Bowls of ramen are like snowflakes: no two are alike. At least that’s what many owners and chefs of Chicago ramen-focused spots told me. Advertisements
For a long time, Mexican food in America was mostly a Tex-Mex hybrid featuring hefty doses of monterey jack and sour cream on deep-fried flour tortillas stuffed with meat. Not necessarily the stuff you’d find people eating in Mexico. It took pioneers such as Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless to really open up the world of nuanced moles and hot griddled tortillas made from fresh masa.
People like to chirp about how Chicago dining is as good as New York City’s. Sometimes it’s better. Sometimes it isn’t. Oiistar, a new Japanese noodle spot in Wicker Park, is trying to stake a claim for Chicago, but it still has a ways to go. For now, New York, with Ippudo and Momofuku, still wins the ramen restaurant battle.
There’s a long letter posted on the door at Andy’s Thai Kitchen, a new restaurant in Lake View. There’s stuff about an old restaurant no longer being the restaurant it once was, things about a new chef, preserving Thai grandparents’ ancient recipes, and authenticity. As letters on restaurant doors go, it is long.