Take a seat. Getcha popcorn ready. We've got a story for you. A story about the first time we went to Cho Sun OK. Our initial encounter perfectly sums up everything you need to know about this longstanding Korean barbecue spot.
We once rolled up to Cho Sun OK on a Sunday night around 8 pm and there was a line out the d*mn door. Who saw that coming? Apparently everyone else, because 75% of the people were speaking Korean and clearly knew the deal. We got in line behind an old Korean guy, he looked at us, looked at the line, looked back at us, and in a deadpan tone said - "this is real Korean food, there's a pizza place around the corner." Jackpot. This was exactly where we wanted to eat. It's BYOB too? Yup, we're in.
You'll be hit with wonderful smells of sizzling meat before you make it in the door. Once inside, take note that the place looks like it's falling apart, which is all part of the character and charm. It's small, has a low ceiling, looks a little dirty, and you can tell there are a lot of regulars.
Don't expect five star service and complain when you don't get it - that would be very "things white people do" of you. The service is what it is, so go with the flow and don't let that affect your mood.
The menu is overwhelming unless you're exceptionally well versed in Korean food, so stick to the basics we covered in the Food Rundown below and you can't go wrong - it's all delicious. Cho Sun Ok stacks up against the other traditional Korean restaurants in town, and you can't convince us there's better food at similar spots like Gogi or Sab Soo Gab San. They all have great food, but we'll take the character and quirkiness of Cho Sun OK every time.
Experience plays a large factor in any meal, and this is an experience not to be missed.
Dumplings can't be bad. It's science. They are usually best when given a little pan fry.
If you're trying to be healthy, don't get the fried dumplings, get these steamed ones instead.
Basically a seafood egg pancake, and a delicious one at that. It's a classic Korean dish made of eggs, wheat flour, rice flour, and green onions, plus this is a seafood heavy version. We are big fans.
Thin slices of beef marinated in a house specialty sauce. It comes out raw and you cook it over charcoal at your table. This is the way to go if your'e looking to keep things simple.
Another simple order. Similar to the bulgogi but a separate cut of beef.
Our favorite seafood entrée. Thinly sliced octopus that's cooked in a stone pan at your table. Try not to overcook the octopus because it's really easy to do. There are also some noodles to mix it with.
Sweet potato noodles that come with bits of beef and vegetables. A good non- meat dish to try even though there's technically meat involved.
There's nothing wrong with the bibimbap, but we wouldn't order it here. Stick to the more communal meats and seafood that you cook at your table.