The Other Critics

Sula Finds Vu Sua Loopy; Pang Seeks The Ultimate Umami Burger

Photo: courtesy Vu Sua

Macku Chan has worked at many of Chicago’s top sushi restaurants, and Mike Sula says Vu Sua, in the old Erwin’s space, seems to be a treasury of what didn’t work at all of them, especially still-extant Macku: “A number of Vu Sua’s dishes are duplicated or echoed from Macku, but even the ones that aren’t inspired by it manage to contribute to an overall sense of discord. A selection of spring rolls—set upright in a pool of goopy, thick, black-bean-and-soy-based sauce—consists of gluey cylinders stuffed with rice noodles, cucumber, carrots, and bean sprouts, coated in panko, and topped with various bites: an endive canoe of spicy diced octopus, or nuggets of lobster and foie gras. These inharmonious architectures crumble at any attempt to eat them. Go figure how these separate elements are supposed to complement each other—on one visit a despondent chunk of lobster leaped from its aerie and bounced from the table to the floor.” [Reader]

Otherwise it’s a week to drive home the depleted numbers of Chicago reviewers. Kevin Pang looks at two burgers aiming to stand out for their use of umami (inspired by a California chain called, well, Umami Burger). The far north side’s BopNGrill comes out ahead with an Umami Burger that “is essentially a Beef Wellington minus the bacon… Messy but manageable.” But he also likes the Ultimate Umami Burger at Bakersfield in Westmont, “an unmessy burger with clean flavors, impressive juiciness.” [Tribune]

At Serious Eats, Joe Roy checks out some satisfying bar food at The Point, which is one endpoint of Milwaukee Ave., and finds especial praise for the Shrimp Po’Boy: “The Shrimp Po’ Boy ($14.00) arrives to the table triumphantly, its glistening top bun perched gently on the soldier line of crispy, curled shrimp. The undersides of the Italian baguette are toasty, while its squishy exterior ensures that all its housed ingredients stay put. The shrimp themselves are crunchy and plentiful, and while the briny sweetness of the squeaky bread and butter pickles threatens to overwhelm, it never does.” [SE: Chicago]

Sula Finds Vu Sua Loopy; Pang Seeks The Ultimate Umami Burger