Comprehensive isn’t normally a word we’d associate with beauty pageants, but if the new restaurant Miss Asia were in the competition its moniker suggests, that’s the one title it would surely earn. As the pet project of Sticky Rice co-owner Komane Purananda, the elegant Pan-Asian BYOB sports a menu that would send most cooks running; Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, India, China, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal and Mongolia each get at least a half dozen dishes, while Thailand is represented with nearly 100 offerings. With a menu this huge, it would take a year of regular dining to suss out the diamonds and the rough, but after sampling at least one item from each country’s section, we can at least report that the mad men in the kitchen are competent with each cuisine.
You could play it safe with Thai standards (Sticky Rice’s legendary sausage and other interesting favorites are noticeably absent), but for a more memorable meal, try hopping around the map. The Cambodian lotus root and banana blossom salads both pack bracing tart-spicy-sweet flavors; soft Vietnamese crêpes bulge with ground pork, bits of shrimp and mushroom; and Bambu Bali catfish gets a subtle (maybe too subtle) jerklike dusting. Skip the chewy Chinese five-spice pork leg and the gristly Mongolian lamb hot pot, but otherwise, we’d say you can safely order across the board…again and again.
|Venue name:||Miss Asia Cuisine||Contact:|
434 W Diversey Pkwy
|Cross street:||between Sheridan Rd and Pine Grove Ave|
|Opening hours:||Lunch (Tue–Sun), dinner|
|Transport:||El stop: Brown to Diversey. Bus: 22, 36, 76, 151, 156.|
|Price:||Average main course: $9|
|Do you own this business?|