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#1
Posted March 24th 2005, 4:19pm
haven't eaten there yet, but am pretty excited to see a sign that islas marias is taking over a space on Clark at North Shore, to be that much closer to those langostinos is very very nice
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#2
Posted March 24th 2005, 4:28pm
Zim, my life is nearly complete. Now if Honey1 would just move nearby.

Seriously, do not allow it to open without immediately notifying me/us. Huachinangos Sarandeados, here I come.
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#3
Posted March 24th 2005, 6:03pm
You know there is also an Islas Marias on the southside, Cicero or Kedzie I think. It's kinda growing like La Quebrada.

I meant to post on the changed/updated menu at Islas Marias too. The biggest change is that the menu is ever so slightly more translated, although many of the translations make little sense. There's a few new dishes, a shrimp pate which I have not tried and a chicharron de pescado that you know I HAD to try. The latter is translated on as something like fish grubs. It is really nuggets of well fried catfish. Highly delicious with lime and the Nayarit hot sauce.

We introduced SteveZ to Islas Marias not that long ago. I practically made him get the langostinos. When they arrived, they were perhaps the worst version I have ever seen offered there. I felt bad for him. Worse, later on in the day, a table got exactly the smelly, oily scrumptious version I was telling him about. Luckily he took it all in stride.

Rob
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#4
Posted April 9th 2005, 11:11am
The Rogers Park Islas Marias is open for business. I was there last night, and the large room was empty but for two tables at 9:00. Not for long, if the wild popularity of the other branches is a predictor.

Clark above Devon was already ground zero for Mexican seafood, but this raises the bar -- at least for certain dishes. Now, I've had raw shellfish plates at LIM in its other locations, along with the langostinos, the fish sarandeado and the shrimp empanadas, but this was better. I'm not saying the new branch is superior, just that the dish I had was tops.

Took a "small" Botana Playa y Mar to go.

I don't know what to say. There is no way, no where in Chicago (and maybe anywhere) that you are going to get this much pristinely fresh shellfish treated this well at this price. The platter starts with a base of the coarse, pate-like fish ceviche that comes as a gratis starter. Addictive stuff. On top of this blanket of ceviche, you get layer after layer of the following:

Raw oysters, raw scallops, raw shrimp (aguaschiles style, meaning in a devilishly hot sauce lime/chile marinade applied a la minute and nearly identical to the raw shrimp at TAC), raw clams, steamed octopus, steamed large shrimp. The seafood is in no way over-handled, though it is ideally seasoned by the kitchen and tossed with a fresh, tiny mince of vegetables that proves someone in the kitchen has serious knife skills. Tostadas, limes and Huichol hot sauce are the only garnish. 15 Bucks. Enough food for two, easy. I ate it all myself (my dining companion can't have raw seafood, darn.). Now, I took my time and had a few pops, but I wasn't about to let this stuff go to waste. Not like you can have it leftover, you know.

Raw shellfish like this comes from Japanese restaurants in tiny quantities, not by the shovel-full from a Mexican place, right? I'm giddy, but I'm a sucker for this stuff. Whether its from an overpriced plateau at a French bistrot or a Chicago steakhouse, I always get the raw shellfish platter. I've been searching for something like the absurdly cheap and twitchingly fresh shellfish I had in Nice and along the Ligurian coast. Swann in SF is a contender, and a couple of places in FL, but I'd put this platter right up there. LIM isn't quite the Riviera, and it can't be for geographical reasons for starters, but it's pretty damn good.

The famous snapper Sarandeado is not yet available, as the special grill has yet to arrive.

Maybe everything was extra fresh, extra large, and extra well-prepared for the "grand opening," I don't know. See for yourself.

Las Islas Marias
6635 N. Clark St.
773/973-4752
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#5
Posted April 9th 2005, 2:48pm
That sounds great! I can't wait to try it, perthaps tonight if I can talk the kids into it :)
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#6
Posted April 9th 2005, 8:36pm
JeffB,

did you know if the langostinos are available yet? I have been waiting to visit, but unfortunately my wife has been holding a little too dearly to her veggie scruples recently
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#7
Posted April 10th 2005, 12:18pm
How does the 54th/Pulaski location of Islas Marias compare to the other ones? It always seems pretty crowded and is incredibly convenient (when the 55 bus isn't being lethargic), and could finally be the answer to the age-old question "Where do you eat when you're shopping at that new Gigante Cermak Produce?"
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#8
Posted April 10th 2005, 8:36pm
Passed by there tonight, empty, but want to try it sometime. Wonder when the fish would be freshest. Then went on to Hema's Kitchen and some Pakistani sweets at kingsweets: www.kingsweets.net
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#9
Posted April 10th 2005, 11:03pm
Evan B Druce wrote:How does the 54th/Pulaski location of Islas Marias compare to the other ones?

Very well, I’d say. I’ve only been to the original on Grand and the Pulaski branch. If anything the Pulaski one, when it first opened, seemed superior to the original. And for a while it was BYOB which made it even better. I think after a week or two they instituted a 1 case of beer per table limit. Now they have a liquor license. That stretch of Pulaski might be one of the city’s least appreciated food streets.
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#10
Posted April 11th 2005, 9:21am
zim wrote:JeffB,

did you know if the langostinos are available yet? I have been waiting to visit, but unfortunately my wife has been holding a little too dearly to her veggie scruples recently


feel a litle silly answering my own question but anyway, had lunch there sunday with the family, and though we weren't able to get much raw seafood (not because they didn['t have any just that we were avoiding raw), I will say that the langostinos and complimentary ceviche were as good as the grand avenue location, though I could have used as Dave hammond put it some "naughty eisenhower era" posters.

place was for the most part deserted, hopefully business will pick up.

btw, spoke to the manager he indicated that the grill for the sarandeado will be arriving by the end of the week. he also was kind enough to spot us a bottle of salsa huichol, (my wife's favorite hot sauce, but which I cant find in the area with any regularity)
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#11
Posted April 11th 2005, 12:52pm
Zim, sorry I missed you post before. We'll have to split a beer and some raw shellfish sometime!

PS, I was surprised to learn that the special grill is some kind of gas/charcoal hybrid. It works well, IME.

I am sure that things will pick up. There is a certain element of macho diner that needs to find the place. I think the tendency for hard-drinking young men to hang out at the raw fish places (the Grand Ave. LIM especially) might have caused the owners to make the new joint more family-oriented (like the branch near Midway).
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#12
Posted April 15th 2005, 5:23pm
I can't wait to check this place out next Thursday. I'm no expert but I'll give my feeble review after I check it out. :D
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#13
Posted April 15th 2005, 5:24pm
ps- you don't know if there is an online menu or something I can sneak a peak at by chance???
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#14
Posted April 17th 2005, 9:04pm
Just passed Isle Marias tonight. Just about totally empty at 9:30pm. Don't know what the traffic is like though on Friday and Saturday.
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#15
Posted April 18th 2005, 10:40am
psychchef wrote:Just passed Isle Marias tonight. Just about totally empty at 9:30pm. Don't know what the traffic is like though on Friday and Saturday.


I was at the Grand Avenue location of Las Islas Marias, Saturday evening, and it was packed. I was then at the Milwaukee Avenue location of Las Islas Marias, Sunday evening, and it too was packed. As JeffB has already suggested, the North Clark Street location will undoubtedly follow suit. It is only a matter of time.

Are they serving beer yet? That is critical, as the michelada at Las Islas Marias has magnetic power. :D


Erik M.
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#16
Posted April 20th 2005, 7:56am
Erik M. wrote:
Are they serving beer yet? That is critical, as the michelada at Las Islas Marias has magnetic power. :D

Erik M.


personally it was too early Sunday morning for me to indulge so I can't say offhand, but I remember JeffB saying:

JeffB wrote:Now, I took my time and had a few pops,


Jeff, were you referring to Jarritos?
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#17
Posted April 20th 2005, 8:32am
Beer was available; or at least the jocular guy running the place was drinking one with his dinner behind the cash register.

My beverages were consumed at home, along with the mixed seafood platter.
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#18
Posted April 21st 2005, 12:33pm
I ate here on Monday night. I had seafood empanadas which were crispy and tasty. I also enjoyed their garlic shrimp dish. They have no liquor license as of yet. There is a liquor store three stores down Clark street and they do allow BYOB. The service left a lot to be desired but the food was sublime.
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#19
Posted April 22nd 2005, 9:43am
LTH,

Ellen and I met Cathy2 and her friend Helen at the North Clark branch of LIM yesterday for a simply wonderful lunch of fresh as a daisy seafood at incredibly reasonable prices.

Much is the same as Cicero/Grand LIM, even down to the giant shrimp on the roof, which Mario, the owner, said was imported from Thailand and cost $1200. Well worth it from my perspective. :)

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The one difference between Cicero/Grand and Clark street, aside from the fact that Clark is still waiting on both their liquor license and the charcoal fish grill, is the physical space. More spacious, better spacing on the tables, and comfortable seating. This may change as they get, and they will, busier.

We had a typical LTH lunch, just a wee bit too much, but we ate it all and all was delicious.

-Fish ceviche (gratis) served with lime, soda crackers, tostadas. Nice selection of Mexican hot sauces, plus a sizzling green table sauce.
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-Michelada. Beer mixed with ice, lime, salsa huichol, pepper, salt and, maybe, El Yucateco. Not sure I've ever had this exact concoction before, but Erik's right, LIM's Michelada does seem to have powers beyond simple beer on ice. I purchased the beer two doors North, LIM does not have a liquor license as of yet

Our very efficient waitress, Rosa, took my quart of Tecate into the kitchen and brought back both the remainder of the bottle and my Michelada.
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-Camarones Aguachiles (Raw shrimp in lime juice and green sauce) Very much like the raw shrimp marinated with lime, fish sauce, garlic at TAC and Silver Spoon, in a word, delicious.
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-Botana Playa y Mar (JeffB said he got the raw/marinated shrimp on his, we were served very fresh, lightly cooked shrimp) Was excellent.
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-Camarones a la Plancha (Big Shrimp grilled style) Almost perfect grilled shrimp, nice grill flavor, but with an ever so slightly soft texture.
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-Vuelve ala Vida (Return to Life) Large cup chock full of avocado, shrimp, octopus, clam meat, scallops, oysters and imitation crab. Why the hell they would include imitation crab in this glass of seafood goodies is beyond me, but overall it was very good.
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-Camarones al Ajo (Shrimp sauteed in garlic) Perfectly done shrimp, nice garlic flavor, sauteed in butter, which Laoch recommended in his post.
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Thanks to Zim for spotting this branch of LIM, and JeffB for listing his favorites, I might not have had their simply incredible Camarones Aguachiles if not for his post.

Enjoy,
Gary

Las Islas Marias
6635 N Clark St
Chicago, Il
773-973-4752
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#20
Posted April 24th 2005, 8:01pm
Pictures are scrumptious!! Can't wait to go there. Should have an event there one night. Seafood, beer, tequila, wow!!
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#21
Posted April 24th 2005, 9:35pm
I had the Camarones al Ajo at the 54th/Pulaski location on Tuesday. Probably one of the best shrimp dishes I've ever had.

And it seems this location has a liquor license as well. Rock rock on.
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#22
Posted April 24th 2005, 11:00pm
Seafood, beer, tequila, wow!!

I’m not so sure there will be tequila. I don’t remember any hard liquor at either the Grand or 54th/Pulaski restaurants (though I have only ordered beer so might have overlooked it). Anyone know for sure?

I don’t think it’s been mentioned here (and I wonder how many care), but there’s been yet another Las Islas Marias for a little while now. It’s in La Villita on Pulaski at 24th, where El Colonial used to be (the giant shrimp on the roof is new). Also LIM has a catering truck, a large stainless steel step van often parked behind the 5401 S Pulaski location. I assume it’s used for big summer events but haven’t seen it in action. Has anyone?

Las Islas Marias
4770 W Grand Av
Chicago
773-637-8233

Las Islas Marias
2523 N Milwaukee Av
Chicago
773-252-7303
[corrected address and phone number]

Las Islas Marias
5401 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago
773-767-0908

Las Islas Marias
2400 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago
773-522-1300

Las Islas Marias
6635 N Clark St
Chicago
773-973-4752
Last edited by Rene G on March 21st 2006, 9:04pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#23
Posted April 25th 2005, 5:15am
Rene G wrote:I’m not so sure there will be tequila. I don’t remember any hard liquor at either the Grand or 54th/Pulaski restaurants (though I have only ordered beer so might have overlooked it). Anyone know for sure?

Rene,

I've had tequila at the Grand/Cicero LIM, can't speak to 54th/Pulaski as I've not been to that location.

Enjoy,
Gary
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Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

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#24
Posted April 27th 2005, 9:09pm
Hi,

I have only been to Las Islas Marias, Clark location, twice in the last week. When I had lunch with Gary, wife and friend last week, the bill was reviewed and tip calculated by Gary. I personally didn't see the bill, but at one point Gary asked the waitress if a tip had been added. She indicated a tip was already calculated in. I knew it wasn't a full 18-20%, it seemed to be more like 15% ... but not having reviewed the bill myself I wasn't completely clear on the numbers. Yet, I thought it was an odd situation especially as we were only 4 diners.

This evening I returned to the same restaurant with friends. When the bill came, it wasn't itemized and the final total was presented. Remembering the unexpected addition of a tip from my last visit, and my party was larger this time, I told the story of last weeks billing adventure. One member with an expertise in Spanish made inquiries to find our bill had a 12% gratuity built in. Naturally we upped the final tip to an accumulative 20%, but without last weeks experience under my belt, I very likely would not have noticed.

The restaurant and the food is worth returning for, I simply suggest asking questions when the bill arrives.

Regards,
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#25
Posted April 27th 2005, 9:42pm
the place must close early. Went by there tonight, hoping to eat, at about 9:15pm, but closed. Anybody know the hours? Really looking forward to trying it. Went to Candlelite instead: garlic fries, greek salad, pizza well done with pepperoni, greenpepper, and onion. Excellent along with the Bulls win!
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#26
Posted April 27th 2005, 10:03pm
Hi,

I cannot comment on the hours, but we were there until 9 PM. We were one of two parties there all evening and the last to go. CrazyC sensed they were finished for the day and made our departure. Apparently, they closed up as soon as we left.

According to Metromix, the hours are: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sun.-Thurs.; 9:30 a.m.-11. p.m. Fri.-Sat.

Regards,
_______________________________________

Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#27
Posted April 28th 2005, 7:21am
I don't have much to add, besides echoing the praises that have already been sung. Shockingly fresh seafood.

And those Langostinos, dripping with spicy butter, were my favorite.
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#28
Posted April 28th 2005, 7:46am
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#29
Posted April 28th 2005, 12:49pm
JeffB wrote:... Took a "small" Botana Playa y Mar to go.

I don't know what to say. There is no way, no where in Chicago (and maybe anywhere) that you are going to get this much pristinely fresh shellfish treated this well at this price. ...


I'd like to add my hearty agreement to Jeff's review of the Botana Playa y Mar. The octopus was especially fabulous, I thought.

But then all the food was wonderful -- I definitely look forward to going back.

I was a little surprised that our waitress had so little English -- surely a lot of the drop-in traffic in that neighborhood will be non-Spanish speakers, no? I fear the tableful of LTH women may have scared her a bit, as she stopped coming around after a while. :wink:
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#30
Posted April 28th 2005, 1:29pm
I fear the tableful of LTH women may have scared her a bit, as she stopped coming around after a while.


Yeah, then we started coming up to her station to collect more tostadas, plates and forks. We certainly made ourselves at home!

Nice evening!

Regards,
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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