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Quick-service spot serving fusion burgers and sides like kimchi fries.

Our Review

Rogers Park’s lack of good restaurants makes it a little confounding, and pleasantly surprising, that the neighborhood now has two establishments dedicated to Korean-American fusion: Noon Hour Grill serves bulgogi in omelets, and now this newcomer, the second outpost of an Evanston enterprise, offers kimchi burgers and kimchi fries. Those fries, which I hoped would be a sort of Korean poutine, disappointed, sodden with melted cheese and misplaced bacon bits that clobbered the fermented veggies, which chef Will Song says his mother makes. The "bop" menu features short ribs, barbecued chicken, and a few standard katsu plates including chicken, shrimp, and tilapia, all of which come with rice, shredded cabbage, and kimchi. There’s also a menu of a dozen burgers that includes some intriguing-looking options, such as the Porker 2.0—with smoked sausage, bacon, cheddar, soy-braised carnitas, and fixin’s—a tilapia katsu burger, and a Triple Bypass, with bacon, onion rings, and mozzarella sticks on a three-patty burger. We ordered the Umami, which was automatically cooked to well-done. Rich with spiced mayo, sun-dried tomato “confit,” bacon, truffle-flavored duxelles, and smoked Gouda, it was satisfying—but at $8 with no sides in a counter-service joint, it’s not the neighborhood’s best deal. Service is friendly and quick; since the restaurant is across the street from Loyola, the clientele is decidedly collegiate.

Sam Worley

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