Last time Tony Hu opened a restaurant in Chinatown he unleashed Lao You Ju, an expensive new project that hoped to appeal to a younger crowd. It succeeded in attracting loads of attention — including a slideshow from us — and was reviewed by just about every publication in town. Though the praise wasn't unanimous, it did seem to signal that the public was eager for new Tony Hu projects. So, what are we to make of Lao Hunan, a brand new restaurant from Hu that quietly opened a few weeks ago?
Unlike Lao You Ju, Lao Hunan seems to be more in line with Hu's other restaurants like Lao Sze Chuan, Lao Beijing, and Lao Shanghai, which are smaller and mostly focused on a particular regional cuisine from China. Lao Hunan claims that it is the "first authentic Hunan restaurant in Greater Chicago."
Part of the issue may be that Lao Hunan is not quite ready. According to the restaurant's Facebook page, it is still working on the interior design. In fact, until recently the menu was the same as other Hu joints around town. We actually first heard about the restaurant this morning while reading through LTHForum, and the poster, Indianbadger, admitted that it is "not even close to getting finished yet."
But it looks like we can start to get excited, as Lao Hunan's menu is finally official. Check it out below, and let us know if you do decide to visit. We're always excited to see what Hu is up to.
Lao Hunan, 2230 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago, IL 60616; 312-842-7888
Introducing Lao Hunan [LTHForum]