At Asian Outpost, Taste the Lee Family Recipes

The co-owners of Hot Woks Cool Sushi plan to serve rustic Asian food in a new restaurant open this summer.

Photograph: Courtesy of Lois Lee

With four locations of Hot Woks Cool Sushi now simmering along (or keeping cool) around Chicago, the restaurateurs David and Lois Lee have set their sights on a new project.

Asian Outpost (1315 S. Wabash Ave., no phone yet), a rustic Asian mid-priced spot with between 90 and 100 seats, is scheduled to open midsummer on the elevated first floor of the space that housed the short-lived barbecue joint Ole Hardwood (which closed after a fire in December 2010) and Exposure Tapas Supper Club before that.

Lois Lee says rustic Asian—not two words you see together often—means dishes such as a soy-braised black chicken. “Part of it is like the recipes our parents had, and part is what David and I do at parties,” she says. Creative maki created by the chef behind the namesake cool sushi, Pheeraphat Phisuthiarpha, will also be available.

Curious that “rustic,” popular as it is, hasn’t been paired with “Asian” much. If Asian Outpost takes off as Hot Woks Cool Sushi did, maybe “rustic Asian” will sound like more than just a mishearing of “rustication.”

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