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Lao Sze Chuan vs. the field

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Brainstorming a return to the windy city and I am looking to weave in a meal that kicks things up on the taste buds.

Right now i am considering Lao Sze Chuan, unless any of you would advise otherwise (certainly open to suggestions). I am an LA/New Yorker, so well-acquainted with good Sichuanese.

I was wondering 1.) if the Chinatown location of Lao Sze Chuan is the most reliable/enjoyable and 2.) what dishes--given where I'm coming from--would be the most interesting, or perhaps different. ISO both well-executed staples as well as things that may be different from what I've had in the past, if they exist.

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  1. I like LSC but given the extensive and diverse Chinese options in New York, I probably wouldn't dedicate a meal to it. If by "kick things up" you mean spice, we have several small good Mexican options, also Thai, Indian, Pakistani, and even Iraqi.

    3 Replies
    1. re: GourmetWednesday

      What is your suggestion for Iraqi please?

      1. re: debbypo

        George's seems to get the most buzz due to the Andrew Zimmern piece. This gives a better and broader round-up than I can: http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/...
        Obviously these are outside the main tourist hubs, so if you decide to go and want ideas on how to get there, I'm happy to help.

      2. re: GourmetWednesday

        I'd recommend one of our creative contemporary Mexican restaurants. It's a local specialty, very different from anything in New York and not exactly like what you'll find in Los Angeles either. Rick Bayless's restaurants - Frontera Grill and Topolobampo - were pioneers and are still among our best. Mexique was just awarded a Michelin star. Mixteco Grill is retaining its Michelin Bib Gourmand; Mundial Cocina Mestiza had the Bib Gourmand but lost it for no discernible reason (it's still excellent). Check out the sample menus on their websites to get a better idea of what they have to offer:

        www.rickbayless.com/restaurants
        www.mexiquechicago.com
        http://chicago.menupages.com/restaura...
        www.mundialcocinamestiza.com

        If you go to Lao Sze Chuan, my favorite spicy dish is the ever-popular Tony's three-chili chicken; my favorite non-spicy dish is the mayonnaise shrimp. I've only been to the Chinatown location so I can't compare with the others.

      3. If you are from LA/SGV then there is nothing LSC could offer that is different, much less better.

        1. Since LSC has been shouted down, try Mexique or Aroy Thai.