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praise for Lao Sze Chuan

praise for Lao Sze Chuan
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  • Post #61 - May 16th, 2007, 11:09 pm
    Post #61 - May 16th, 2007, 11:09 pm Post #61 - May 16th, 2007, 11:09 pm
    CrazyC wrote:Anyways, the point of the reply is to let everyone know (maybe everyone does know already!) that LSC has lunch specials, and Tony's Chicken is on there for $4.95...

    Current Chinatown LSC Tony's 3-Chile Chicken lunch special price is $5.45.

    Ummmmmmm, 3-Chile Chicken!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #62 - May 17th, 2007, 8:11 am
    Post #62 - May 17th, 2007, 8:11 am Post #62 - May 17th, 2007, 8:11 am
    I visit the Downers Grove (formerly Westmont) location for lunch at least once a week. I've noticed the exact opposite experience. When you order they automatically assume you want the lunch special which, btw runs between $4.50 and $5.95 including eggroll and soup.

    When they moved from Westmont they used to give you two menus. About six months ago they consolidated the menu from LSC and the former Lo Garden. When they did this the lunch menu selections from LSC were drastically reduced to one page, and the 3 chili chicken was eliminated.

    I should ask about the availability next visit.

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #63 - May 17th, 2007, 8:29 am
    Post #63 - May 17th, 2007, 8:29 am Post #63 - May 17th, 2007, 8:29 am
    CrazyC wrote:Actually I did not even know about the lunch menu until Mike told me about it. He used to go to the one in Westmont... We do get dirty looks when we ask for it though. I would just say that you have gotten the lunch menu out in Westmont and that you have seen it here. It just a laminated white menu page. I think the lunch special is available from 11 - 2....


    I'll weather the dirty looks and lie through my teeth as per having been to Westmont/Downer's Grove. :)
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #64 - May 17th, 2007, 9:06 am
    Post #64 - May 17th, 2007, 9:06 am Post #64 - May 17th, 2007, 9:06 am
    I used to go to the Ogden location once a wek or so pre and post move and I never saw the 3 chilli chicken on the lunch menu. I know that if I had I would have gone there 2-3x a week!

    You also cannot get the lamb with cumin on the lunch menu in Chinatown while you can in Downers Grove.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #65 - May 29th, 2007, 3:34 pm
    Post #65 - May 29th, 2007, 3:34 pm Post #65 - May 29th, 2007, 3:34 pm
    Does the Downers lGrove ocation of LSC have the same vegetarian options as the Chinatown one?
  • Post #66 - May 29th, 2007, 5:20 pm
    Post #66 - May 29th, 2007, 5:20 pm Post #66 - May 29th, 2007, 5:20 pm
    cjchaps wrote:Does the Downers lGrove ocation of LSC have the same vegetarian options as the Chinatown one?


    Probably. the menus are quite similar.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #67 - May 31st, 2007, 9:40 am
    Post #67 - May 31st, 2007, 9:40 am Post #67 - May 31st, 2007, 9:40 am
    stevez wrote:
    cjchaps wrote:Does the Downers lGrove ocation of LSC have the same vegetarian options as the Chinatown one?


    Probably. the menus are quite similar.


    I picked up a menu in Downers GRove and they have a "Vegetable" session and a "Vegetarian & Low-Cal" section. In both of those sections they feature dishes with oyster sauce which is usually a bad sign. A lot of the time Chinese Restaurants consider something with no meat chunks to be vegetarian. For instance if Chicken/Beef/Animal broth or fish or oyster sauce is added they will still consider it a vegetarian dish. It seems like this is the case with LSC. Does anyone know for sure if any of their dishes are truly vegetarian?
  • Post #68 - June 1st, 2007, 9:45 pm
    Post #68 - June 1st, 2007, 9:45 pm Post #68 - June 1st, 2007, 9:45 pm
    I have had two interesting experiences at Lao Sze Chuan.

    The first time I went on a pilgrimage to try Tony's Three Chili Chicken. I am a student and I had been up all night working on a project. When I was done, disheveled and faint, I decided on a whim to try the dish referred to as "chicken crack". Having only ever been to Joy Yees, I was not prepared for crowds at 6 pm on a Friday and the large tables that made it impossible to comfortably eat alone. Suprisingly, three computer programmers took pity on me and we had dinner together - me and the boys. Needless to say, it was a rather interesting meal as I was pretty loopy - and got a watered down version of a "guys' night out". It instilled for me a distinct and nagging craving for that dish.

    I was able to persuade some fellow students to go with me more recently; unfortunately they were the unadventurous types and ordered cashew chicken and egg rolls. They said it was the only restaurant that had disappointing cashew chicken! I had Tony's chicken again, and couldn't even persuade them to order a vegetable for the table, so I got the cold spinach appetizer. The nice waiter warned me against it - "too sour" though he liked it - well, it was amazing. Cold but not overcooked spinach with a bright, light ginger sauce with the slighted hint of vinegar. After tasting it the other students ordered another plate!

    Another stand out was the cold chicken appetizer - kindly offered to taste by the table next to us - again, this was not overly heavy and had a marvelous looking and tasting sauce comprised of many minced green herbs together. I highly recommend it.

    What this all leads to is that I am obviously going to Lao Sze Chuan with the wrong people! And, when my boyfriend visits next week, there is only so much we can order. I need to try the beef maw and other dishes with some more adventuresome sorts! What's the chance of another Lao Sze Chuan LTHforum dinner in the near future?
  • Post #69 - June 1st, 2007, 9:48 pm
    Post #69 - June 1st, 2007, 9:48 pm Post #69 - June 1st, 2007, 9:48 pm
    Funny... I just came back from dinner at LSC... =) Beef Maw, Spicy Fish Fillets, Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, and of course the chicken crack... =)

    I am up for a dinner there anytime, now that school is over! Maybe someone (or me) will organize something soon!

    C
  • Post #70 - June 1st, 2007, 10:07 pm
    Post #70 - June 1st, 2007, 10:07 pm Post #70 - June 1st, 2007, 10:07 pm
    nutella wrote:What's the chance of another Lao Sze Chuan LTHforum dinner in the near future?


    A little better than your chances of posting in the Events board saying, "Hey, I'm going to Lao Sze Chuan on X night, who's with me?"

    Don't be shy :-)
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #71 - June 9th, 2007, 8:23 pm
    Post #71 - June 9th, 2007, 8:23 pm Post #71 - June 9th, 2007, 8:23 pm
    Perhaps I should've read the above post before heading over to Lao Sze Chuan alone this weekend. Despite the fact that this type of restaurant is probably the worst kind at which to eat alone (large menu, large portions, long lines, very few two tops, etc), I had a very solid meal.

    First of all, finding this place proved to be a bit challenging. It took me a few walk-bys and circles to figure out the restaurant is not facing the street but rather inside this little shopping complex thing. I think another poster mentioned the "back door" being at the front. That kind of makes sense since the kitchen/service entrance faces the street.

    Unfortunately, I was somewhat limited in regards to what I could order, but I picked out a few items I had heard good (or at least interesting things about). I selected the szechuan sliced beef with maw, szechuan rabbit, and Tony's three chile chicken.

    The plate of cabbage I was provided with upon sitting down eased my fears that this place would be more hype than substance. A nice balance of crisp cabbage, salt, and spicy szechuan oil. I was pleased. The beef and maw dish is also quite tasty--the beef adding depth and the maw (some part of the intestine, I believe) contributing firm, pleasantly chew texture. I was less excited about the rabbit dish. I really enjoyed the herbaceous notes in the spicy oil that accompanied the small (and rather difficult to eat) chunks of rabbit. I found myself dipping pieces of the chicken dish into the rabbit sauce to amp up the heat. I guess my problem with the dish was that the little shards of bone were kind of annoying and the rabbit itself was kind of bland.

    The three chile chicken pretty much lived up to all the hype. My favorite part of the dish was how the chicken was sliced into perfect-sized pieces. They were large enough that the crispy coating didn't overwhelm the flavor of the meat but not so large that they became cumbersome or chewy. My only criticism of the dish is that it's slightly too sweet. Not sweet in a cloying way, but the chile burn was somewhat lacking. Still, a delicious dish through and through.

    Service was rather perfunctory, bordering on unorganized. My main was served before my second appetizer, it took a while to get the check, etc. Not a huge deal in a place like this but worth noting. My server didn't give me a hard time about the maw at all. Then again she was in the weeds and just wanted to get me out of there so I would free up the four top for other waiting customers. I also wish they served beer. Szechuan like this and beer were meant to be.

    So I really liked this place and will try to go back. It's a bit of a hassle to get to, but if I can get a group of people together I'd try to order a much larger swath of the menu.
  • Post #72 - June 9th, 2007, 8:45 pm
    Post #72 - June 9th, 2007, 8:45 pm Post #72 - June 9th, 2007, 8:45 pm
    Lao Sze Chuan used to have a full bar, but recently lost their license for unknown reasons. It's now BYO.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #73 - June 9th, 2007, 8:47 pm
    Post #73 - June 9th, 2007, 8:47 pm Post #73 - June 9th, 2007, 8:47 pm
    That's odd. I had a Tsingtao there on Monday. Either the liquor is flowing again, or I'm about to get them in trouble.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #74 - June 9th, 2007, 9:18 pm
    Post #74 - June 9th, 2007, 9:18 pm Post #74 - June 9th, 2007, 9:18 pm
    Nevermind! Maybe they have it back.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #75 - June 9th, 2007, 10:09 pm
    Post #75 - June 9th, 2007, 10:09 pm Post #75 - June 9th, 2007, 10:09 pm
    BryanZ wrote:but if I can get a group of people together I'd try to order a much larger swath of the menu.


    A group of people for LSC? Not a difficult task at all. Once, I just said the word and 30 people followed.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #76 - June 9th, 2007, 10:27 pm
    Post #76 - June 9th, 2007, 10:27 pm Post #76 - June 9th, 2007, 10:27 pm
    I specifically asked about beer and they said they didn't have any. Strange.
  • Post #77 - July 2nd, 2007, 10:36 am
    Post #77 - July 2nd, 2007, 10:36 am Post #77 - July 2nd, 2007, 10:36 am
    I finally got around to going to LSC in Downers with my vegetarian wife and a buddy of mine. She got the Ma Po Tofu and the waiter assured us they could make it vegetarian so we ordered that. I got Tony's chicken and my buddy got General Tso's. Everything was got was excellent.

    It was a much different experience that I had before going there. One time I ordered a lunch special and it was nothing special.

    So two thumbs up for me!
  • Post #78 - July 2nd, 2007, 12:00 pm
    Post #78 - July 2nd, 2007, 12:00 pm Post #78 - July 2nd, 2007, 12:00 pm
    Since learning of LSC at LTH, I've been there about 5 times. I prefer vegetarian options and I've ordered the Ma Po Tofu each time. I now crave this spicy dish on a regular basis. I also love their green bean appetizer, though the beans are cut into little pieces and challenge my chop stick skills.
  • Post #79 - July 7th, 2007, 10:09 am
    Post #79 - July 7th, 2007, 10:09 am Post #79 - July 7th, 2007, 10:09 am
    It is with great disappointment that I share the news that Lao Sze Chuan's Palatine outpost, SzeChuan House, has closed. We drove out there last night to get our fix, only to find this sign on the door when we arrived:

    Image

    I know others have posted that the food at the Palatine location wasn't as good as it was at the other 2 locations but still, we loved it. It was a relatively short drive from our house and we had been hitting it about once a month for sometime. We'll really miss having it there :(

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #80 - July 7th, 2007, 11:42 am
    Post #80 - July 7th, 2007, 11:42 am Post #80 - July 7th, 2007, 11:42 am
    Hey! I didn't know there was a location in Downers Grove.

    Lao Sze Chuan

    1331 Ogden Ave
    Downers Grove
    (630) 663-0303

    www.laoszechuan.com

    Close enough on my route home from work to make a carryout visit some evening.

    Cool. Thanks!
  • Post #81 - July 7th, 2007, 3:56 pm
    Post #81 - July 7th, 2007, 3:56 pm Post #81 - July 7th, 2007, 3:56 pm
    Hey! I didn't know there was a location in Downers Grove.


    ummm.....look up a couple of posts....
  • Post #82 - July 7th, 2007, 3:59 pm
    Post #82 - July 7th, 2007, 3:59 pm Post #82 - July 7th, 2007, 3:59 pm
    Diannie wrote:
    Hey! I didn't know there was a location in Downers Grove.


    ummm.....look up a couple of posts....


    Thats where I found out.

    Very nice. Thanks!
  • Post #83 - July 8th, 2007, 7:46 am
    Post #83 - July 8th, 2007, 7:46 am Post #83 - July 8th, 2007, 7:46 am
    :D

    S/O and I eat there when we can...the problem is that we don't have friends with adventurous palates so we rarely order all the goodies we like. It sure would be cheaper to bring a bunch of people to split the bill with rather than take home days worth of left overs!

    Last time we visited (a couple of weeks ago) some hand written specials appeared in the front of the menu. Unfortunately I don't read Chinese, fortunately the nice waitress sort of translated for us. We ordered a beef and mushroom dish. I have no idea what it is called nor what kind of mushrooms it featured. It was quite tasty though. Alas, no photos.

    I plan to keep exploring the mystery specials and vow to join the next LTH outing there so we can keep trying new stuff but still order our favorites.
  • Post #84 - July 8th, 2007, 7:55 am
    Post #84 - July 8th, 2007, 7:55 am Post #84 - July 8th, 2007, 7:55 am
    Diannie wrote:I plan to keep exploring the mystery specials and vow to join the next LTH outing there so we can keep trying new stuff but still order our favorites.


    You can give fate a little push by setting up an event! Pretty much all that is needed thereafter is to make reservations. People will be happy to help figure out the ordering and splitting of the bill.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #85 - July 8th, 2007, 9:10 pm
    Post #85 - July 8th, 2007, 9:10 pm Post #85 - July 8th, 2007, 9:10 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:You can give fate a little push by setting up an event!


    Oh, boy! I just got back from the mini event at Burt's and we 9 had a great time!

    It would be hard to pass up an event here. :)
  • Post #86 - July 9th, 2007, 1:33 pm
    Post #86 - July 9th, 2007, 1:33 pm Post #86 - July 9th, 2007, 1:33 pm
    what I'd wish, and maybe it would work best as a sort of collaborative effort, is that there was a picture and description of all the dishes at LSC. (I remember reading somewhere of a web page that tried to do this with a particular chinese restauratn in San francisco but at the moment can't find that page)

    its hard passing up your favorites at LSC (especially when dining with children or slightly less adventurous eaters) and I am always feeling that there are dishes that had I known to order, I would have loved
  • Post #87 - July 9th, 2007, 2:13 pm
    Post #87 - July 9th, 2007, 2:13 pm Post #87 - July 9th, 2007, 2:13 pm
    zim wrote:what I'd wish, and maybe it would work best as a sort of collaborative effort, is that there was a picture and description of all the dishes at LSC. (I remember reading somewhere of a web page that tried to do this with a particular chinese restauratn in San francisco but at the moment can't find that page)

    its hard passing up your favorites at LSC (especially when dining with children or slightly less adventurous eaters) and I am always feeling that there are dishes that had I known to order, I would have loved

    I have a bunch of pics from my meals at Szechuan House. I'll try to post some of them later this week. I doubt I'll be able to get to it before then.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #88 - July 9th, 2007, 2:19 pm
    Post #88 - July 9th, 2007, 2:19 pm Post #88 - July 9th, 2007, 2:19 pm
    zim wrote:what I'd wish, and maybe it would work best as a sort of collaborative effort, is that there was a picture and description of all the dishes at LSC. (I remember reading somewhere of a web page that tried to do this with a particular chinese restauratn in San francisco but at the moment can't find that page)



    Zim,

    You have looked up thread, haven't you? There are a lot of pictures to be seen.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #89 - July 9th, 2007, 2:30 pm
    Post #89 - July 9th, 2007, 2:30 pm Post #89 - July 9th, 2007, 2:30 pm
    stevez wrote:

    Zim,

    You have looked up thread, haven't you? There are a lot of pictures to be seen.


    yep,

    found the link I was looking for, it's for a dish by dish pixscription of Henry's Hunan in San Francisco
  • Post #90 - July 9th, 2007, 2:40 pm
    Post #90 - July 9th, 2007, 2:40 pm Post #90 - July 9th, 2007, 2:40 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:It is with great disappointment that I share the news that Lao Sze Chuan's Palatine outpost, SzeChuan House, has closed. We drove out there last night to get our fix, only to find this sign on the door when we arrived:

    Image

    This makes me very sad. It was leagues better than any other Chinese restaurants in this area. Although the closing's not surprising given that they never seemed very busy and the staff was all commuting from Chinatown.

    Anybody got any votes for the next best Chinese in the northwest suburbs?

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