While Tony Hu, the dubbed mayor, king and even emperor of Chicago's Chinatown, confirmed it himself, plus all the paperwork features the same name, Lao You Ju might not be heading to the Palms. Sources tell Eater Vegas Chef Hu might instead be bringing his famed Lao Sze Chuan restaurant to fill the former Little Buddha space.
Hu prefixes the names of all his restaurants with "Lao," signifying "authentic" to the highly ambitious restaurateur, and Lao Sze Chuan specializes in Sichuan cuisine, with a genuine kick and dozens of choices on the menu.
The highly praised venture received a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand award in 2012 and 2013 for their affordable, but laudable menu. In addition to their Chicago Chinatown location, there are offshoots in the Downers Grove suburb and as far as Milford, Conn.
Authentic spices and full flavors are the characteristics of the broad menu with chef Hu's personal favorites being "sliced beef and maw," with maw better known as stomach lining, "crispy shrimp in mayonnaise sauce" and the potent "Tony's 3 chili chicken," that has been described as "chicken crack" for its addictive properties.
If Lao You Ju remains the chosen replacement it still makes sense for the resort, possessing a youthful focus and presenting a "Chinese tapas" and cocktails approach to dining, based on the concept of "a place for friends to gather up"
Lao Sze Chuan is a staple of the Eater Chicago 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants guide, as is Yusho from chef Matthias Merges that recently debuted at the Monte Carlo.
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