Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eighties Fusion Chic: Chinois on Main

Last year, we celebrated Ms. Cruiser's birthday at SAAM. This year we went to Chinois on Main. We really love Ms. Cruiser. Obviously.
Chef Wolfgang Puck opened Chinois in 1983. Is it possible that the restaurant has kept the same decor this whole time? You be the judge.

For many years now, people have raved and told me that I should try Chinois. I've avoided the place because of my general aversion to inauthentic Asian food. It seems, however, that I'm kind of a fan these days. What has happened to me?

The Cruisers swore that Chinois was great, and it was Ms. Cruiser's birthday, so we went to the granddaddy of all Asian fusion places.

Well, what the Puck? It was great! If you doubt this like I did, doubt no more! I'm a believer, Wolfie. I'm totally a believer now.

Chinois chicken salad ($19.50).
The original. The salad that began it all. The salad that every Chinese chicken salad aspires to be.

Sizzling calamari and rock shrimp salad served in a wonton cup with Chinese chili paste ($27.75).
Dare I say it? Even better than the O.G. chicken salad.

Roasted black cod with spicy miso glaze served in tea leaf ($29.95).
This tasted like your Japanese grandma made it. Translation: oishii! Translation of translation: yummy!

Duck fried rice ($11.00).
Fairly standard yet not! Some damn good glistening grains.

Shanghai lobster with curry sauce and crispy spinach (market price).
"Market price" means "expensive," but it also means "really worth getting" and "best dish of the night" and "this will cause you to be delirious when you reminisce about it and use a lot of quotation marks for no apparent reason."

Stir-fried haricots verts with black bean sauce and garlic ($10.95).
Mr. Monkey and I don't even like green beans that much, and we gobbled these up.

Grilled lamb chops with cilantro vinaigrette, warm potato salad ($48.50).
Mr. Cruiser is the biggest lamb fan we know, so we always get lamb when we're together if it's on the menu. So beautifully charred and tender and juicy. Yes, there was some unabashed gnawing of bones.

We skipped dessert and went back to The Cruisers' place nearby for Ms. Cruiser's favorite ice cream cake -- mint chocolate chip.
Posting a picture on the blog of Ms. Cruiser blowing out candles is now an annual tradition! We're so happy you're our friend! And, of course, that goes for you, too, Mr. Cruiser!


  1. Can't believe Chinois has been around before I was born. Worth a special trip across town?

  2. I think so, if only to eat a bit of history. I found it to be shockingly good.

  3. I am drooling over the black cod! That looks delicious!

    Also wouldn't mind the ice cream cake!

  4. You're growing soft on us, Weez! I am a little curious about the Asian chicken salad that started it all.

  5. I want everything. And I love quotation marks.

  6. LOL I'm still in the boat that unauthentic Asian food isn't worth my time, maybe I should go to Lukshon too!

    I've seen the lobster on The Best Thing I Ever Ate - Giada DeLarentis (sp) raved about it. Glad to see it was good

  7. I like the decor, old or not. Glad you are becoming even more adventurous!

  8. dude i was so surprised at how good chinois was, and for a friend's work banquet, no less (i went as her "date" the year before bear and i got married). her company rented the entire place out, and the food was so freakin' good despite being asian fusion.

  9. I'm here now using your blog as my guide! It's like you're right here with me :)


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