You’ve had some fun nights in Uptown.
We think it’s time someone proposed a merger. So welcome to Lao Sze Chuan, the Uptown outpost of Tony Hu’s legendary anchor in Chinatown Square, now open in the former Marigold space.
Yes, this is the same Tony Hu who just opened Lao Ma La a few weeks back. And the same guy who plans to open another spot in River North next month. We don’t know if there’s something in that dry-chili chicken of his, but the man does get a lot done in a month.
The menu is pretty much the same as what you’ll get in Chinatown—all 340 items of it. So when you need a place for a kung pao chicken and a Tsingtao before a show at the Aragon, the front dining room with its giant photomural of cuddly panda bears is a pretty safe bet for a quick, no-fuss meal.
But move toward the long row of banquettes in the back, and now you’re in first-date territory. Soon, you’ll be clicking chopsticks over beef hot pots and tea-smoked duck. The mood lighting consists of votive candles on the table and the warm glow of color-changing LED lights. Also: there’s a cocktail made with lemon-tea vodka called the First Date.
It’d be weird if you didn’t order it.