long time lurker, first subtantial post here in the Chicago board...
Saturday morning: Valois.
My friend got schooled by the Omelette Nazi -
friend: "did you get my order for the mushroom and cheese?"
ON: "talk to you later, see you tomorrow, NEXT!"
my bacon/cheese omelette was mediocre. not enough egg, cheese not melted, eggs not well beaten. but I must go back. what character and ambience! half of Hyde Park was there. Never seen omelettes/pancakes made that quickly.
Sunday dimsum: Phoenix, Chinatown
went based on board's rec. stealing Gwiv's verbage: evocative of dimsum. worst meal I had out of the 4. Soggy cha-shiu bao, tasteless beef tripe, pork short ribs had no black bean flavor, limited selection. All at a wallet-breaking $33 for 2. Possibly the most overrated and overpriced dimsum I've had in my life. I'll stick to the downstairs hovel that serves northern flour/noodle dishes instead.
Monday nite: Ginza
missed the CH lunch there coupla weeks back. I actually stayed at the Tokyo Motel 10 yrs ago while checking out UoC (first Chicago visit ever). Twas a disgusting cheap place but dinner brought back fond memories. I just loved this restaurant. from the JCB credit card accepted sign (as well as application forms) to the hot Japanese waitress w/ bad teeth, it was all so grittily charming.
observed houndish activity at the neighboring table; a Chinese couple ordered from Japanese menu with a Japanese dictionary. I was jealous of their "secret" yakitori items. The sashimi dinner I had in a hurry was a great value except the salmon wasn't that fresh. Indeed, I, too thought I was in a yakuza while walking down the dilapidated hallway. Next time, must find 3 more people to fulfil the tatami room experience. No more being forced to eat benihana sushi by friends.
Tuesday nite: La Sardine
was told during the last Rib-a-thon that the $20 on tuesday is a great deal. happily dragged by my gf for an uber late 9:30 meal. long wait even with reservations followed by slow water/bread service. my seemingly fresh smoked salmon w/ capers app was just smoky and salty enough. she had the pork tenderloin and I had the lamb shank. the braised lamb was much better but I shoulda opted for the chocolate souffle instead. my souffle's grand marnier rasberry sauce almost came out of my nose. damned good souffle tho.
all in all, the most gastronomic fun I've had in Chicago so far. just need to sample half a dozen more korean places up north and my stomach will be happy again.