Friday, September 26, 2014

Karma Asian Food and Karma Pub in Mundelein bring the best of two dining worlds to Chicago's northern suburbs

Karma is a showcase for modern Asian fusion 
while Karma Pub satisfies with inspired
American pub fare, but guests can order from either menu

Mundelein, IL (September 2014) - They aren't easy to spot from the street, but two superb restaurants in Karma interior 300dpi IMG_0461Mundelein-Karma and Karma Pub, both adjacent to the DoubleTree Libertyville-Mundelein Hotel (510 East Route 83, Mundelein, 847-970-6900)-have been offering two distinct styles of dining that have struck a delicious chord among the area's business people and residents.
What's intriguing is that each restaurant allows guests to order from the other restaurant's menu. The result is that guests can have the best of two worlds-a choice of food and a choice of atmosphere.
"We wanted to meet the dining needs of a wider audience, including the business lunch crowd," says General Manager Allan Zinkann. "On any given day or occasion, some people want a more casual setting, while others prefer a more sophisticated atmosphere. Also, some guests delight in Karma's modern Asian fusion cuisine, while others would rather stick to the more familiar and less expensive American fare that we serve at Karma Pub."
The restaurants' culinary program is led by Executive Chef Paul Choi, who oversees the kitchen of both restaurants. In the six short months he has been there, he has made a huge difference by stepping up both the creativity and the quality of the food program.

Karma Pub interior1 300 pixels w border"What brings both menus together is our focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and we carry over the Asian influence at Karma Pub, although the Pub is much more American," says Choi. "We purchase from local sources as much as possible, and every week we change our specials to reflect what's available at the market. The main goal is give people a wide range of choices so that everyone is happy. We prepare every dish with the same quality and care."
Both restaurants have seen a steady increase in business due to Choi's new food program. Businesspeople are frequenting both restaurants for lunch-the restaurants are stylish and conversation-friendly. The DoubleTree Hotel guests are happy to stay at the hotel for their meals rather than travel to other restaurants, and there have been more group reservations for business and social occasions.
"When guests book a lunch or dinner reservation, they are pleased that there is something on our menus for Chef Paul Choi 300dpi finaleveryone," says Zinkann. "It works for businesspeople hosting meetings, and for families whose children prefer burgers and fries to Asian fare. Comments have been very positive. Guests know that their companions will enjoy the experience of sitting in Karma's beautiful décor yet, if they choose, eat sandwiches or other great American dishes from the Pub menu. Similarly, many guests love Karma's sophisticated Asian food but want to sit in a comfortable, casual pub where they can watch a game on TV or simply chill out."
Karma Asian Food & Fine Wine
The décor is a highlight of the Karma experience. Upon entering the restaurant, one is immediately transported into a Shangri-La where the past, present and future are fused together in a tranquil, elegant paradise of ultra-chic Pan-Asian design. The sleek dining room, accented by Asian woods and glass bamboo, is bathed in soft, soothing neutral tones of grays, greens, blacks, and soft subdued whites-hues that blend together to create a serene and sophisticated environment.  The dramatic décor, centered around a quietly flowing pool of water that artistically interprets Asian salt harvests, is accented by a wall of water. An oversized translucent bamboo-like light fixture greets guests at the entrance.
Karma interior from rear photo credit Cindy Kurman_300dpiKarma has a reputation for being a beautiful, romantic restaurant, but it gets just as many compliments from guests who are having lunch or dinner for business reasons. Karma is an impressive, conversation-friendly restaurant that is quite appropriate for business discussions or special events. The restaurant hosts many corporate groups here as well as wedding dinners and other social events.
Another highlight of the Karma experience are the weekly specials. Chef Choi keeps the menu fresh and local by creating new items based around seasonal ingredients.
Sriracha Shrimp Noodle Stir Fry 300dpi Pan Roasted California Sea Bass entree 300dpi Fresh Alaskan Cod or Salmon prepared FIRECRACKER STYLE 300dpi
This September, Karma's menu has featured, for example, as an appetizer, Duo of Baby Heirloom Carrots, tempura carrots, ponzu aioli, micro purple shiso and warm carrots, tomato-carrot vinaigrette and baby arugula. As special entrées, Karma has featured Sriracha Shrimp Noodle Stir-Fry; Pan Roasted California Sea Bass with ginger-scallion gnocchi, edamame, Illinois sweet corn, roasted red peppers, spinach, and miso butter with essence of orange; and Fresh Alaskan Cod or Salmon prepared Firecracker Style. Karma posts its specials on its Facebook page (
Drunken Mussels 300dpiThe regular menu at Karma starts with tempting appetizers such as theKarma Pork Gyoza 8 IMG_0092 jpg_300dpi_edited-1Seared Ahi Tuna with wild arugula, seasonal grape tomatoes and ginger-soy ($12); Drunken Mussels ($10) with tomato-Thai basil relish and sake; and Lettuce Wraps ($9) with ginger tamari chicken, shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers, toasted peanuts and sesame-peanut sauce and Karma Pork Goyza ($8). Karma's refreshing salad choices include the Seasonal 7 Vegetable Salad with herb flatbread chips and orange-miso 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).
Filet Mignon with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Tempura Onions 28_IMG_0081300dpiAmong Chef Choi's entrée specialties on the Karma menu are the signature Korean BBQ Glazed Rib Eye ($27), served with sticky steamed rice and wilted ginger spinach; Crispy Tuna ($26), served with seasonal greens, wasabi vinaigrette and sesame-soy; Surf & Turf  ($28), with seared sea scallops, whole prawn, braised short rib, spinach, kimchi croquette; Grilled Mahi-Mahi ($25) with quinoa, roasted red peppers, spinach, baby carrots and ginger-soy; and Filet Mignon ($28) with wasabi mashed potatoes, tempura onions, wild mushroom-tamari jus.

Karma Pub
On the Karma Pub menu, appetizers include Flatbread of the DayFlatbread of the Day 300dpi(market price);  Special Crispy Wings ($10), with choice of spicy chili-soy, Buffalo, or Parmesan-basil dressing; "Diet" Fries ($6), French fries served with three-cheese fondue, tomato, bacon, sour cream, and scallions ($6); and "Fruits of the Sea" ($12), prepared with crispy calamari, shrimp, lemon, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, and tomato-caper aioli.
Karma Pub's salads pay homage to American classics, with a slight Asian flare. Choices include the Blackened Salmon Salad ($18) with seasonal greens, tomato, cucumber, red onion, tortilla and honey-Dijon vinaigrette, and the Classic Caesar Salad ($7; with grilled chicken, $11; with grilled steak, $13), made with romaine hearts, Parmesan, roasted red peppers and garlic-pumpernickel croutons
Southwestern Burger_300 borderSandwiches are very popular at Karma Pub, and gourmet burgers take center stage. The Pub Burger ($11) features a half-pound of ground beef with lettuce, tomato, red onion, classic dill pickle and cheddar. Burger variations include the Breakfast Burger ($13), with a sunny side-up egg, Applewood smoked bacon and cheddar; and the Southwestern Burger ($13) with pepper-jack cheese, crunchy tortilla, Pico de Gallo, and chipotle aioli. Other sandwiches include the Crispy Fish Sandwich ($14), made with fresh Alaskan cod, bacon, cheddar, and sour pickle aioli.
Karma Pub's entrees include Grilled Salmon ($21), with peas, carrots, bacon, mushroom, potato, and Chardonnay-pea emulsion; Greek Style Spare Ribs ($20), with feta fries, red wine-oregano glaze and arugula; and Roasted Chicken ($19), with crispy cauliflower, raisins, cranberries, pine nuts and lemon aioli.

About Karma and Karma Pub
Karma, 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, a casual American restaurant and 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 Libertyville-Mundelein Hotel at 510 East Route 83, Mundelein, IL 60060. For reservations or more information, call (847) 970-6900 or visit and

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