish or cucumber, I mean come on. I was so hot that we were sweating during our meal. The staff was not very attentive either.We spent over $40 for the two meals and a soda. We will never go back!

Cons: Very Expensive, Small portions, Poor service

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Chicago Kalbi is truly one of the best Korean restaurants in the Chicago area! The portions are just right, the waitstaff is very attentive, and the overall taste of the dishes is exceptional! Do not except abundant portions of kimchi and side dishes as is customary among common Korean restaurants, Chicago Kalbi rather prides itself in serving a more upscale, refined Korean cuisine. Although the restaurant is more for Japanese audiences, since the menu is written 1/2 in Japanese and the flavors remind me more of Japanese cuisine, it does make a great date place to savor great Korean food!

2
★★★★★

Chicago Kalbi is truly one of the best Korean restaurants in the Chicago area! The portions are just right, the waitstaff is very attentive, and the overall taste of the dishes is exceptional! Do not except abundant portions of kimchi and side dishes as is customary among common Korean restaurants, Chicago Kalbi rather prides itself in serving a more upscale, refined Korean cuisine. Although the restaurant is more for Japanese audiences, since the menu is written 1/2 in Japanese and the flavors remind me more of Japanese cuisine, it does make a great date place to savor great Korean food!

Pros: Food, Environment, Service

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One of the BETTER Korean Barbeques in Chicago.
If there are any ""language"" problems, ask for Jennifer, the owner.
Ask them to recommend things.
Galbi Tang (short rib soup) is good for a change.
They will cook in the back or you can cook at your table.
busy on the weekend so call ahead

2
★★★★☆

One of the BETTER Korean Barbeques in Chicago.
If there are any ""language"" problems, ask for Jennifer, the owner.
Ask them to recommend things.
Galbi Tang (short rib soup) is good for a change.
They will cook in the back or you can cook at your table.
busy on the weekend so call ahead

Pros: good food, beer, wine and soju

Cons: can be smokey

Editorial from

In Short
Tabletop grills make dining here an interactive experience. The semi-private booths fill with couples and small groups who reserved them ahead. Many diners begin meals with pah-chun, a Korean take on potato pancakes.…

 

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