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Chef Shangri-La, Riverside

Chef Shangri-La, Riverside
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  • Chef Shangri-La, Riverside

    Post #1 - March 26th, 2013, 2:31 pm
    Post #1 - March 26th, 2013, 2:31 pm Post #1 - March 26th, 2013, 2:31 pm
    A friend that teaches in Riverside likes to unwind at Chef Shangri-La, so I checked it out after a gig last week; I'd driven past but not appreciated how much of a local institution it is, with many longtime fans returning annually since it opened in 1976, and mourning the loss of founder Paul Fong last year. The decor is fantastic. There was a 190N piece on it last year, and it's been mentioned in some roundups of Tiki bars including "Da" Hala Kahiki and Tong's Tiki Hut, which was already lovably seedy when Star Trek IV was in theaters.

    Distinguishing the menu from many surrounding neighborhood Chinese-American spots are sweet mango dishes, Hawaiian bolos with a tangier sweet and sour and fresh pineapple, and some lunch specials like char siu sliders. I enjoyed well-fried, cinnamon-laced egg rolls and the very crisp Mongolian tofu. The hot and sour soup, in contrast, was irredeemable, as if someone had accidentally poured a container of plum sauce into it. I'm told the egg drop is safer. They host regular entertainment including an Elvis impersonator and fire dancers. This is not pilgrimage-worthy (the Zombie was classic, admittedly), but I'd be interested to hear any other dishes worth seeking out.

    Chef Shangri-La
    http://www.chefshangrila.com/home.htm
    7930 W. 26th St.
    North Riverside, IL
  • Post #2 - March 26th, 2013, 3:08 pm
    Post #2 - March 26th, 2013, 3:08 pm Post #2 - March 26th, 2013, 3:08 pm
    I pass this place all the time - gonna have to give it a shot now!
  • Post #3 - March 26th, 2013, 3:09 pm
    Post #3 - March 26th, 2013, 3:09 pm Post #3 - March 26th, 2013, 3:09 pm
    It's totally destination worthy, if just for the Dr Fong drinks and the atmosphere. I think it's the 3rd Saturday of the month when there's entertainment and raffle prizes. I find it best to go with a group and get the family dinner for six and 2 or 3 rounds of Dr Fong. They do have a good crab rangoon, their mustard is above average, and I enjoy the beef volcano, if solely for the pyrotechnics. If they had KowKow's egg rolls, you'd have to drag me from the place.
  • Post #4 - March 26th, 2013, 3:27 pm
    Post #4 - March 26th, 2013, 3:27 pm Post #4 - March 26th, 2013, 3:27 pm
    I took my husband here in January for his birthday because of little tidbits that I had read about it in the tiki subject threads. We loved it!

    Image
    Kamoniwanaleia

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    Dr. Fong

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    My Hawaiian pua next to my husband's chicken
  • Post #5 - December 9th, 2020, 2:48 pm
    Post #5 - December 9th, 2020, 2:48 pm Post #5 - December 9th, 2020, 2:48 pm
    Bumping-La for this place's staying power and adaptation to the current clime. They do curbside pickup on request in addition to delivery, and the very basics - egg rolls, thick potstickers, cha siu fried rice - are really homestyle, savory, and consistent. I haven't tested the more recent fusion elements and some of the entrees are less reliable or interesting at the (relative) pricepoint.

    But speaking of pricepoints, the take-home drinks are about a quart of icy booze for $10-15. It's all Rose's Lime and other throwbacky potion elements but the Dr. Fong is pure alchemy. Two can comfortably split one container, or it re-freezes into a shareable slush one of the hipster patios would charge a mint for. For some I tend to think this approaches the level of a utility or public service at the moment.
  • Post #6 - December 30th, 2020, 11:31 am
    Post #6 - December 30th, 2020, 11:31 am Post #6 - December 30th, 2020, 11:31 am
    I've passed it many times. Its a stone's throw from my son's house. Will have to try it at some point. I did not like Hala kahiki because it only serves drinks and they are way too sweet for me. The atmosphere was fantastic. So I am game to try it.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #7 - December 31st, 2020, 8:33 am
    Post #7 - December 31st, 2020, 8:33 am Post #7 - December 31st, 2020, 8:33 am
    I've been meaning to re-try this place for probably a decade.
    Last time I went was NYE probably close to 15 years ago, which was BEFORE the current management which I have heard many good things about since they took over.

    That NYe dinner was so abysmal that I wrote a note to the cook on the back of the bill. I used the words "La Choy Can" a few times. It was truly simple slop, covered in sugar. The soup, I recall, was prolly 40 percent cornstarch, 40 percent liquid, 5 percent salt, and 5 percent hoisin.

    Please note, I'm talking about the previous iteration of Chef Shangri-La. I've heard many, many good things about the current management, but in the back of my head, that meal from a long time ago, has influenced my thoughts of trying it again, even tho I too, drive right by it very frequently.

    This'll be one of my new (attainable) NYE resolutions.
    Santander - your cred will take a hit with a bad showing - luckily you have a very good standing. :P
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #8 - December 31st, 2020, 11:58 am
    Post #8 - December 31st, 2020, 11:58 am Post #8 - December 31st, 2020, 11:58 am
    I used to commute south from River Forest on a route that took me right past there. Colleagues said I should try it, but thinking they didn’t know anything about Asian(ish) chow I never dared. I’m now wondering it it’s worth a journey for the experience. I’ve since moved and my normal routes take me nowhere near.

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