Pal Do Kang San
Good Enough without Coals
I REALLY wanted to hit the frozen custard place on Rt 45 after the Lake County Fair, but we just did not time it right. I zig-zagged thru "downtown" Mundelein looking for a suitable place to get actual food first, but failed. We ended up on Rt. 21 and I cruised back towards urbanity. Thought for a bit that we'd hit the Pita Inn in Wheeling, then decided for Korean 'cause as much fun as the 1000th member LTH party was, it kinda left us needing more Korean food.
Since I took the slow way from Oak Park to the Lake County Fair, we had passed Pal Do Kang San on the way to the fair. It's on River Road right before it merges with Milwaukee in Prospect Heights. There was a big sign for BBQ, and that's what we wanted. We were highly dissapointed when they started setting up the gas grill. You do loose a lot of flavor when the meat is cooked on gas, and you also do not get the same degree of carmelization. That said, it was still a nice place (which is why it's worth posting about.)
What made Pal Do Kang San special was its service. They could not have been nicer, from manufacturing a set of starter chopsticks for Sophia to the contsant re-filling of panchan, to the final gesture of tiny bottles of odd spritzy sweet milky something provided to us, their warmth made the night.
The menu is only partially devoted to BBQ. We tried kalbi, pork bulgogi in a spicy marinade, and chicken bulgogi with no marinade. Because the pork's marination was especially good, it stood out, but everything was good enough (for gas). The chicken and pork came with onions and scallions that grilled up nicely for relish. Other things we could have BBQ'd included pork neck and eel. But like I say, the menu has a bunch of other stuff too ranging from loanch tang (mudfish stew) to fish egg tang. There are also a few dishes for two including black goat stew. I might not run out to this place from the city, but if I lived close by or was passing by as I was, it seems nice.
Pal Do Kang San
1250 S. River Road
Prospect Heights, IL