Monday, November 10, 2008

Getting Lao'd

Some friends of mine and I had another feast at our favorite place, Lao Sze Chuan.

Honestly, in all my years of dining out, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed any restaurant as much as this one. I would be devastated if it ever closed down, though there’s little chance of that. (We always go early, for there are always hoards of folks waiting for tables by the time we leave).

Here are some photos of our little feast:

We began with a jellyfish salad. We often order something from the “weird” part of the menu called “Very Chinese Special.”
Actually, the jellyfish salad is really very tasty if you can get past the mucuous, crunchy texture.

Their signature dish is “Boiled Beef in Szechuan Sauce”. Some of it was eaten by the time I got a photo of it.
I know, the term “boiled beef” sounds like bad British cuisine, but it’s actually a technique of Szechuan cooking. Instead of stir-frying, bits of meat (beef, fish, pork or even frog - your choice) are lowered into boiling stock to cook them.

In this dish, a hefty amount of spicy pickled cabbage is placed in a bowl (a first-cousin of Korean kim-chee). Then the cooked beef is placed over that and topped with lots of hot oil, Szechuan pepper, garlic, and hot chilis.

It is, hands down, my favorite menu item. I have yet to try it with frog and I doubt that I will.

Pea-pod leafs with garlic are another favorite. I’d often seen this bright green dish come out of the kitchen and finally found out what it was. We order it every time now.

We also always request “Shrimp in Mayonnaise Sauce” (again, some of it was quickly snarfed up).
It’s a weird name and one doesn’t normally associate mayonnaise with Szechuan cuisine. In this case, the shrimp are dipped in mayonnaise, fried, and served with a sweet sauce.

They are to die for.

Not pictured are Ma-Po Tofu and also Orange Beef.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you’re EVER in Chicago, go to Chinatown and hit Lao Sze Chuan.

And hit it hard!



At 6:59 AM , Blogger Speck said...

Woot! If I'm ever in Chicago, PLEASE take me to eat here. I would be scarfin' down all of that! Yum!

(Sorry I'm so late. I'm a little behind on my blog reading.)

At 3:32 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

ooo... i am a tofu super fan! sigh. i want the mapo tofu soooooo badly right now. with rice.

Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.


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