"We want customers to come out here and make it feel like an event; something unique, and we're going to be providing that service, we're gonna be grilling for you," said Gogi owner Pete Cho.
That helps, since the long cuts of marinated short rib can be challenging to navigate. But once it's cooked, you decide on how to eat it: in a lettuce leaf? With some bean paste? Perhaps some shredded scallions? There are no right or wrong answers, because it's all delicious. Especially the banchan - a rotating assortment of more than a dozen vegetarian side dishes brought to your table.
"We do change it out every day so it's gonna be different every day," he said.
Kimchi - the fiery, fermented cabbage - is also made each day in back, as are the fabulous pajun, or pancakes. Try a seafood and scallion-jammed version, which is cooked on both sides until extra crispy. Another unique touch, makgeolli, which is brewed in the Northwest suburbs at the Slow City Brewery, reminding many Koreans of home.
"It's clouded rice wine, it's got a nice milky texture, it's very sweet and it complements a lot of the Korean dishes, especially the spicier foods I feel like it works better," said Cho.
There are also flat griddles, instead of grates, depending on what you order. Either way, Cho says his staff is trained to help guide novices.
"We want to make sure that customers walk in here not feeling intimidated," said Cho.
Gogi Korean BBQ
6240 N. California Ave.