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Best of Chicago 2009

Best Late-Night Eats

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The Reader's Choice: Hai Woon Dae

When it comes to late-night Korean barbecue, the small, friendly Hai Woon Dae is a better bet than the vastly more popular San Soo Gap San. As at the latter, live coal grilling is the focus, but there's a greater, more interesting, and lovingly prepared selection of table meats and kitchen-cooked dishes. I particularly like the yook hwe, beef tartare dressed with raw egg and julienned Asian pear (also available on bi bim bop), steamed eggs (gyelan jjim), cold spicy buckweat noodles with raw fish (hwe naengmyeun), the panfried bacon with kimchi (sam gyeop sal kimchi bokum), and a thick, tangy kimchi pancake. Not to mention the three kinds of grilled mackerel, a great selection of two-person "casseroles"—hot pots bubbling with goat and vegetables or pig trotters and shank—and a plate of pungent preserved crabs (gye jang bak ban) you won't forget for weeks.  6240 N. California, 773-764-8018. —Mike Sula

&Our readers' choice: Pie-Eyed Pizzeria

 1111 W. Chicago, 312-243-3735, pie-eyedpizzeria.com.

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