Slow and Steady

Standouts at Wicker Park's new Korean barbecue spot, Tozi

Korean barbecue brings quick-cooked, sizzling meats to mind.

But you'd be remiss if you crafted a meal at Tozi without the addition of some low-and-slow.

The new Wicker Park Korean restaurant has booths equipped with gas burners and a substantial list of meat and seafood for grilling. The standout of a recent visit, however, was the dweji kalbi jim, pork spareribs braised until spoon-tender.

The meaty ribs ($14) are cooked in red-chile sauce sweetened with apple and Asian pear. The long-simmered sauce brings Kansas City barbecue to mind, but its brash spice, scallions and wrinkled jujubes (Korean dates) fling the dish into another hemisphere. You'd be wise to request a bowl of rice on the side, as spare spoonfuls are not to be squandered.

The restaurant's lengthy menu nearly guarantees a packed table. We loaded ours with barbecue and the accompanying panchan, plus plump steamed dumplings ($7) and sinus-clearing kimchi stew ($9). For a respite from the chile heat, try cold dongchimi gooksoo, slippery noodles in a chilled, lightly vinegary beef broth.

For dessert, try the handwritten option on the menu: a house-made rice drink ($3) reminiscent of horchata.

Tozi, 1265 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-252-2020 or tozirestaurant.com