LTH Home

Lao You Ju

Lao You Ju
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Lao You Ju

    Post #1 - November 4th, 2010, 11:58 pm
    Post #1 - November 4th, 2010, 11:58 pm Post #1 - November 4th, 2010, 11:58 pm
    It's a somewhat seductive experience listening to after-midnight wedding jazz at a Tony Hu joint. There are also excellent bar peanuts. And ample lighting oddities for taking egregious photographs. The bar is made of radioactive alabaster.

    Image

    And yes, that's my pineapple margarita.

    I was only intending to get a coconut bubble tea and takoyaki to go from Saint's Alp, but it morphed into this when I drove past and saw that not only was the place open, but that Tony's unmistakable silhouette was standing in the building lobby. There was a period of several years where I ate at Lao Sze Chuan weekly, so I parked, ran up, offered my congrats, and sat down two feet away from the bar, since the stools are so high they don't fit under the glowing stone overhang. I nodded to two other patrons eating awkwardly from Chihuly vases at arm-length from the bar surface. The tables were well-populated and the food looked great. An extended scat version of "Cheek to Cheek" purred in the background.

    Tony recommended the Three Kingdoms steamed eggs for something different in flavor and textures from his other restaurants, and that's what's pictured above. I started to adjust the precious Tonyware bowls to different angles, and was immediately corrected ("tastes best this way.") The eggs were perfect for a cold rainy night. They were like a buttery egg custard, resting on top of a hot soup; spooning into each released the topping into the broth, with a seafood preparation on the left, a savory vegetable in the middle (with a citrus-soy spike reminiscent of ponzu), and a very spicy meat topping on the right, similar to his Ma Po pork and chili oil but with a hint of curry. A cute $2 bowl of vegetarian hot and sour soup tasted just like his other spots, except that there was a little pile of nice mushrooms and fresh scallions spooned on top. The ginger-laced bar peanuts and, dare I say it, even the golden pineapple margarita were extremely well-executed.

    This was mostly a liquid meal (and in their soft opening period), but showed promise for more substantial offerings, and calmer and defter hands than during the puzzling startup phases for LSH and LBJ, which they've thankfully cleared. I am impressed by the room and think the designed atmosphere will keep it cool and conversation-friendly. Your check comes in either a lacquer box or a cricket cage. No sign of opium pipes (or paan) for the moment. Santas, please check your red velvet at the door.

    Lao You Ju [Lao Youju, Laoyouju]
    2002 S Wentworth, Chicago
    (312) 225-7818
  • Post #2 - November 5th, 2010, 8:54 am
    Post #2 - November 5th, 2010, 8:54 am Post #2 - November 5th, 2010, 8:54 am
    I'm planning a South Side food crawl (that may or may not involve my Santa costume), and Lao You Ju seems like the perfect way to end. Actually, it was Kevin Pang tweeting the interior design as "equal parts Robuchon and Le Cirque" that got me really excited. I love WTF decor.
  • Post #3 - November 5th, 2010, 9:27 am
    Post #3 - November 5th, 2010, 9:27 am Post #3 - November 5th, 2010, 9:27 am
    happy_stomach wrote:I'm planning a South Side food crawl (that may or may not involve my Santa costume), and Lao You Ju seems like the perfect way to end. Actually, it was Kevin Pang tweeting the interior design as "equal parts Robuchon and Le Cirque" that got me really excited. I love WTF decor.


    This may actually get my parents down to Chinatown.
    For them the room is at least half the experience if not more.
  • Post #4 - November 5th, 2010, 9:52 am
    Post #4 - November 5th, 2010, 9:52 am Post #4 - November 5th, 2010, 9:52 am
    zoid wrote:
    happy_stomach wrote:I'm planning a South Side food crawl (that may or may not involve my Santa costume), and Lao You Ju seems like the perfect way to end. Actually, it was Kevin Pang tweeting the interior design as "equal parts Robuchon and Le Cirque" that got me really excited. I love WTF decor.


    This may actually get my parents down to Chinatown.
    For them the room is at least half the experience if not more.


    It doesn't get more WTF than this.
  • Post #5 - November 5th, 2010, 10:19 am
    Post #5 - November 5th, 2010, 10:19 am Post #5 - November 5th, 2010, 10:19 am
    A few standouts so far have been: Cold radish in chili sauce, the fried rice (both options were very nice with minimal soy), the wild mushrooms (not certain they were wild, believe them to be rehydrated dried shiitakes) with spinach (served cold), the "numbingly hot" fish and the best name I've heard in awhile- "bearded dragon" a kind of Sze Chuan pulled pork meets beef jerky, reminiscent of spicy Japanese dried cuttle fish. There was another egg dish that we much preferred over the above described "royale" style threesome pictured above. Dark (maybe soy and 5 spice), hardboiled and sliced with a moderately spiced pickled chile garnish.

    Give him a few wks to work out the opening kinks and I'm sure everything will be even better.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #6 - November 7th, 2010, 5:37 am
    Post #6 - November 7th, 2010, 5:37 am Post #6 - November 7th, 2010, 5:37 am
    I had heard about this place 2 or 3 months ago
    Glad to here they are open , I think I will wait a few weeks
    To go check it out. (Like jazzfood said)
    But can't wait to go. Maybe on a wed.
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #7 - November 7th, 2010, 7:53 am
    Post #7 - November 7th, 2010, 7:53 am Post #7 - November 7th, 2010, 7:53 am
    I had a spare hour near downtown yesterday, so I popped into Lao Yu Ju for snacks. This place is a trip!

    Image

    Remembering Matt’s note about the bar-stool design problem and trying anyway to reduce the number of chili oil stains in my wardrobe, I figured I could do without the extra distance between my food and my mouth and chose a table. Lucky me. I was the only customer and had the entire very friendly and eager FOH staff-in-training to myself.

    The post-midnight wedding jazz definitely makes this place (scat version of “Should I Stay or Should I Go” when I arrived), but I was unprepared for the dancing lights beamed from above the doorway. Fortunately, Alvin and the Chipmunks, the movie, was showing on the flatscreen television immediately next to the entrance. I prefer dancing squirrels (dressed in track suits, no less) to dancing lights.

    To eat, I ordered the Dragon Beard that Jazzfood described and also the tofu with duck eggs. I liked how, when chewed, the dried beef of the former rendered chili oil. More heat would have been nice.

    Image

    (If the amorous salt and pepper shakers don't put you in the mood, I don't know what will.)

    The tofu with duck eggs was pretty generic--a creamy, yolky stew with diced carrots and peas. I don’t know why they couldn’t update the preparation/plating of this dish to make it as handsome as everything else I saw come out of the kitchen. But I liked how it tasted.

    Short on time and ordering power yesterday, I look forward to returning to Lao Yu Ju. Someone who was maybe the manager gave me a coupon for my next visit. As much as I enjoyed watching Alvin (and part of Kung Fu Panda), I’d like to experience sitting in one of the vampy King Arthur tables in the rear.

    Incidentally, I went from Tony Hu’s Vegas-style digs to the Gold Coast for some Dutch experimental music and video at the Graham Foundation, where the exhibit Las Vegas Studio: Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown is on view. Included are a number of striking photographs from the 1960s and 70s of food-related signs and buildings such as L.A.’s Big Do-Nut Drive-In and Tail o’ the Pup. I highly recommend the exhibit.
  • Post #8 - November 21st, 2010, 10:57 am
    Post #8 - November 21st, 2010, 10:57 am Post #8 - November 21st, 2010, 10:57 am
    Entering Lao You Ju's startlingly ornate space with its cacophony of lights, mirrors, flat screen tvs and posters peppered with Tony Hu's image Calvin Trillin's inverse ambiance theory of Chinese restaurants sprang to mind. After dining thoughts of ornate, overreaching and quickly shuddered Mulan came to mind.

    Admittedly a little harsh, three of us were there last Sunday just weeks after opening, but I am a substance over style kind of fellow and Lao You Ju favors style above all.

    Bar area modern, swank, stylishly high-tech,incommodious .

    Image

    Oversize red velvet chairs, sparkling chandelier, impossibly ornate jade sculptures, install Kevlar panels and Lao You Ju's private room is perfect for the yakuza's next board meeting.

    Image

    Image

    Tried most of the dishes mentioned up thread, nothing popped, with the exception of crunchy gratis peanuts which we used to amp up more than one dish. Even tableside chili oil seemed more white bread than bao.

    Radish Cilantro served in two martini glasses. Limp lifeless chili tinted daikon, pretty presentation, little flavor.

    Radish Cilantro

    Image

    Dragon Beard seemed right up my alley, terrifically textured strings of dried beef that oozed chili oil when squeezed between chopsticks, looked delicious, but no gusto, punch, pop. seemed to have a flavorectomy.

    Dragon Beard

    Image

    Tofu Duck Eggs particularly uninspired, neutral in the extreme monotonous mouth-feel, took the subtle yet vibrant Cantonese framework of balanced mild spice with quality ingredients and rendered it dull.

    Tofu Duck Eggs

    Image

    While no one mentioned World No. 1 Ribs in the thread they have been pitched heavily elsewhere, cool as hell presentation, hard not to smile at a straw sticking out of a marrow bone, but devoid of flavor with no marrow to be found no matter how hard we sucked or how many encouraging "happens to everyone once in a while" we offered. Lifeless scraps of pork rimming the bone, sauce tasting more of kitchen bouquet than abalone.

    'World No. 1 Ribs'

    Image

    Couple of highlights, though only in comparison to the milk-toast meal overall. Lamb Sizzling Plate, a toned down version of La Szechuan's lamb with cumin.

    Lamb Sizzling Plate

    Image

    House Chili Chicken, lite version of Tony's Three Chili Chicken served, oddly, with food service french fries mixed in with the chilies and chicken.

    House Chili Chicken
    Image

    Tony's Prawns, my favorite bite of the night, a mostly faithful rendition of Lao Szechuan's Dry Chili Prawns mixed, once again, with food service crinkle cut fries, presented in an odd awkward bamboo basket. It's entirely possible I am missing the point of the fries, maybe its some hip Shanghai cafe trend Tony picked up on his last trip to China, but to me it seems odd and out of place.

    Tony's Prawns

    Image

    Our sweet, pretty, perfect English professional server Clair, who should be a spokesperson for the Chinese tourism association, kindly bought us dessert. Unfortunately it consisted of still frozen mini cannolis straight from the sysco box, though given a euphemistic name and plated in an attractive fashion. These three dissolute cannoli seemed, oddly, the perfect end cap to our meal.

    Triple Flavor Cake

    Image

    Service attentive, informed, friendly if a little hover prone, though there were only a few people in the restaurant and we were power ordering and asking questions which may be why they focused on us. As an aside, when ordering multiple small plates and entrees piling them up all at once on a smallish table is awkward and not conducive to a relaxing meal.

    Tony Hu is capable of astounding full flavor, Lao Szechuan offers some of my favorite dishes in Chicago, having more confidence in Lao You Ju's clientele would go a long way to bringing bread in line with circus.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - November 21st, 2010, 11:19 am
    Post #9 - November 21st, 2010, 11:19 am Post #9 - November 21st, 2010, 11:19 am
    I wonder if there is something to be said about fancy looking places opening up in Chinatown. Went to LSC for hot pot on Friday night and was talking to one of their managers. Sounds like Lao You Ju is not doing very well. Even he admitted that the food there was "ma ma dey" (aka so-so).

    Speaking of fancy looking places, there is a new restaurant next to LSC that just opened. Renovated to look like a typical mid-high end Hong Kong restaurant, it looks promising...
  • Post #10 - November 23rd, 2010, 8:51 am
    Post #10 - November 23rd, 2010, 8:51 am Post #10 - November 23rd, 2010, 8:51 am
    great pics, cant wait to go 8)
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #11 - November 23rd, 2010, 9:10 am
    Post #11 - November 23rd, 2010, 9:10 am Post #11 - November 23rd, 2010, 9:10 am
    philw wrote:great pics, cant wait to go 8)

    Really?!

    G Wiv wrote:...nothing popped...
    ...Even tableside chili oil seemed more white bread than bao...
    ...Limp lifeless chili tinted daikon, pretty presentation, little flavor...
    ...no gusto, punch, pop. seemed to have a flavorectomy...
    ...particularly uninspired, neutral in the extreme monotonous mouth-feel...
    ...devoid of flavor...Lifeless scraps of pork rimming the bone, sauce tasting more of kitchen bouquet than abalone...
    ...still frozen mini cannolis straight from the sysco box...

    -Dan
  • Post #12 - February 7th, 2011, 6:09 pm
    Post #12 - February 7th, 2011, 6:09 pm Post #12 - February 7th, 2011, 6:09 pm
    I know I am in the minority of folks here who like Lao You Ju, but thats ok. Full bar, cheap drinks, Jim Beam, attractive friendly staff, comfortable half booths, its all good.

    This was my third meal here and Lao You Ju is my 2nd favorite of the newer spots that have opened in Chinatown over the past year or so. Out of these 3 "new" places Go 4 Food is my favorite, then Lao You ju, and then a really distant 3rd is Ming Hin(good bbq items, other items fell flat). Of course LSC, and LTH are still the standard bearer for Chinatown, but I cant eat at the same places time in and tome out, especially when you go to Chinatown as often as I do.

    I like the comfortable dining space of Lao You Ju, and the fact they have a full bar. Last night after Toon's and Glascott's China town and Lao You Ju was a no brainer. Game was on so we could watch the last quarter and a half while feeding a Chinese food jones. We went pretty basic last night but thats ok...2 orders Worlds # 1 Ribs, pork fried rice, 3 happiness dim sum, orange beef tenderloin, & crab rangoons. I am a fan of the bone marrow dish with the straw, different, tasty, etc. Fried rice was solid light with alot of pork shreds, and the crab rangoons are my favorite in the city. Orange beef tenderloin @ $8 this dish is a steal, this is my favorite beef dish in Chinatown, perfectly cooked lean beef, some crunch, some spice, some citrus, great. Dim sum sampler is ok, kind of hard to share, probably got to order 2.

    crab rangoon:

    Image

    Worlds # 1 Rib:

    Image

    pork fried rice:

    Image

    orange beef tendeerloin:

    Image

    I like the experience Tony is trying to provide @ Lao You Ju.
    Last edited by jimswside on February 7th, 2011, 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #13 - February 7th, 2011, 6:26 pm
    Post #13 - February 7th, 2011, 6:26 pm Post #13 - February 7th, 2011, 6:26 pm
    I went there a couple of weeks ago with a friend and had reasonably high hopes for the place. Didn't like it much, but I see where they have an audience. Its food that's about 2/3 as good as Lao Sze Chuan with a more comfortable and uncrowded setting. For folks who want a slightly upscale experience and decent Chinese food, it serves its purpose.

    It was maybe 1/4 full when we were there with the wait staff standing around, talking to each other, seemingly bored.
  • Post #14 - February 9th, 2011, 5:06 pm
    Post #14 - February 9th, 2011, 5:06 pm Post #14 - February 9th, 2011, 5:06 pm
    jimswside wrote:
    orange beef tendeerloin:


    I LOVE beef and venison combo's! :twisted:
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #15 - February 9th, 2011, 5:56 pm
    Post #15 - February 9th, 2011, 5:56 pm Post #15 - February 9th, 2011, 5:56 pm
    Kman wrote:
    jimswside wrote:
    orange beef tendeerloin:


    I LOVE beef and venison combo's! :twisted:


    :lol:

    darn spelling problem...
  • Post #16 - July 8th, 2011, 1:34 am
    Post #16 - July 8th, 2011, 1:34 am Post #16 - July 8th, 2011, 1:34 am
    I've been to Lao You Ju a few times now and I'm really starting to like the place a lot. I'm with jimswside on this one being on the top of my chinatown list. Perhaps it's improved over time, or maybe I've since learned how to pick the menu items.

    First off, and surprisingly, Lao You Ju goes a lot more aggressive on the szechuan peppercorns than Lao Szechuan does. Sadly, I've yet to have an adequate MaPo Tofu at LSC, however I've never had a bad one at LYJ! Very aggressive on the spice and szechuan peppercorns. One of my favorite dishes from my last meal was the numbingly spicy fish, which I think is the same one that Jazzfood mentioned. Of the dishes with a modern "twist" i was impressed with what i think was called crispy tofu, though i don't remember the exact name. It was basically dry chili chicken, but with breaded and fried tofu cubes instead of the chicken. While it wasn't as hearty a meal as tony's dry chili chicken, it would make a great bar snack food.

    A lot of work went into the decor and service in the place, both of which I find a nice change of pace when I'm in the mood for that atmosphere. It's not easy to find such a cozy bar/restaurant with this quality of food, being open until 2am is pretty awesome as well. Neither the prices nor the portions suffer from the upgrade in atmosphere. The menu is now a huge book with colorful pictures (i think this is new). Every dish is pictured, which is good when you're wondering if you're ordering a small plate or a huge dish (and they are huge). I like the fact that the menu is extensive enough to include those up scale small plates and also the standard szechuan dishes when you're really hungry.

    I'd highly recommend giving the place a 2nd chance, or 1st chance if you're on the fence about it after reading the mediocre reviews. I feel VERY fortunate to have a place like this in Chicago, I have friends from other cities who I've taken here and they'd kill to have a place like this where they live.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #17 - July 19th, 2011, 1:56 am
    Post #17 - July 19th, 2011, 1:56 am Post #17 - July 19th, 2011, 1:56 am
    laikom wrote:I've been to Lao You Ju a few times now and I'm really starting to like the place a lot.
    .....
    First off, and surprisingly, Lao You Ju goes a lot more aggressive on the szechuan peppercorns than Lao Szechuan does.
    ...
    I'd highly recommend giving the place a 2nd chance, or 1st chance if you're on the fence about it after reading the mediocre reviews. I feel VERY fortunate to have a place like this in Chicago, I have friends from other cities who I've taken here and they'd kill to have a place like this where they live.


    This place has a Groupon today...

    http://www.groupon.com/r/uu8217324

    I still havent been to LYJ (went to LSC tonight again).. but your line about "lot more aggressive on the szechuan peppercorns than LSC" has convinced me to invest in the Groupon and give this place a 1st chance! A full-bar with spicy Szechuan food would be good to have as well (I'll be going here instead of LSC or Double Li on one of the Chinatown trips, presumably, so its going to have high standards to live up to!)

    c8w
  • Post #18 - July 19th, 2011, 2:06 am
    Post #18 - July 19th, 2011, 2:06 am Post #18 - July 19th, 2011, 2:06 am
    c8w wrote:
    laikom wrote:I've been to Lao You Ju a few times now and I'm really starting to like the place a lot.
    .....
    First off, and surprisingly, Lao You Ju goes a lot more aggressive on the szechuan peppercorns than Lao Szechuan does.
    ...
    I'd highly recommend giving the place a 2nd chance, or 1st chance if you're on the fence about it after reading the mediocre reviews. I feel VERY fortunate to have a place like this in Chicago, I have friends from other cities who I've taken here and they'd kill to have a place like this where they live.


    This place has a Groupon today...

    http://www.groupon.com/r/uu8217324

    I still havent been to LYJ (went to LSC tonight again).. but your line about "lot more aggressive on the szechuan peppercorns than LSC" has convinced me to invest in the Groupon and give this place a 1st chance! A full-bar with spicy Szechuan food would be good to have as well (I'll be going here instead of LSC or Double Li on one of the Chinatown trips, presumably, so its going to have high standards to live up to!)

    c8w


    Oh no, the pressure! Hope it lives up to my praise, i guess a "lot more aggressive" is a pretty bold statement. Suffice it to say that most stuff was noticeably more aggressive, the mapo tofu was a lot more... :)
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #19 - November 1st, 2011, 11:02 pm
    Post #19 - November 1st, 2011, 11:02 pm Post #19 - November 1st, 2011, 11:02 pm
    My most recent trip was a bit hit or miss. While I still love the place, some of the dishes let me down tonight. The numbingly spicy fish was not so spicy or numbing, though if i weren't expecting it i'd still have thought it was flavorful and delicious, just not spicy enough. The dry chili prawns were quite dried out. The eggplant (chengdu style) was more bland than my past experiences. In LYJ's defense, it was the last day of a living social deal, so the place was packed.

    As a group we ordered 6 dishes and only 3 were disappointing, and only slightly so, so it wasn't a total miss. As far as the service goes, still top notch and attentive. Atmosphere can't be beat! Just love those velvet lined walls and chandeliers. I'll definitely be back to give it another shot.

    Having had hit and miss spicy/szechuan peppercorn numbing levels at lao szechuan, I'm starting to think consistency is not the lao franchise strong point.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #20 - January 14th, 2012, 1:17 pm
    Post #20 - January 14th, 2012, 1:17 pm Post #20 - January 14th, 2012, 1:17 pm
    My first visit to Lao You Ju was last weekend and overall it was a pretty positive experience. It was probably my first visit to Chinatown where I became confused about where I was dining - Ben Pao? I liked the more upscale decor and found it a nice change of pace from my usual area haunts.

    We had a large group and tried so many dishes I can hardly recall them all, and I think I'm missing some. Some items really stood out as excellent. Surprisingly for me, the vegetable fried rice was one of those dishes - just the right amount of grease and excellent flavor - so good that I'm fairly confident that fried rice would be my first "must" on a return visit to LYJ. Also very much to my liking was the beef tenderloin in hot wok Hunan style - this delivered some of the oily hot heat seen at Lao Hunan and great flavor. I also quite liked the stir-fried leek and dry bean curd and the Szechuan string beans, the latter reminding me of the string beans at Lao Hunan and Lao Szechuan.

    Some dishes were fine, but didn't excite me too much. In this category, the eggplant dish we ordered (not sure if it was Chengdu or Peking-style) skewed a bit too sweet for me, although it was a pretty big hit with my group. Perhaps just a tad less successful was the orange chicken, but this is a dish I almost never like because I typically find it far too sweet, and it was too sweet here. Fried buns with condensed milk sauce were fine and as simple as described, but something I'd skip unless you want a quick and easy dessert. Cumin beef skewers delivered a bit mild of a cumin punch and were a tad dry, but flavorful enough.

    The only real miss for me was the House Special crispy fried tofu. This is similar to the dry chili dishes typically seen at Tony Hu's restaurants, but I learned that it just didn't work at all with tofu - spicy yes, but lacking in flavor.

    My dining group included a few vegetarians and a couple of others who don't like seafood, so there were a number of interesting-sounding dishes on the menu that I did not get to try. But I would really like to return and sample a bit more of the menu. I did enjoy my lychee martini . . . I love lychees. And service was terrific, particularly our very charming waitress, who has been in the United States for just two years and spoke remarkably good English.
  • Post #21 - January 30th, 2012, 7:59 am
    Post #21 - January 30th, 2012, 7:59 am Post #21 - January 30th, 2012, 7:59 am
    Has anybody figured out the french fry thing yet? We tried getting into Lao Sze Chuan yesterday, to no avail (completely spaced the fact that there was a new year celebration), but we got right in to Lao You Ju. We were in the mood for the chili chicken, which we ordered along with the prawns. Fries in both - it was really odd and the food wasn't nearly as good as at LSC. From a heat level, neither dish brought it the way LSC does.

    We also thought the service was terrible (although LSC wasn't really much better in my visits there), even though Tony was standing around (well dressed and smiling).

    I'd come back if I couldn't get into any other Lao joint, I suppose...
  • Post #22 - January 30th, 2012, 1:00 pm
    Post #22 - January 30th, 2012, 1:00 pm Post #22 - January 30th, 2012, 1:00 pm
    Has anyone tried number 007, Stir Fried Duck Tough with American Salary yet?

    Image
  • Post #23 - January 30th, 2012, 1:04 pm
    Post #23 - January 30th, 2012, 1:04 pm Post #23 - January 30th, 2012, 1:04 pm
    I asked once: duck (edit clarified by call: tongue) stir-fried again with celery and dried flowers, sounded like a dish Ben Li also makes. It should be subject to the real dishes, while the pictures... ;)
  • Post #24 - February 10th, 2012, 11:20 pm
    Post #24 - February 10th, 2012, 11:20 pm Post #24 - February 10th, 2012, 11:20 pm
    First complete success at LYJ this week, and all because Lao Hunan wasn't seating after 9 PM that night (carryout until 10, though!). We ordered somewhat cautiously since it was late and the place was empty, but when the first round came out piping hot and perfectly spiced - ma po tofu, hot and sour soup, dry chili chicken hot plate (with obligatory french fries) - we went back for orange beef tenderloin, excellent rainbow fish fried into a sculpture of little strips with a sweet citrus sauce, twice cooked pork belly, and Korean noodles. If the plates are slightly less heaping than the other spots in Imperial Hu, the prices are still fine here, and the right chef was there.

    Service was eccentric but obliging, and at least not garbed in a Zhongshan suit and cap. Soundtrack this round: Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Tony Bennett.
  • Post #25 - March 9th, 2013, 3:36 pm
    Post #25 - March 9th, 2013, 3:36 pm Post #25 - March 9th, 2013, 3:36 pm
    I'm a bit surprised on the mixed feelings on this place. I've had a few meals here and have thoroughly enjoyed everything. I also think there are some unique dishes here that are really quite good like the golden crispy corn that is perfectly fried kernels of corn (think salt and pepper corn) or the chicken with chestnut in red wine sauce.
  • Post #26 - March 10th, 2013, 5:58 pm
    Post #26 - March 10th, 2013, 5:58 pm Post #26 - March 10th, 2013, 5:58 pm
    fropones wrote:I'm a bit surprised on the mixed feelings on this place.

    One of my favorites in Chinatown. I much prefer it to the craziness (and inconsistency) of LSC.
  • Post #27 - March 10th, 2013, 7:02 pm
    Post #27 - March 10th, 2013, 7:02 pm Post #27 - March 10th, 2013, 7:02 pm
    Having been back a few times since last report, I have to agree with the above praise. The menu seems more exiting with many treasures yet undiscovered. With the addition of the stellar Dim Sum menu, LYJ is easily becoming my favorite Tony Hu restaurant. Call me crazy, but I still love the gaudy decor. I can't wait to book the throne room for an event someday.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #28 - November 8th, 2015, 7:55 pm
    Post #28 - November 8th, 2015, 7:55 pm Post #28 - November 8th, 2015, 7:55 pm
    Under new ownership. Tony sold it a couple months ago (heard an interesting theory why, but conjecture only, so won't repeat here). Was there today for dim sum and there were subtle differences in the menu and in the taste of some of the food (although I was assured it's still the same chef). A couple interesting new items (a version of shui mai wrapped w/seaweed and stuffed w/I believe, fake crab, and a small egg washed flat dumpling that was quite nice.) A noodle dish I usually order to supplement the 15 other dishes I order (for 3 pp) was a bit bland compared to memory. The pastry wrapped items still are well above any others I've had in town. The entrance is back to the old one, in the lobby of the building, and had a different name on the window written on a piece of paper. All in all, a little disconcerting.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more