The Other Critics

Sula Finds iNG ‘Unconvincing’; Shouse Revisits Arun’s

Udon from iNG
Udon from iNG Photo: Nick Kindelsperger

• Mike Sula thinks that Homaro Cantu’s iNG is “trying,” but it unfortunately has “unrealized ambition.” There are a few “intriguing or amusing gimmicks at play,” but some are “every bit as irritatING as the awkward new name.” He found that “clever ideas tend to be sabotaged by imprecision or, worse, shoddy product.” That included the bluepoint oysters with uni and foie gras, which was impressive looking, but marred by “manky” oysters. Worse were the traditional noodle dishes. The udon was “undercooked and too doughy, unaided by the light lemongrass broth.” The vegetarian dish tasted like “swamp matter.” Still, he enjoyed the “inverted” waffle, which “tastes like an expertly prepared semifreddo.” [Chicago Reader]

• For the latest Iconic Table review, Heather Shouse checks in with Arun’s, which helped introduce Chicago to Thai food over 25 years ago. All is not well, as she gives the restaurant two stars out of five. The dishes coming out are both “straightforward Thai-in-America greatest hits” and “poorly executed.” “Hacked-up pork tossed with chile flakes” is a “crime against what nam sod can really be.” The kitchen seems to be “on autopilot,” which she believes “will further dismantle” the restaurant’s reputation. [TOC]

• After loving his last French meal at Maude’s, Pat Bruno finds the menu at Paris Club a “mangled mess made up of mostly nothing.” It’s so baffling, he can’t “believe this menu was vetted by veteran chefs and restaurateurs.” Still, some of the food tasted okay, including the macaroni gratinee, “which was basically macaroni and cheese with a crunchy topping.” [Sun Times]

Sula Finds iNG ‘Unconvincing’; Shouse Revisits Arun’s