by Kate Schmidt
In this week's Food & Drink we look at three restaurants that put a unique spin on a traditional cuisine:
Shabu-shabu--cook-it-yourself meat, seafood, vegetables, noodles, and dumplings--is traditionally prepared communally, but at Shabu House, in Niles, each customer gets his own boiling pot of broth to play with.
We would have gotten to Soul a lot sooner if Mike Sula hadn't insisted on walking out to Clarendon Hills. But once he finally reached his destination, he found quite a bit to like about this upscale soul food restaurant from Bill Kim of Urban Belly and Le Lan--especially chef Karen Nicolas's penchant for pairing rich, sweet meats like a foie gras-glazed duck breast with bitter greens like rapini.
I, meanwhile, could spend months continuing to explore the vast and varied menu at Lincoln Park's Miss Asia, which offers dishes from 13 Asian cuisines, including hard-to-find ones like Cambodian, Nepalese, Laotian, and Singaporean/Malaysian as well as Thai, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, and Chinese. (Note: though mutton is a Mongolian tradition, you won't find it among the Mongolian offerings here--and that might be a good thing.)