.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24

Giant

If you have always found uni to be an acquired taste you haven’t quite acquired yet, Giant has the solution. The chefs here pulse the briny sea urchin innards into butter with gochujang and sweetened condensed milk before deep-frying it all, smearing it with pineapple jelly, and bedding it on lightly dressed cucumber shreds. The … Read more

Pacific Standard Time

PST’s best dishes create harmonies not just between ingredients but — in true California tradition — between cultures. Prime example: A swipe of creamy hummus with hot-from-the-hearth pitas may place this dish in the Middle East, but then the kitchen adds crisp-tender nuggets of octopus, a paprika vinaigrette, and a flurry of basil, and suddenly … Read more

Handlebar

This neighborhood anchor embraces a dual identity as both an old-school Chicago tavern slinging Malört shots and a restaurant dishing some of the most soul-satisfying vegetarian and vegan food in the city. It’s the kind of place that serves breakfast until 3 p.m., which also happens to be the cutoff point for ordering this giant, … Read more

Parachute

In their restaurant’s nascent days, co-owners Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark planned to make an array of Asian-inspired breads. Instead, they made just this one, and it’s never left the menu. The dense little pincushion of a loaf is an homage to a loaded baked potato: It’s made with bits of potato, flecked with bacon … Read more

Birrieria Zaragoza

The 12-year-old father-son operation specializes in one thing: birria, the fragrant Jaliscan goat-meat stew. It’s not as if they really need to do much else, considering how intoxicating their take on it is: Organic goat meat (butchered in-house by the Zaragozas themselves) is steam-cooked, marinated in a deep, multilayered mole until it practically collapses, and … Read more

Honey 1 BBQ

Owner Robert Evans Sr. is one of the last barbecue elders who knows how to work the aquarium smoker, that glass-walled icon of the genre that’s only really used in our city, to its full potential. His rib tips — chewy, fatty, and more satisfying than bacon — have a craggy bark and toothsome bite, … Read more

Passerotto

Tteokbokki, a snack of chewy fried cylindrical rice cakes in spicy sauce, is the dish that moved chef-owner Jennifer Kim to explore the unlikely bridge between Korean and Italian cuisines. Instead of stir-frying hers, she sears the cakes in a cast-iron pan to give them more texture and replaces the typical gochujang-based sauce with a … Read more

Boeufhaus

Like so many other brilliant ideas, this one started as a scribble on a napkin. From there, chef-partner Brian Ahern’s brainchild grew into a three-day procession of seasoning, searing, braising, and deep-frying in beef fat — and it ended up a Chicago-by-wayof- the-bayou classic. The beignets make a compelling case that every doughnut would be … Read more

Income Tax

A lesser chef might be a little nervous around monkfish. Its lean meat can dry out at the slightest suggestion of overcooking, and the prehistoric-looking anglerfish doesn’t have the sex appeal of, say, salmon. Luckily Ellison Park (pictured) is fearless, taking the fish’s hearty tail flesh and basting it in butter infused with a curry-like … Read more

Pizzeria Bebu

Is it sacrilege to go to a pizzeria specifically for a salad? Perhaps, though it’s a sin easily forgiven at this diminutive joint. The key to the minor masterwork is the texture: a happy cacophony of crunch, from thin tendrils of Brussels sprouts to bits of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, the whole tossed in an … Read more