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Shochu (CLOSED)

 3313 N Clark St
Chicago, IL
 

Shochu

I went to Shochu last night with my boyfriend and another couple. We were a little nervous when we first walked in and saw that only one table was occupied but we requested a table in the outdoor patio in the back and were relieved to see a couple more occuppied tables outside. The service is friendy, although I was surprised that our waiter did not offer any suggestions or help with the menu until we specifically asked about items on the menu. The food was actually pretty good but I would have liked to see bigger portions – between the four of us, we ordered about two to three entrees (half orders) each and were not totally full at the end. We started with the really spicy tuna maki, and I would have to say that I was disappointed in the really spicy tuna maki , because it was not as spicy as the name had implied. I mean come on if you name something really spicy, it better be really spicy! And I would not recommend ordering maki here, it was not that great and the rolls are very tiny! We did get the skirt steak which was pretty good, it was similar to a steak lettuce wrap and again I would have liked to see a little more steak in there but it was pretty tasty. I also enjoyed the braised short ribs that we ordered. We also ordered the mushroom gyoza which were tasty but nothing out of the ordinary. We ordered the fried tofu with the ginger honey glaze, which tasted like fried tofu covered in honey sauce. I love dessert but I was disappointed that this dish was nothing more than fried tofu with honey over it. I could have made that at home! And I love dessert and tofu but this dish was just weird. My favorite dish was the lobster curry bowl – the curry was thick and spicy (just the way I like it!) and there was a whole lobster clawin the dish. Usually when you see lobster mentioned in dishes, unless it is a full lobster, it is hard to have real lobster meat in there. Overall I had a pretty good experience, I would go back and order the Lobster curry. However, I didn’t find that any of the other dishes were amazing, and for what they all cost, I would have expected more of a wow factor. So to sum it up, I might go and pick up some lobster curry if I was in the neighborhood, but in terms of going back there, I would rather go somewhere where I can better food for my money.

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Thalia Spice

 833 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL
 

Thalia Spice - Never again!

So after reading all of the reviews of Thalia Spice, I had already prepared myself for the possibility of slow service, or even no service. We went here on a rainy Thursday night at 6:30 so there were not a lot of occupied tables so our service was pretty good. Our waitress seemed a little out of it though. The menu is very large, everything on the menu looked delicious and it was very hard to choose between so many different items. We ordered the spring rolls (vietnamese style ones), crab rangoon, and the lettuce wraps. The spring rolls were standard – it is hard to mess those up. I loved the presentation of the lettuce wraps, it come already prepared for you and are set in little sake cups so all you have to do is pick up the lettuce wrap and pop it in your mouth. The sauce that came with the lettuce wraps was absolutely delicious, I could have just eaten that with lettuce and rice! Sadly it all went downhill for me from there. I ordered the golden triangle which on the menu was described as a mix of shrimp, scallops, squid, basil in a red curry sauce. Sounds good right? Ok it came prepared in a little round mold wrapped in foil. When they brought it to our table I thought they had made a mistake because I certainly did not order a casserole! No where on the menu did it mention that it was some type of breaded casserole, I mean where was the red curry? So it was not what I expected at all nor did it taste that great either. Also I just ate around the casserole part and just tried to pick out what I could of the seafood. My friends got the beef curry, pad thai, and a sushi roll – all standard. My friend Laura was really looking forward to her curry and naan. I was also excited to taste the naan, and what bothered me the most is that instead of naan, they give you a roti pancake and try to pretend that it is naan. OK seriously? You can’t give someone an order of roti and cut it up into little triangles and pretend that it is naan. Hello, we know the difference! The dessert was the nail in the coffin. We order the chocolate lava cake which on the menu even said it was served warm. What came to our table was this little solid oval brown thing, that one had no ice cream on top of it (who serves molten lava cake without ice cream) and when we took a bite of it we realized why, the cake was cold as ice and tasted like it came from your grocer’s freezer section. I have never in my life sent a dessert back but this was my first time sending it back. I will never go back to this again!!

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Yolk

 1120 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL
 

Yolk - yummy in my tummy!

I loved this place! The restaurant was fairly crowded at 11am on at Saturday but the line moved pretty quickly. Yolk seems small on the outside but once you walk in, you notice that the restaurant expands quite a bit toward the back. With IKEA like decor of red and blue, yolk is a pretty trendy place inside. As for the service..well at least you get to put your order in and finally get your dishes, but don’t expect to have more than that, they are way too busy for small talk. Our server asked us in passing how our food was, but he was already heading toward the kitchen before he finished his sentence. The food is wonderful here! With five of us girls, we all pretty much passed around our dishes. I Another one of my favorites was the Santa Fe fajita omelette. It was amazing, it was filled with chicken, egg, other fajita deliciousness and topped with a ton of salsa, sour cream and guac. I keep taking bites of this from my friend Annie across the table. My friend Yvonne got the peach cobbler crepes – they were good, I don’t know if they were my thing though. My roommate Erica got a skillet which was pretty good. The food around us at the other tables looked amazing too and I am eager to go back to try out more dishes! And get that Santa Fe omelette thing again!"

Banana Nut Bread French Toast

I order the banana nut french toast – it came with a side of peanut butter which totally made the dish!!

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Opera

 1301 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL
 

Yummy Pre-Fix Deal!

So I was a little nervous about Opera since I am always very hesitant about trying pan-asian types of restaurants but what attracted me to try Opera was the fact that they are not your regular run of the mill chinese restaurant. They take a traditional asian dish but they add the flair, ingredients, and presentation of contemporary american dishes. It combines the best of both worlds! I would recommend coming to Opera for the $30 pre-fix menu where for just $30 you choose an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. It’s a great deal considering that just ordering an entree can get you close to $30 already. My only complaint was that some of the dishes came out lukewarm.

Crab & Chopstick

LOVED the presentation, set next to a big crab cake are two long “chopsticks” that are spring rolls filled with this spicy crab filling.

Sea Scallops

This dish was amazing and exceeded my expectations! Three scallops set atop a bed of polenta and surrounded by this amazing rich brown XO sauce that taste more like an exquisite blur blanc sauce. Sooo yummy!

Soup Of The Day

The soup of the day was a butternut squash soup with a mini crab rangoon on top. LOVED it, but then again I do love any type of butternut squash soup. This was nice and had hint of ginger.

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Orso's Restaurant

 1401 N Wells St
Chicago, IL
 

Orso's

Hmm how do I describe the interior of Orso’s? When we walked in, I felt like we were walking through the inside of a 50’s style vintage bar with soft red lighting, a full bar on the left and on the right, there are little booths on the side set with mini chandeliers hanging above the tables with a grand piano in the back. After walking through the front part after walking through the first one we were taken to the other side of the room where my friend said it felt like we were sitting in a hallway. The food is not bad, we had the baked clams- I would definitely recommend those. And then we ordered the porkchops (MAIALE AL VESUVIO) and a pasta dish (FUMIGATO) to share. We finished with the TARTUFO. I had a good experience but I am not sure if I would just go back here for the food.

Maiale Al Vesuvio

Was not impressed with this dish, the porkchops were overdone and tough and the dish was way too salty for me.

Fumigato

I loved this pasta dish – the sauce was very creamy and had a little kick to it.

Tartufo

This was awesome, it looked like an upside cupcake when they brought it out to us but it is hazelnut chocolate ice cream goodness!

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Osteria Via Stato

 620 N State St
Chicago, IL
 

Great Bread!

I have always wanted to check this place out since I always pass it on the way to work. I was not dissappointed. I like this place because they have half and whole portions so you don’t feel as committed if that makes sense. The bread here is AWESOME! It is soft and chewy inside with a soft crust on the outside! My favorite kind of bread. I would just come back here for the bread. If you got the time I would suggest checking out the pre-fixe menu. I am definitely looking forward to coming back for the bread and to try the pre-fix menu!

Beet salad

I am just getting back into beets and I was drawn to this salad because on the menu it had said it was a special type of beets. The beet salad came with two different types of beets, one kind was thinly sliced and placed in a circle, the other kind was chopped and put in the center. It was good, could have used less dressing though.

ghnocci

plain cheese ghnocci – simple but great!

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Rique's Regional Mexican Food

 5004 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL
 

Rique's

I went here last night with two of my girlfriends and our motto for this restaurant would be…it taste ok but it could use some salsa. We started with the chorizo and queso dip. We expected the consistency of this dip to be well, like a dip. It came with large chunks of chorizo, onions, peppers, and cheese. While this would have been great as a side dish, since we were expecting a dip it was a little harder to eat. Especially since the cheese had melted into chunks and your chip would break when you tried to dig into the dip. I had the fish taco and tamale. Both were pretty mediorce and the tamale was dry and needed well…salsa. My friends got the flautas and the enchalladas. Both were just eh. And then we got the flan. Ok I am a huge fan of flan and was very disappointed in what we got. First of all, when it was served to us, it looked more like a piece of pie and I think that was what they were going for since there was even some sort of crust on the bottom. However, the service was great. If I ever come back here, I will definitely try one of their special dishes because people seem to rave about those.

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Bongo Room

 1470 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL
 

AMAZING brunch!

So I have been wanting to go to the Bongo room for the longest time after hearing about their crazy pancake and french toast options, I mean you are talking to a dessert queen over here. We went with a group of 11 people – yes so we had to wait for at least a hour but our food came out rather quickly and it was definitely worth the wait! If you could I would go with several people and get different dishes so each person can have a taste of everyone’s dish. The portions are so huge here that it is hard just to eat one thing by yourself!

Chocolate Tower French Toast

My friend got this and it was huge! Definitely a decadent dish – very chocolately!

mango strawberry french toast

Loved the combo of strawberries and mango but the sauce tasted like jam and wasn’t too special

Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes

Mine dish was more like white chocolate berry cheesecake pancakes but this is close enough of a title – this was simply amazing! Three large pancakes with a white creamy sauce on top – wasn’t too cheesecakey and it was light enough that it wasn’t over whelming.

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Adobo Grill (CLOSED)

 2005 W Division St
Chicago, IL
 

The best chocolate ice cream in the city is here!

OK I am not kidding, the best chocolate ice cream is at Adobo grill! They make it themselves and the consistency of this ice cream is not quite like regular ice cream – in fact it has more of a creamy base much like gelato with little ice chunks scattered around and it totally melts in your mouth. We sat outside in the front patio area and our service was excellent. I had a great experience at Adobo!

"Ceviches" - Tuna

We wanted to try all the of the ceviches – they were all seasoned and marinated in different sauce – nice and very refreshing – the tuna was my favorite. If you had to just order one I would go for tuna and skip the tilapia

Fresh Guacamole

I think the guac was way too hyped up for me by other people, don’t get me wrong, the guac is good- nice and spicy but I didn’t think it was exceptional like everyone had raved.

Sopes Surtidos

These little corn cups filled with different surprises were very good and great to share!

Filete Poblano

This goat cheese encrusted filet of beef was a little salty but the creamy mushroom sauce that surrounds this filet is absolutely amazing! I could have just drank the sauce itself! It was so flavorful – it totally carried the dish! The filet was cooked perfectly – we ordered it medium rare so it was juicy.

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Quartino

 626 N State St
Chicago, IL
 

Tasty and Affordable Italian Tapas and Pizza

I was a little hesitant about Quartino because their menu didn’t seem as extensive as the typical list of tapas you would encounter in the usual spanish tapas type of restaurants. However, if you look a little deeper into their menu, Quartino actually has quite a selection. They have a whole menu just for antipasta. We didn’t order anything from that menu but the table next to us did and it looked pretty good. Food comes out pretty fast here (something I always appreciate!) and the prices are very affordable. Their different sizes of wine carafes makes it easy to sample a lot of different wines. There wasn’t anything I had that I would be dying to go back for but since the menu is pretty extensive and affordable, I would definitely like to go back to try some of their other tapas and pizza.

QUATTRO FORMAGGI PIZZA

Very cheese and crisp. However I felt that the four cheese were not very distinct and just tasted like a one cheese pizza.

BRUSCHETTE

We ordered the portebella bruchette and it was a nice change of pace from the original tomato brushette. Very tasty!

Polenta Fries

We couldn’t resist ordering this dish. The polenta fries came out hot and fresh with a side of sauce. I wasn’t very impressed as the polenta didn’t have much taste and the sauce didnt’ aid in that respect either.

Spaghetti

We wanted a simple pasta dish so we opted for just spaghetti. It was pretty good and it was great for sharing!

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