Remember when I said last week that bopNgrill is really close to Northwestern and that everyone should go there? Well, be sure to swing by Dak too, because this Korean joint is offering up classics like rice bowls and bulgogi and a twist on chicken wings that make the half-hour trip worth it.
Located just steps away from the Granville Red Line CTA stop (just one station ahead of Loyola, where bopNgrill is), Dak is a favorite of Edgewater locals like Loyola students and faculty, neighborhood families, couples and policemen, and a soon-to-be favorite of Northwestern students. If you have an hour or two to spare, you can easily grab a quick and healthful meal here for under $10.
It’s a pretty casual joint, where you pay at the counter and then they bring out your food to your table, and you eat it with takeout chopsticks or plastic silverware. The food wasn’t exactly authentic, though it’s not exactly fusion too.
The restaurant only seats about 15, and every seat had an ass on it on a recent Saturday evening (tonight, actually). We waited about 5 minutes to grab a table that had cleared, and received our food within 7 minutes of sitting down.
Their menu is full of standard Korean entrees like bulgogi, kimchi and rice bowls (basically bibimbap), but it’s the wings that everyone’s coming for.
Evelyn and I ordered 5 wings in Dak Sauce. I know $9 is a high price to ask, but the wings were also huge and really well made, so the portions kind of balanced out. Everyone loves Crisp off of the Belmont stop, but I think that Dak definitely knows how to keep theirs moist.
You know that it’s legit when there’s a sign at the front saying something like, “we cook everything from scratch so stop being a little shit and wait your turn” (my wording, not theirs!)
Then you know that your wings, though probably the only menu item that’s actually cooked to order, will be fresh out of the fryer. It comes served to you straightaway in a large platter, piled with sauce.
The Dak sauce, compared to that of the aforementioned Crisp, is less flavorful and thus, less memorable, though similar in flavor profile. You can get your wings in Dak Sauce – made with soy sauce, garlic and ginger – or Spicy BBQ – with a base of Korean red pepper paste.
We also split a beef rice bowl, which was a base of white rice with room temperature toppings. The veggies could have been served in better condition, but instead, I got soggy spinach and mung beans and room temperature bulgogi and egg, cooked over medium. The rest of it was just a mildly pleasant salad, with chopped romaine, pickled cucumber and sliced carrot. All in all, however, the portion size was satisfying. It was served with a mildly spicy red pepper sauce, and came with a side of beer-battered waffle fries. Yup, you read right. The beer batter gives these waffle fries a lighter fry, a great fix for the ultimate struggle, overly greasy fries.
Lastly, I suggest grabbing a Korean can juice from the fridge by the wall. The Asian pear one LITERALLY TASTES LIKE FRESH JUICE.
1104 W Granville Ave
Chicago, IL 60660