Soup is Good (and Warming) Food

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You may have noticed that it's colder than a witch's teet outside. I mean, I really enjoy these few months where flip flops and Bermuda shorts aren't required attire lest you suffer heat stroke, but come on... 40s? That's not what I signed up for, folks. So last night, feeling frosty and miserable on my way home from the office, I stopped into Gabose Korean & Japanese restaurant for some much needed warmth, and found it in a bowl of ultra-spicy blue crab soup, seen above. I knew I was on the right track when the waiter first brought out the hell broth, boiling away in a heated stone pot. It seemed downright angry, all red and flecked with throat-clinging shrapnel of chili peppers and dime-sized slivers of a jalapeno-like chili. But once that stuff hit my lips and seeped down into my coldest reaches, the anger transformed into something like a mellow embrace. It was at that point that I took off my jacket.

I got much more than I bargained for out of this meal. Not only is the soup huge, and packed with Napa cabbage, onion, scallion, tofu, clams, and long strips of something stalky that I can't quite pick out, but it's served at Gabose with a full compliment of panchan -- small side dishes that are an ever-present part of the Korean dining experience. Among the panchan: malty-sweet slivers of fish cake, deeply spicy kimchi, pickled cucumber kimchi that tasted of bread and butter slices caked in chilies, raw chives and bean sprouts with bean attached, marinated slices of mushroom, garlic and yellow aji coated cucumber, and a spicy, cold potato salad with chopped onion. All this ran just $15, and as I sat picking meat from a chili-infused blue crab I couldn't help but think it was the best $15 I'd spent all week.

Find Gabose at 4491 N. University Drive in Sunrise. And get there before the cold front leaves.

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The money shot.
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Mmmm, umami.
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If you leave an empty dish of kimchi at Gabose, they will refill it. Many times.
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Every good culture enjoys potatoes.

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