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Mi Na Ri

View Map3311 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 267-3590
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Editorial Review of Mi Na Ri

Don't be intimidated by the stacks of Korean magazines and newspapers at this restaurant, or the fact that most of the menu is also in Korean. Small descriptions are provided in English but, if you're not up for a tongue-twisting order, feel free to use the numbers provided next to each option.

Most of the entrees are served with a number of side dishes which usually consist of various fermented vegetables. Bi-bim-bop (or the #12), one of the more traditional items on the menu, is a mixed rice dish topped with beef, carrots, spinach, zucchini, bean sprouts and an egg (over-easy). The ingredients are supposed to be combined and then consumed, but no one's going to raise a brow here if you eat your protein before your veggies. For an extra dollar, you can have your fancy mixed meal served in a steaming hot stone bowl. It's worth it (still less than $9) if you like your rice a little on the crispy side. The stews (especially the honkfish variety) and pepper pots are also popular. The chef prepares each dish to your personal spice preference and will even dole out extra ramekins of kochujang (hot chili pepper paste), if you can take the heat.

Take the authentic fare one step further and dine in the traditional Korean room. Low wooden tables and cushions create a quiet atmosphere where you can curl up cross-legged with steamy clay cups of rice tea.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: Stacy Warden

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10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday

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chicago, metromix