Although Kow Kow Restaurant opened as a small Cantonese carryout eatery in 1949, it quickly amassed a loyal following in West Rodgers Park. As the client base broadened beyond the neighborhood and city limits, the restaurant scaled up to a full dine-in restaurant. In 1989, Kow Kow migrated to its current home in Lincolnwood. Here, owner Don Moy and his wife, Helen, serve up the original location's recipes seven days a week. Beef and chicken gain flavor from oyster sauce, almond ding, or straw mushrooms while sweet-and-sour sauce enriches duck, shrimp, ribs, and scallops. Meatless entrees abound, featuring seasoned vegetables, hand-formed bean cakes, or noodles.
At Hana Asian Bistro, cooks artistically prepare and arrange entrees of authentic Asian cuisine, pulling from a pantry filled with quality meats, fresh seafood, and market-purchased produce. The chic eatery—tucked inside the Skokie Fashion Square shopping center—jazzes up sushi rolls with unique pairings, such as lobster and mango, and spicy sauces, such as kung pao sauce or japanese curry. Chefs also prepare a lineup of specialties including walnut shrimp and seafood noodle soup. To complement these expertly crafted meals, diners can order a side of fried rice or a fruit-infused bubble tea.
Chen's taps diverse Chinese, Japanese, and Thai traditions to forge a slate of Eastern dishes and creative cocktails that have gleaned numerous accolades from Zagat. Executive chef and owner Bing Zhou plates elegant portions of lemon chicken, peking duck, and seafood gently seasoned with Chinese spices as maki rolls nestle raw morsels of salmon, lobster, and yellowtail in innovative combinations. Bartenders sling more than 25 martini styles beneath the soft lighting of recessed sconces as bamboo floors support terra-cotta statues of historic warriors. In the lounge, overstuffed chairs sidle up to a crackling fireplace to share stories of their ottoman ancestors beneath cream and persimmon hues.
Dark, glossy tables gleam in the sunlight that streams into Little Wok, illuminating plates of steaming Chinese dishes and delicate rolls of sushi. An enormous menu ranges through a pan-Asian encyclopedia of pad thai, Korean eel stone bowl rice, creative maki, and cheek-warming bowls of noodle soup.
Most of Moon Wok’s favorite creations begin within the restaurant’s titular pan as chefs stir-fry assorted meats and veggies to order or whip up Thai-style curries infused with peanut and coconut. They use a combination of all-natural ingredients, antibiotic-free meats, and organic and gluten-free recipes across the menu, knitting together a selection of healthy dishes like a scarf knitted from shredded carrots. The restaurateurs match the modern sensibilities of the menu with neoteric décor of red hardwood floors, crimson walls, black granite countertops, and bright light fixtures dangling from exposed rafters.
Stepping inside Chef Shangri-La's dining room is like entering a distant tropical trading post. Thatched awnings, woven ceilings, and palm fronds flank Polynesian masks and Easter Island statues while scents of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese cuisine waft with Polynesian aromas from mango- and pineapple-covered meats, barbecue char siu, and spicy sichuan stir-fries. Rock walls and fountains line a tucked-away koi pond, and a separate tiki bar urges guests to while away the hours sipping tropical drinks outfitted with tiny umbrellas that belong to tiny British nannies. As guests sup on meals of japanese noodle soup and tropical pua'a pork, the stage area regales diners with live Hawaiian bands every third Saturday of the month and annual music fests and luaus with DJs, dancers, and Polynesian collectables.