Any visit to Chinatown requires a stop at one of Tony Hu’s restaurants. I hadn’t been back to Lao Sze Chuan since it reopened after a recent fire, so of course I had to stop. It’s the spiciest of Hu’s restaurants, but even asking for things to be American spicy and getting extra rice it was almost too much heat. That didn’t stop me from cleaning my plate, however. The ingredients here are top-notch at Lao Sze Chuan. The scallops in my stir fry melted like butter and the crab rangoon boasted crab instead of the typical cream cheese.
Know what you want here, since the waitresses have trouble with questions and it could take a while for them to come back. I asked where the hot pot was on the menu, and that caused a bevy of waitresses to descend to interpret the question and then disappear. However, once you do get your order in the food comes out fast. Our entrees came out so quickly it was an embarrassment to call our appetizer a starter. I didn’t regret getting a drink since the house tea is simply delicious.
Expect to pay about $20 a person for lunch.
Lao Sze Chuan
2172 South Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616