Best Vegan Korean Buffet | Best of Chicago 2012 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

Best Vegan Korean Buffet

Dragonlady Lounge

Critics' Picks

Though it's been scaled back from a weekly to a monthly event, Dragonlady Lounge's vegan Korean buffet is a holy shrine for the sometimes gluttonous vegan who appreciates a good food pile. Cooked solely by superwoman Sue Chong, the buffet—which falls on the third Thursday of the month and runs 15 bucks—is an almost indiscernible mess of dumplings, kimchi, and bi bim bop served against a wall in the dimly lit, low-key bar. The first time I went, I was blindly shoveling food onto my plate, stacking noodles upon tofu upon I don't even know what. And it was good. The platters are unmarked, so there's mystery involved, but the friendly Sue is usually wandering around and chatting during buffet service and is more than willing to answer questions as you point your finger at a vat of Korean grub and ask, "What's this?" Vegans and vegetarians get pumped about menus catering to their tastes—the Vegan Chicago meet-up often schedules nights at Dragonlady—so the line forming at the kitchen window and snaking through the bar can run deep. But you'll get your fill. That I can promise.

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