Throughout June, Karma Asian Food and Wine, which is one of the most beautiful food lovers’ restaurants in Chicago’s northern suburbs, has just given its fans another great reason to stop by for lunch or dinner: a bottle of wine for one penny. Guests who order two entrées can purchase a bottle of either house red or white wine for an extra cent (there is a limit of one bottle for every two persons). This may be the most enticing wine offer to come along in a long time.
“We’re so excited about our new Executive Chef, Paul Choi, and our new menu, that we’re giving our friends, and hopefully many new friends, the most wonderful reason to visit Karma Asian Food and Wine,” said Todd Gunderson, Regional Restaurant Manager. “Our one-penny bottles of wine are actually excellent selections that everyone will enjoy to accompany our amazing cuisine.”
Guests will have no trouble finding something delicious to relish with their wine, as each food creation is made from top quality, fresh ingredients and is beautifully presented. Among Chef Choi’s new entrée specialties are the signature Korean BBQ Glazed Rib Eye ($26), served with sticky steamed rice and wilted ginger spinach that goes beautifully with a red wine, and the Crispy Tuna ($26), served with seasonal greens, wasabi vinaigrette and sesame-soy, well paired with a refreshing white wine.
Start your meal with tempting appetizers such as the Seared Ahi Tuna with wild arugula, seasonal grape tomatoes and ginger-soy ($12), Firecracker Shrimp with scallions and chili ($10) or the Carpaccio, togarashi seared beef with seasonal greens, cilantro flatbread, wasabi vinaigrette and soy caramel ($9).
Refreshing salad choices include the Karma Salad with seasonal greens, cucumber, red onion, carrot noodles, tomato, and Szechuan peppercorn vinaigrette ($9); or the Chicken Tonkatsu Salad that starts with a house lettuce blend that is combined with tomato, cucumber, peas, carrot noodles, scallions, wonton chips, and yuzu-ginger vinaigrette ($13).
Among the additional new entrée selections are the Grilled Mahi-Mahi with quinoa, roasted red peppers, spinach, baby carrots and ginger-soy ($25); “Potato & Nori” Salmon with wasabi mashed potatoes, wakame salad and ginger scallion ($22); Mandarin Orange Chicken with hoisin BBQ glaze, shiitake mushrooms, baby spinach and Napa cabbage ($24); and Filet Mignon with wasabi mashed potatoes, tempura onions, wild mushroom-tamari jus ($27).
Karma also features delicious noodle dishes such as the Karma Ramen with pork belly, corn, spinach, roasted peppers, poached egg and pork broth ($15); Snapper with soba noodles, shitake mushrooms, bok choy and bonito nage ($22); and Udon with seasonal vegetables, tempura shrimp, fish cake and spicy miso broth ($16).
Throughout his seventeen year career, Executive Chef Paul Choi has developed a multicultural contemporary food sensibility, and he never strays from his commitment to serving creative dishes made from fresh, high quality ingredients. He began his career working as a line cook for acclaimed Chef Shawn McClain at Evanston’s eponymous restaurant, Trio, preparing outstanding contemporary American cuisine. While he worked at Trio in the evening, during the daytime Choi completed the rigorous culinary program at Kendall College where he rounded out his skills with a focus on classical French technique.
After leaving Trio, Choi went to work for award winning Chef Kelly Courtney, working virtually every station at OKNO restaurant as he prepared contemporary global cuisine. He then moved to her restaurant MOD where he prepared cutting edge bistro fare.
Choi was then appointed Sous Chef at Tizi Mellou, a highly regarded Mediterranean fusion restaurant. In the fall of 2000, Choi was recruited to be the opening Chef de Cuisine for Bistro Marbuzet, a casual French Restaurant in Forest Park. Later he also assumed the same role for Jacks on Halsted, a contemporary American grill, with the same company.
In 2002, Restaurant Development Group (RDG) had a need for a Corporate Chef for their Bar Louie concepts as well as the newly developed Red Star Tavern concept. In the short span of two years, Choi oversaw the opening of 28 restaurants in total.
Wanting to continue to learn and grow, Choi joined Chicago’s renowned Blue Plate Catering in 2004 to hone his skill in the planning and production of everything from small, private dinner parties to corporate events of 1000. From there he became the Chef de Cuisine of Jordan’s Food of Distinction, a high-end catering company in Chicago.
In 2007, Choi was bitten by the bug to open his own restaurant, Sura, located in the Lakeview area of Chicago. Although well liked and well-reviewed, Choi’s Contemporary Korean restaurant could not survive the economic downturn that claimed many restaurants that opened around this time.
Looking for a change and matching his love for the outdoors, Choi signed on to be the Chef at Sandy River Lodge in Sandy River, Alaska for the summer fishing season. Returning to Chicago after the season, Choi rejoined the staff at Jordan’s Food of Distinction. However his love of Alaska kept pulling on him and in 2010 he returned, this time to the remote fishing village of Cordova, home of the world famous “Copper River Salmon,” as the Executive Chef and General Manager of the Reluctant Fisherman Inn. After three years he returned to Chicago in August of 2012 for family reasons.
Upon his return to Chicago, he accepted the position as Executive Chef at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Highland Park. There he developed a reputation for providing extraordinary cuisine in both their casual restaurant as well as high-end catered parties for donors and patrons.
In January of 2014, Choi was selected to be the Executive Chef at Karma Asian Food & Fine Wine. His first task was to retool the menu and incorporate his signature of style of contemporary, clean flavor profiles. Combining his Asian background with his classical French technique, he has completely revamped the menu with guest favorites such as Firecracker Shrimp, Korean BBQ Glazed Ribeye Steak and Sweet Ginger Bread Pudding.
Choi appreciates the opportunity that “Asian Fusion” gives him to explore the cuisines of Korea, China and Japan while melding in some subtle American influences. Focusing on sustainability and quality, Choi strives to procure the freshest and best local ingredients possible. He relishes the fact that when people enjoy the food they are eating, it can change their mood and outlook on life. This is a core value that motivates him to continually challenge himself and his staff to provide the most memorable dining experience possible.
Karma main dining room 2 350 pixels w borderKarma, a stunning contemporary restaurant serving fine Modern Asian Fusion cuisine from Executive Chef Paul Choi, is open seven days a week 6 a.m.-10:30 a.m. for breakfast; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for dinner; and 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday for dinner. Karma Pub is open 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; and 5 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. Karma is located adjacent to the DoubleTree by Hilton Mundelein Hotel at 510 East Route 83, Mundelein, IL 60060. For reservations or more information, call Karma at (847) 970-6900 or visit www.karmachicago.com.