Lao Sze Chuan is my favorite Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, and one of Tony Hu's famous Chinese restaurants. Tony Hu is a graduate of the Sze Chuan Culinary Institute in China, so no wonder his restaurant has the Best Sze Chuan cuisine! It has won many awards, and I can see why! The food is delicious!
Favorite Dish The menu is very long, and there are many delicious items to choose from! My favorite is the beef hot pot. Sze Chuan cuisine is known to be flavorful and spicy, and I LOVE it!
Last visit July, 2010 with VTers Dswede and riorich55
Inspired by Chinese New Year, we headed down to Chinatown to try the another of Tony Hu's restaurants, Lao Sze Chuan, which is the 1st one that he owned in Chinatown and often receives rave reviews from folks looking for authentic Chinese food.
The other thing this restaurant seems to be known for is it's rude and inattentive wait staff but I find that service in almost all Chinatown establishments is curt and it's not something I really get overly concerned with. They delivered the food to my table, it was the right food and it was the right temperature. Life is good. At lunchtime on a Saturday, the downstairs was almost totally full so we went upstairs where there were lots of empty tables.
Favorite Dish The menu is huge and starts off with house specials which is the section we ordered from. We ordered crispy shrimp in mayonnaise sauce which was tender and delicious. We also ordered Mongolian beef which was mixed with mushrooms, green onions and onions which was good but nothing out of the ordinary. Our bill was $32, a little high for Chinatown. And an annoying additional charge for rice which we did not order.
There's also a "Very Chinese Special" menu which may appeal to people looking for more authentic Chinese cuisine, pig ears, pork stomach, fish heads. Tony's three chili chicken is one of the things people rave over but we haven't tried it yet.
Although the service left a little to be desired, we enjoyed the food. The meal started off with the hot tea and a complimentary small plate of spicy cabbage (shown in one of the pictures). It was spicy and we both drank a full glass of ice water the calm the heat from the sauce, but it was good and we didn't have heartburn afterwards so that was good. This is a Szechuan restaurant but there are over 200 different entries on the menu.
Our two main dishes were the Mongolian Beef Tenderloin which was cooked just right and the other was the Crispy Fried Shrimp in Mayonaise Sauce (see below).
We went on a Saturday night around 6:00 p.m. and waited for about 15 minutes. The restaurant has 2 sections an upstairs and a downstairs. To get to the upstairs portion you walk back outside and up the stairs and give the person seating people your number that you received from downstairs. On this cold February night we were really glad to go to a warmer upstairs which was roomier then the downstairs section. Picture is from the downstairs section. Also since I didn't want to be too obtrusive with my camera these are pictures from the restaurants website.
Favorite Dish I ordered the Crispy Fried Shrimp in Mayonaise Sauce. Now before you say YUCK, it was very tasty and really you just were able to taste the creamy part of the mayonaise and not so much the egg part. It also had a tinge of orange taste to it and was served with a slice of orange.
my all-time-favourite chinese in the u.s. is innocuously situated in america's heartland - chi town. who knew you'd find such a gem in the midwest!
after a cab ride down to chinatown you'll pass a sign for lao sze chuan, weave in and out of shops and restaurants passing fish tanks filled with eel and the occasional sea cucumber.at first glance, it appears to be your typical chinese restaurant, but upon closer examination, you'll find articles posted on the entry wall featuring its chef/owner, tony hu, and his superhuman ability to transport homesick chinese expatriates back home to their motherland with his authentic use of flavors and spice.
the staff is warm and friendly, at least by big city standards. someone once said: "good food is made by good people. they put their soul into their work and you can taste it in their food." chef hu's degree from the Culinary Institute of China and four years' experience cooking at the five-star Su Du Hotel in Szechwan provides the solid base for his vision, but it must be his uncommon goodwill that manifests itself in his cooking and sets it worlds apart.
Favorite Dish amongst all the variations of chinese food, sichuan is by far my favourite. IMHO, there's nothing like letting your tongue burn down in an ambiguous blaze - to the point where i can't tell whether the pain i'm feeling is from the food being hot (temperature-wise) or spicy (chili induced heat).
lao sze chuan offers a super extensive array of exotic fare but if you're a kung-pao-chicken-type-novice...fear not! lao sze chuan has their own! their version is much different from the diluted interpretation common in the states and is amaaazingly good, so long as you're not afraid of a little chili oil ;). must haves: tea smoked duck...sublime! salt and pepper three happiness and familiar szechuan standbys like twice cooked pork, hunan beef, pork hock, ma po tofu, cold sliced tendon and ummm....szechuan spicy rabbit =) will not let you down. try the cold jellyfish, the cakes with pork and green onion, and their popular potherb dish (kinda like mustard greens). if you're craving for those banned szechuan peppercorns, order the chef's special steamed tilapia. in fact, order anything you want. i'd dare say everything's a hit at this joint.
This is an excellent Chinese Restaurant. I am delighted that my friends brought me here. My meal was extremely tasty. I would not have believed it as this restaurant is tucked away in a plaza, away from view. I think my friends knew what they were doing when they chose this place and knew where to find it. If I visit Chicago again, I would love to visit this excellent restaurant again.
Favorite Dish I had chicken but forgot what chicken specifically.