An Invention at Si Fu Chino Latino Kitchen: Fast-Casual Asian-Latin Fusion Food

Find common ground between the cuisines (beyond cilantro) on a Chipotle-style menu.

Interior at Si Fu Chino Latino Kitchen   Photo: Courtesy Si Fu Chino Latino Kitchen

Appropriately for a restaurant uniting two disparate cuisines, Si Fu Chino Latino Kitchen (2116 W. Roscoe St., 773-880-9144) was born from two separate restaurateur parents. Marc Wuenschel, a former Bar Louie executive, owns Hutch in Lake View, and Le Hien owns the lotus-blossoming Banh Mi & Co.

“Both of us cook,” Wuenschel says. “He does the Asian side, and I do the Latino side. My mom is Hispanic.” The menu at the fast-casual spot operates by Chipotle-esque combinatorics. Customers select an item such as tacos, stir-fry, soup, salad, or burritos. Next, they choose from a list of proteins, including lemongrass chicken, Mongolian beef, and carnitas. Last, they opt for the Chino or Latino preparation—for example, the Chino stir-fry adds pickled daikon, carrots, cilantro, cucumber, jalapeños, and kimchi, while the Latino stir-fry adds black beans and pico de gallo.

Although it’s still waiting on a liquor license, Si Fu opened this past Monday. The name means “master” in both Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, but it also sounds a little loco to us.

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