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Sep 1, 2006 05:13 PM

Upscale Asian for Work Dinner?

Coming in to town and my colleagues are up for Asian. Tried to make a reservation at Japonais, but they're booked. (Sidebar: worth trying on next trip?) Any similar ideas? Bonus if near the main drag part of Michigan Avenue, but we're easily convinced to cab. Thanks.

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  1. Shanghai Terrace in the Peninsula Hotel on Michigan Avenue is very good. I think they describe their food as "Pan-Asian."

    Vong's Thai Kitchen (State and Hubbard) is walking distance from Michigan Avenue. The food is very good (if somewhat overpriced) and I enjoy the atmosphere and service, but this is not the place to go for authentic Thai food.

    If you are willing to get in a cab there are several really good places on West Randolph

    Sushi Wabi - my favorite sushi place in Chicago.

    Red Light - Red Light specializes in modern takes the American Chinese restaurant staples. The food is good and the desserts are amazing (especially the chocolate bag)

    Also, everyone loves Opera in the South Loop, but I haven't been there yet.

    1. I was toally underwhelmed by Japonias - there are so many other great places, so there's no need to go to a place with greasy tempura, overpriced sushi, and (at least when I was there) a strange policy of not giving you all your change back when you pay your bill (they're "not set up for change"). My favorite Japanese is Meiji - very upscake and elegant - terrific food. Shanghai Terrace is in the $$$$ range, but the food is great (the Peninsula is just west of Michigan Ave, on Superior). I haven't been to Tsuki, but I hear good things about it (it's at 1441 W. Fullerton, so a cab ride away). There's also Le Lan, French-Vietnamese fusion, at 749 N. Clark (west of Michigan) - I loved the meal I had there, and though some have complained about the service, when we were there it was fine.

      1. If it is a nice evening, try Shanghai Terrace, as you can sit outside on their patio and enjoy the gorgeous view. They have fabulous food and a good crowd (Madonna was there last time eating when I was there). I also love Le Lan if you are really in the mood for upscale Asain--it is the perfect spot, but it is in the loop. Otherwise, if it is sushi you are looking for the owner of Japonais also owns Mirai, which is my favorite sushi in the city--sit upstairs in the lounge and enjoy the best spicy octopus handroll, chef special rolls and kani nigiri of your life. You should try Japonais--interesting menu and gorgeous space. Have a sake sangria or floating orchid, a hot rock app and similar sushi as that listed above, sit back and enjoy the view.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ljero

          How could I forget? You would enjoy Le Colonial The upstairs porch has great ambience. You can look out over Rush Street. They have great martinis, fabulous appetizers and great entrees, too. Then, you are right in the heart of Rush Street to have a cocktail thereafter.

          1. re: ljero

            Yeah, I agree that Le Colonial would be great for a work dinner.

          2. re: ljero

            Le Lan would be fantastic, as ljero mentioned. But it's not in the Loop, it's actually about 4 blocks straight west of the Peninsula. Also agree wholeheartedly on Le Colonial, at least for cocktails before or after.

          3. Thanks for the great ideas - I'm making a list for future visits. We're going to try Shanghai Terrace. Bonus points for unknowingly taping into the boss' love of dim sum.

            4 Replies
            1. re: dottdc

              how was your experience at Shanghai Terrace?

              1. re: ljero

                Going Friday. I'll report back next week.

                1. re: dottdc

                  don't forget to reserve a table for outside if the weather is cooperating...have fun!

                  if you need a cocktail thereafter, you could walk to nomi sitting outside or in the bar and have a cosmobellini...

                  1. re: ljero

                    I was overruled on the outside seating, but still had a great time. The food is really amazing. We did some appetizers and dim sum (peeky toe crab wonton was a highlight, the kobe beef app not as much) and then split the poached whole fish (snapper) for two between four. Which actually worked quite well as then had room for dessert - their spin on smores. Def. pricey but certainly worth it. Thanks again for all the ideas!