According to the tongue's floor plan, sweet, salty, sour, and bitter all board in posh private rooms, while umami is forced to crash on a rollaway bed stashed inside a hollow molar. Pay homage to your palate's proletariat with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of modern Vietnamese cuisine at Sawtooth Restaurant and Lounge in the far West Loop. Accented by minimalist, moody elegance, Sawtooth showcases classic Vietnamese flavors while reinventing them with contemporary flair and fresh ingredients. Kick off your exploration of chef Nick Nguyen's menu with banh xeo, which folds shrimp, pork, fresh mint, and lettuce into a Saigon-style crêpe ($10), before moving on to salted jumbo prawns, which come with a bed of pineapple ($22), much like most Hawaiian hotel rooms. Following each meal, unwind near Sawtooth's starkly styled bar, where colorful drinks complement bright dining-room chairs and sycophantic swizzle sticks compliment well-to-do cocktail shakers.
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Critics from the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Tribune are mixed on the food at Sawtooth but like the atmosphere. OpenTable reviewers give it an average of 4.1 stars, and 82% of Urbanspooners like the restaurant. Yelpers give it an average of 3.5 stars.