Threefer this week from Sula et famille, with the apparent cohesion theme of “restaurants we feel like writing about.” They call it new restaurants. We say to-mah-to.
• Blue 13 has been open for a few weeks now, and the whole “look at us, we like rock ‘n’ roll, we have tattoo wallpaper” schtick is not really going over well with our intrepid reviewer. Still, Sula finds that the high-reaching food transcends the staid badassery: “fish and chips” of tuna, taro chips, and wasabi foam works, overcoming the foam handicap easily. The restaurant’s most hyped dish — “steak and eggs on acid,” a layered confection of pierogi, beef tenderloin, and quail egg, interlaid with wasabi — delivers on its buzz. Still, for every hit there’s a miss: overcooked pasta, overcooked lobster. [Sula, Reader]
• El Veneno Mariscos (1024 N Ashland, 773 252 7200) has a scary name (it means “the poison fish”), but there isn’t much to be scared about here. It delivers Mexican food, specifically food from Nayarit, a region on the country’s west coast. Heavy on the seafood, it’s really well done fare: shareably large platters and seafood cocktails (“one of the best I’ve had”), whole fish, and — critically &mdsah; delicious French fries. BYO. [Spiselman, Reader]
• Cash-only, ever-changing menu, tiny room… sounds like a recipe for haute barnyard to us. But no! Those same qualities are to be found at Tamalli, but — as the name implies — the star here is the humble tamale, expertly handled by the kitchen. Cornmeal-based dishes come out in near-infinite varieties, plus tacos, burritos, and a staggering selection of bebidas. Sula seems to go home happy. [Sula, Reader]
[Photo: Blue 13’s steak and eggs on acid, via their official site]