Korean Food USA: Woo Lae Oak

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Some people are skeptical about the quality of food when they hear “chain restaurant,” but upscale Korean restaurant Woo Lae Oak, also known as “The House of Return,” has proven these stereotypes wrong. The first Woo Lae Oak to open in the U.S was in Los Angeles, California (it’s now closed), but it soon expanded to Illinois, New York, and, just recently, in Virginia. The popularity of this restaurant has been on-going since it first opened. Each of the Woo Lae Oak restaurants have a sophisticated and chic décor, but it’s not overwhelming to the customer. People can come in for a fancy event, or for a casual dinner with friends.



Some people are skeptical about the quality of food when they hear “chain restaurant,” but upscale Korean restaurant Woo Lae Oak, also known as “The House of Return,” has proven these stereotypes wrong. The first Woo Lae Oak to open in the U.S was in Los Angeles, California (it’s now closed), but it soon expanded to Illinois, New York, and, just recently, in Virginia. The popularity of this restaurant has been on-going since it first opened. Each of the Woo Lae Oak restaurants have a sophisticated and chic décor, but it’s not overwhelming to the customer. People can come in for a fancy event, or for a casual dinner with friends.

The chefs at Woo Lae Oak combine traditional and contemporary methods of cooking in their dishes, and, while using traditional Korean ingredients, they alter the flavors to make their dishes more palatable to a wider range of people.

The dish that people can’t get enough of: Un Dae Gu Jo Rim

One of their most famous dishes is their Un Dae Gu Jo Rim, which is black cod marinated in a spicy, sweet garlic soy sauce. The fish is very soft and fresh, and each bite is a burst of flavor.  Another popular dish is Kimchi Jjigae, a very traditional Korean stew made with meats, tofu and chilli paste. It might be shocking that a dish with kimchi would be so popular, but this restaurant tones down the spiciness of the dish and makes it a bit sweeter to attract more eaters.

Unfortunately, due to building lease issues, Woo Lae Oak in Soho, NY, closed down this past May. However, their sister restaurant Bann is close by with the same satisfying dishes.

Woo Lae Oak – CA
170 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
http://www.woolaeoakbh.com

Woo Lae Oak – IL
3201 Algonquin Rd (at Newport Dr)
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
http://woolaeoakchicago.com/

Woo Lae Oak – VA
8240 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
http://www.woolaeoak.com/

[Photos Korus Journal/WooLaeOak website]



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