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Double Li - Szechuan cuisine across from LTH [closed]

Double Li - Szechuan cuisine across from LTH [closed]
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  • Post #121 - September 20th, 2008, 10:21 am
    Post #121 - September 20th, 2008, 10:21 am Post #121 - September 20th, 2008, 10:21 am
    I checked out Double Li for lunch one day last week, I quite enjoyed it. We had the dumplings, black pepper beef and the peapod leaves. Stellar all around. I definitely plan on going back sooner rather than later.
    trpt2345
  • Post #122 - February 7th, 2009, 9:15 am
    Post #122 - February 7th, 2009, 9:15 am Post #122 - February 7th, 2009, 9:15 am
    Husband and I tried Double Li for the first time last night. There were only a few tables filled around 8:00, and we were the only non-Chinese. It's always hard to order at a new place with only two--but we tried. I couldn't remember the details of this thread--Double Li was a last minute decision--but we had the black pepper garlic beef and the chili chicken. We also ordered hot and sour soup and the scallion pancakes. The soup was good, but not a great version, and the pancakes I found a bit greasy and heavy. But the two meat dishes were excellent. I especially loved the beef. When we saw the plates I assumed we couldn't finish all, but we did! Service was good and surroundings pleasant in a low-key, Chinatown way. There are a few watercolors on the wall that are quite nice. Thanks to LTH, another restaurant added to our repertoire.
  • Post #123 - February 7th, 2009, 11:31 am
    Post #123 - February 7th, 2009, 11:31 am Post #123 - February 7th, 2009, 11:31 am
    While I have had some good meals here the dry chili chicken I had here Thursday for lunch was not included among them.

    Well worth a try though as they are very good when on.
  • Post #124 - February 7th, 2009, 11:15 pm
    Post #124 - February 7th, 2009, 11:15 pm Post #124 - February 7th, 2009, 11:15 pm
    We went there this afternoon, and tried several things.

    The black pepper garlic beef tenderloin is fantastic.

    The dry chili chicken was fair. I don't really see this dish as a standout.

    The poket tofu was very good.

    The fish in szechuan chili sauce was the star of the day. Great portion size, cool numbing sensation of the peppercorns, tender fish, spicy sauce.

    I really like that Ben Li is quick to recommend things.
  • Post #125 - May 20th, 2009, 2:26 pm
    Post #125 - May 20th, 2009, 2:26 pm Post #125 - May 20th, 2009, 2:26 pm
    I enjoyed our lunch at Double Li very much today - very fresh, high quality food, with the vegetables snapping and the oil and peppercorns heating things up. The pork belly and shredded duck with stir-fried vegetables were particularly succulent, and the garlic black pepper beef tenderloin way over the top as usual. Nice to see Ben himself there at lunchtime, and he was a characteristically good host.
  • Post #126 - May 20th, 2009, 6:09 pm
    Post #126 - May 20th, 2009, 6:09 pm Post #126 - May 20th, 2009, 6:09 pm
    glennpan wrote:I really like that Ben Li is quick to recommend things.


    I agree - it was refreshing to have someone walk us through the menu without talking down or implying we wouldn't like something. I really, really enjoyed the beef - I'll have to bring my brother next time he's in town and see how he thinks it compares to Tony's dry chili beef. I noticed on the menu there's a lot of "pork elbow" and also pork ears - definitely need to go back and find out what that's about.
  • Post #127 - June 26th, 2009, 1:39 pm
    Post #127 - June 26th, 2009, 1:39 pm Post #127 - June 26th, 2009, 1:39 pm
    My friends who originally turned me on to Double Li arranged a special meal for us earlier this week and it was great. I don't think setting up such a meal requires anything other than a willingness and a modest ability to speak Chinese. Happily, my friend Steffi does speak Chinese and she's a big fan of Double Li. With just a couple days notice, Mr. Li turned around one of the most exotic meals I've had in a long time. I really don't know many of the details about the preparations but the meal was heavy on seafood and pretty darned fiery. Maybe a few of the folks with whom I shared the meal will chime with their takes, and some additional details. What follows here are some pictures (I apologize for their quality -- this is a particularly tough place to shoot without a flash) and some very brief descriptions of what we ate . . .

    Image
    Beef Tendon
    Thinly sliced, in chile oil.


    Image
    Mouthwatering Chicken
    Cold preparation of tender chicken on the bone in a vinegar-spiked, oily sauce.


    Image
    Lobster
    Really nice; with ginger, chiles and other assorted goodies


    Image
    Crab
    Fried?


    Image
    Sea Cucumber
    A little slippery but still delicious, crunchy sprouts in a savory sauce.


    Image
    Fried Oyster
    Light and oystery.


    Image
    Eel
    Supremely fresh. Mr. Li told us this eel was alive on the morning of our meal.


    Image
    Clams in fermented black beans
    Wonderfully deep flavors.


    Image
    Peapod Greens with Garlic


    Image
    Yellow Chives with Roasted Duck
    We were told these yellow chives are rare. I loved them, especially in combination with the duck.


    Image
    Duck Tongue
    Intensely ducky flavor, like duck concentrate.


    Image
    Lamb with Cumin
    Loved the heady aroma of this dish.


    Image
    Dry-Chile Chicken
    Satisfying crunch, tender inside, nice heat.


    Image
    Garlic & Black Pepper Beef (extra garlic and pepper)
    I loved this dish, which I'd never had before with the extra 'sauce' on top.


    Image
    Frog in Szechuan Peppercorns and Chiles
    Mouth-numbingly hot and deeply flavored. Addictive.


    Image
    Rice Balls stuffed with Sesame Paste in Sweet Wine Broth
    Light balls of glutonous rice stuffed with sweet sesame paste.

    This was a truly enjoyable, memorable and fun meal. I loved the heavy emphasis on seafood and ingredients I don't come across with great frequency. The balanced but intense heat in many of the courses provided quite a rush. This meal was quite unique but ordering from the menu can be just as satisfying. The byo aspect is a nice aspect, too. I just don't get to Double Li as often as I like but everytime I do, I enjoy it.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #128 - June 26th, 2009, 7:47 pm
    Post #128 - June 26th, 2009, 7:47 pm Post #128 - June 26th, 2009, 7:47 pm
    Ronnie... you are killing me here... right after I move to CT you post this!?! I'm going to have to trek down to to the CT outpost of LTH for sure next week (probably before I even finish unpacking.. all about priorities :wink: )

    One thing, Beef tendon is not synonymous with maw which is stomach (typically the outer portion as opposed to the lining [aka: tripe]). LSC does the dish with both tendon and maw but this looks like just tendon.
  • Post #129 - June 26th, 2009, 11:05 pm
    Post #129 - June 26th, 2009, 11:05 pm Post #129 - June 26th, 2009, 11:05 pm
    Stagger wrote:One thing, Beef tendon is not synonymous with maw which is stomach (typically the outer portion as opposed to the lining [aka: tripe]). LSC does the dish with both tendon and maw but this looks like just tendon.

    Yes, you're right. And someone in our group probably called it tendon, but I heard "tender" instead, which is what I wrote above. I've gone back and corrected it.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #130 - November 27th, 2009, 9:36 am
    Post #130 - November 27th, 2009, 9:36 am Post #130 - November 27th, 2009, 9:36 am
    very informative thread, looking forward to a vist today, I beleive I read they are BYOB, is that correct?

    also are they open for lunch?

    thanks for any help.
  • Post #131 - November 27th, 2009, 9:44 am
    Post #131 - November 27th, 2009, 9:44 am Post #131 - November 27th, 2009, 9:44 am
    jimswside wrote:I read they are BYOB, is that correct?

    also are they open for lunch?

    Yes and yes.
  • Post #132 - December 3rd, 2009, 8:07 am
    Post #132 - December 3rd, 2009, 8:07 am Post #132 - December 3rd, 2009, 8:07 am
    Unfortunately went with plan "b" this past Friday, and didnt get down to Double Li, however I had such a good time at last years x-mas eve event @ Lao Szechuan that I have stolen this idea, and am making "Chinatown on x-mas eve" a family tradition.

    Made a reservation last night for Double Li for x-mas eve, and because of this thread asked Ben to have a dungeness crab on hand for the deep fried version pictured here. I cant wait.


    ronnie_suburban wrote:Image
  • Post #133 - December 18th, 2009, 10:07 am
    Post #133 - December 18th, 2009, 10:07 am Post #133 - December 18th, 2009, 10:07 am
    Really looking forward to my x-mas eve meal here(3 adults & 1 toddler). Just looking for feedback on a few dishes if possible.

    definite items:

    - Preordered a Dungeness crab in preserved egg yolk
    - Black Pepper garlic beef tenderloin
    - some sort of fried rice for our toddler

    Other possibilities:

    - Twice cooked pork(almost a definite)
    - Crispy garlic egg plant
    - clams in fermented black beans
    - a noodle dish rec if there is one
    - a dumpling rec if there is one(perhaps a non spicy one for another non spicy option)


    Any thoughts on the last (3) dishes, or anything I might want to try?
  • Post #134 - December 18th, 2009, 10:40 am
    Post #134 - December 18th, 2009, 10:40 am Post #134 - December 18th, 2009, 10:40 am
    The last time i had the twice-cooked pork, it was pretty mediocre, sadly. It's easily one of my favorite Chinese dishes, and I've had spot-on versions there, so it might have been a one-off. This was perhaps two months ago, on a Friday evening during normal dinner hours.

    Crispy garlic eggplant should be fine there.

    I've had the spicy Sichuan-style dumplings, but those might not suffice for a toddler, as they're loaded with chili oil.

    One of my favorite dishes is called dou hua niu, or beef with tofu--"bean flower beef," literally--that's a very spicy, mala dish with a potent protein punch. Think LSC's boiled beef, but with silky-sweet tofu instead of bland ol' bai cai.

    Also, don't hesitate to ask them to describe the Chinese specials. I had a good rabbit dish there not too long ago.

    Their chili chicken is probably the best I've had in Chicago, and not that spicy, despite the name.
  • Post #135 - December 18th, 2009, 10:43 am
    Post #135 - December 18th, 2009, 10:43 am Post #135 - December 18th, 2009, 10:43 am
    mtgl wrote:The last time i had the twice-cooked pork, it was pretty mediocre, sadly. It's easily one of my favorite Chinese dishes, and I've had spot-on versions there, so it might have been a one-off. This was perhaps two months ago, on a Friday evening during normal dinner hours.

    Crispy garlic eggplant should be fine there.

    I've had the spicy Sichuan-style dumplings, but those might not suffice for a toddler, as they're loaded with chili oil.

    One of my favorite dishes is called dou hua niu, or beef with tofu--"bean flower beef," literally--that's a very spicy, mala dish with a potent protein punch. Think LSC's boiled beef, but with silky-sweet tofu instead of bland ol' bai cai.

    Also, don't hesitate to ask them to describe the Chinese specials. I had a good rabbit dish there not too long ago.

    Their chili chicken is probably the best I've had in Chicago, and not that spicy, despite the name.


    good info thanks, the "bean flower beef" might be a good step into the tofu world for me.
  • Post #136 - December 18th, 2009, 1:31 pm
    Post #136 - December 18th, 2009, 1:31 pm Post #136 - December 18th, 2009, 1:31 pm
    jimswside wrote:Really looking forward to my x-mas eve meal here(3 adults & 1 toddler). Just looking for feedback on a few dishes if possible.

    definite items:

    - Preordered a Dungeness crab in preserved egg yolk
    - Black Pepper garlic beef tenderloin
    - some sort of fried rice for our toddler

    Other possibilities:

    - Twice cooked pork(almost a definite)
    - Crispy garlic egg plant
    - clams in fermented black beans
    - a noodle dish rec if there is one
    - a dumpling rec if there is one(perhaps a non spicy one for another non spicy option)


    Any thoughts on the last (3) dishes, or anything I might want to try?


    Sounds like a good list already. I would second the dry chili chicken. Dont forget the tofu. I would suggest either the pocket tofu (not spicy) of the mapo tofu (spicy). Oh and the pea pod leaves are always good greens to round out the vegetables.

    I preferrer the home made bacon over the twice cooked pork. We have tried the dan dan noodles, and found it quite it tasty. They may have more noodles on the menu, but we have not tried it (read: I was not allowed to order it).
  • Post #137 - December 18th, 2009, 1:43 pm
    Post #137 - December 18th, 2009, 1:43 pm Post #137 - December 18th, 2009, 1:43 pm
    yellow truffle wrote: They may have more noodles on the menu, but we have not tried it (read: I was not allowed to order it).


    ha..ha... sounds like what happened to me @ last years x-mas eve dinner @ Lao Szechuan.. :D thats why this year we are doing our own thing.

    thanks for the tips, and rec's
  • Post #138 - December 18th, 2009, 3:09 pm
    Post #138 - December 18th, 2009, 3:09 pm Post #138 - December 18th, 2009, 3:09 pm
    Jim,

    Ask Ben for recommendations when you are there, he isn't bashful.

    I really love the Fish in the Chile oil with szechuan peppercorns. Very spicy and a great dish.

    I wasn't as impressed with the dry chile chicken, which LSC does better.

    Glenn
  • Post #139 - December 18th, 2009, 3:23 pm
    Post #139 - December 18th, 2009, 3:23 pm Post #139 - December 18th, 2009, 3:23 pm
    glennpan wrote:Jim,

    Ask Ben for recommendations when you are there, he isn't bashful.

    I really love the Fish in the Chile oil with szechuan peppercorns. Very spicy and a great dish.

    I wasn't as impressed with the dry chile chicken, which LSC does better.

    Glenn



    thanks glen,

    I talked with Ben when I made my reservation, and reserved the crab, I will get his rec's for sure.
  • Post #140 - December 25th, 2009, 4:36 pm
    Post #140 - December 25th, 2009, 4:36 pm Post #140 - December 25th, 2009, 4:36 pm
    Had a great X-mas eve meal @ Double Li last night. I hijacked the xmas eve in chinatown theme for my family after attending last years LTH version. Got to order what we wanted, and had a blast with my wife, our daughter, and my mom.

    Crab Rangoons to start, nice version, creamy,and rich, a nice start to dinner. Quickly followed by Dan Dan Noodles from the Dim Sum menu. Nice noodles in a rich spicy broth. Soon after the shrimp fried rice came out, a solid version and an item to keep the ameri-chinese folks @ the table happy. Garlic Black pepper tenderloin is a nice dish, tender beef, poppin with garlic. Dishes came out quick after that. Dry chili soft shell crab.. brilliant.. then the Dungeness crab in preserved egg yolk, even more brilliant. The homemade bacon was really good, and has convinced me to do bacon at home. Overall about $80 before tip. BYOB is great, enjoyed Blue Moon with my supper, and had a great visit. Ben came out and payed a visit to our table, and was a great host. Great place, we will be back for sure.

    Crab Rangoon:

    Image

    Dan Dan noodles:

    Image

    Shrimp Fried Rice:

    Image

    Dry Chili soft shell crab(smoking hot, crunchy, and a great dish):

    Image

    Garlic black pepper beef:

    Image

    Crab in preserved egg yolk(one of the best things I have eaten in a while, great flavor, great texture, and a freshly killed crab):

    Image

    Image

    homemade bacon:

    Image

    brilliant xmas eve meal. Ive got a new favorite restaurant in Chinatown.
    Last edited by jimswside on December 26th, 2009, 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #141 - December 25th, 2009, 9:36 pm
    Post #141 - December 25th, 2009, 9:36 pm Post #141 - December 25th, 2009, 9:36 pm
    Got a take out order from here last night. Sichuan dumplings, shredded duck twice cooked, lamb with cumin, and ma po tofu. Very tasty on all counts. My only ( minor) quibble is that I was expecting the food to actually be spicier than it was. If I go back before I leave town, I'll be sure to ask for it very spicy.
  • Post #142 - December 26th, 2009, 9:48 am
    Post #142 - December 26th, 2009, 9:48 am Post #142 - December 26th, 2009, 9:48 am
    jimswside wrote:Had a great X-mas eve meal @ Double Li last night.
    We must have just missed you. We made it over to Double Li around 8pm for our Christmas Eve dinner and had a fantastic meal.

    This was my first visit to Double Li and certainly won't be my last. With only two of us, we had limited ordering power, but got the Black Pepper Garlic Beef, Peapods with Garlic, Lamb with Cumin in Hotpot Sauce, and an order of the Sichuan Dumplings. Can't say anything about these beyond what's been said in the thread, but everything was fantastic and it definitely mad me want to get back and explore more of the menu.

    The waitstaff (AFAICT, only two strong) seemed spread a bit thin with a full house, but were extremely hospitable.

    -Dan
  • Post #143 - December 26th, 2009, 10:17 am
    Post #143 - December 26th, 2009, 10:17 am Post #143 - December 26th, 2009, 10:17 am
    dansch wrote:
    jimswside wrote:Had a great X-mas eve meal @ Double Li last night.
    We must have just missed you. We made it over to Double Li around 8pm for our Christmas Eve dinner and had a fantastic meal.

    This was my first visit to Double Li and certainly won't be my last. With only two of us, we had limited ordering power, but got the Black Pepper Garlic Beef, Peapods with Garlic, Lamb with Cumin in Hotpot Sauce, and an order of the Sichuan Dumplings. Can't say anything about these beyond what's been said in the thread, but everything was fantastic and it definitely mad me want to get back and explore more of the menu.

    -Dan


    we must have just missed you, we left after 7:00, and bumped up or 6:00 reservation to a little after 5:00. The lamb was on my short list, but the spice level wuldnt have worked with my companions.
  • Post #144 - December 26th, 2009, 2:54 pm
    Post #144 - December 26th, 2009, 2:54 pm Post #144 - December 26th, 2009, 2:54 pm
    jimswside wrote:The lamb was on my short list, but the spice level wuldnt have worked with my companions.
    That lamb was hot. I feel like I have decent, though certainly not crazy, spice tolerance and it was at my edge. The kind of heat that requires you to slow down, intersperse bites of other dishes, have an occasional mouthful of just rice. My dining companion and I agreed that it was a fantastic dish, but definitely one that might make sense to order to share amongst a large group.

    -Dan
  • Post #145 - December 28th, 2009, 10:00 am
    Post #145 - December 28th, 2009, 10:00 am Post #145 - December 28th, 2009, 10:00 am
    jimswside wrote:...
    Crab Rangoons to start, nice version, creamy,and rich, a nice start to dinner. Quickly followed by Dan Dan Noodles from the Dim Sum menu. Nice noodles in a rich spicy broth. Soon after the shrimp fried rice came out, a solid version and an item to keep the ameri-chinese folks @ the table happy. Garlic Black pepper tenderloin is a nice dish, tender beef, poppin with garlic. Dishes came out quick after that. Dry chili soft shell crab.. brilliant.. then the Dungeness crab in preserved egg yolk, even more brilliant. The homemade bacon was really good, and has convinced me to do bacon at home. Overall about $80 before tip. BYOB is great, enjoyed Blue Moon with my supper, and had a great visit. Ben came out and payed a visit to our table, and was a great host. Great place, we will be back for sure.
    ...

    Having been to DL numerous times, and not being allowed to order anything non-traditional Chinese (but really wanting to), I am not surprised that the crab rangoon was tasty. Mr. Li is a pretty versatile chef. We have asked for things that are not on the menu and all of them have been really good. Glad you enjoyed.
  • Post #146 - December 28th, 2009, 10:07 am
    Post #146 - December 28th, 2009, 10:07 am Post #146 - December 28th, 2009, 10:07 am
    yellow truffle wrote:Having been to DL numerous times, and not being allowed to order anything non-traditional Chinese (but really wanting to), I am not surprised that the crab rangoon was tasty. Mr. Li is a pretty versatile chef. We have asked for things that are not on the menu and all of them have been really good. Glad you enjoyed.


    I probably wouldnt have ordered them if I wasnt with my mom, and didnt have a toddler in tow. I needed to balance out the spicy dishes with something everyone would enjoy. I am glad we ordered them in hindsight. The weakest dish of the night was the fried rice, and it was still ok.

    The Dungeness crab in preserved eggyolk was really good Saturday morning for breakfast, cold from the fridge with some bb ribs,

    I enjoyed my first visit to Double Li as much if not more than any of the meals I have had @ Lao Sze Chuan.
  • Post #147 - December 30th, 2009, 1:00 pm
    Post #147 - December 30th, 2009, 1:00 pm Post #147 - December 30th, 2009, 1:00 pm
    Will visiting Double Li for the first time ( :oops: ) tonight. There are the obvious definites on our must-eat list (Black Pepper Garlic Steak, Peapods, Bearclaw Tofu, Fish in Chili), but aside from the Peapods, it seems there are very few exceptional veggie offerings (I mention this out of concern for the out-of-town ladies in the group, who for some reason may rebel at the thought of a mostly-protein dinner).

    Eager.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #148 - December 30th, 2009, 1:25 pm
    Post #148 - December 30th, 2009, 1:25 pm Post #148 - December 30th, 2009, 1:25 pm
    Their dry-fried, or szechuan string beans are every bit as good as the same dish at LSC. If you don't mind slimy, they do a couple renditions of Chinese okra (si gua) or bitter melon. Just ask for possible preparations.
  • Post #149 - December 30th, 2009, 1:49 pm
    Post #149 - December 30th, 2009, 1:49 pm Post #149 - December 30th, 2009, 1:49 pm
    I recall most of the vegetable dishes that we order have some form of meat (usually pork) in it.

    Regarding the "bearclaw tofu," if you are referring to what Ron mentioned in the post earlier (with photo), it is actually called "pocket tofu." BTW, this has chicken in it (purée'd into the tofu).

    And don't forget the dry chili chicken.
  • Post #150 - December 30th, 2009, 2:02 pm
    Post #150 - December 30th, 2009, 2:02 pm Post #150 - December 30th, 2009, 2:02 pm
    yellow truffle wrote:Regarding the "bearclaw tofu," if you are referring to what Ron mentioned in the post earlier (with photo), it is actually called "pocket tofu." BTW, this has chicken in it (purée'd into the tofu).


    Thanks for figuring out what I meant. :D

    What's odd is that the pocket tofu looks like a bearclaw (or paw) and the bearclaw tofu looks like a pocket. Unless by "claw" is meant the actual razor sharp nail on the ursine paw, in which case the triangular shape makes more sense.

    At any rate, I guess I'm going for the pocket, as it looks more tasty and I'm intrigued by the mixed-in chicken.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins

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