great food at a decent price
great food at a decent price point. the cocktails were good, but small and overpriced. great new place in the hood.
7/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Lao 18 makes Hubbard Street Better
Lao is a great addition to Hubbard street. With so many of the restaurants based on Italian or burgers Lao brings diversity and a great eating experience. Great wine and Sake list and a menu that allows everyone to enjoy.
They had only been open two weeks, so crowd was on the light side and service was spot on. Food was tasty, plentiful and for Hubbard street priced fairly. Will definitely be back.
7/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Wonderful food and service.
Wonderful food and service. Great ambience, would definately go back.
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
It was a great experience, the food was excelent, the best mongolian beef,
The only bad thing was that they were out of spare ribs by 8:40 pm and it is only open for dinner
7/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
loud but very good
for anyone familiar with Tony's restaurants in chinatown (lao bejing, lao hunan etc) then lao 18 is a surprise. very upscale compared to chinatown places. lovely ambiance, much better service and good drinks menu. if you are used to the extensive chinatown menus (almost a book in chinatown locations) then lao 18 surprises. the menu is limited to one page and more to american taste. although less authentic the food choices are still good. also, the prices here are higher and the restaurant caters to an uptown crowd. pleasant evening and i will definitely return.
7/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great and getting better
This was my second time lunching at Lao 18. I was there right after it opend and it was very good. this time, it was great -- larger portions, improved service!
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
This restaurant was absolutely wonderful in every way. Food was light and so tasty. Prices were quite reasonable. Server was great and so was Tony Hu who was quite interesting and friendly. Love this place.
8/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
The bartender was great and she made excellent recommendations on what to order for dinner.
8/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Real Chinese in River North
At last! I have been a fan of Tony Hu's Chinatown restaurants for years. When I heard he was branching out, including a place in River North, I could not wait. I have been spoiled with real Chinese and have no taste for the few Americanized Chinese restaurants in downtown Chicago. The new place, Lao 18, is everything I could have hoped for. The menu is a limited version of Lao Sze Chuan and features their most popular dishes. I discovered what may be my new favorite, Szechuan peppercorn fish filet. Delicious! Be warned, however, these are Chinese spicy dishes and not your typical level of midwestern spiciness.
Also, a great and fanciful drink selection and beautiful decor. I can't wait to return!
9/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food, but room to improve
The food was exceptional and the wine list was unusually good, but there are still some service kinks to work out. Our reservation was noted and the hostess seated us graciously and promptly. Our server was very friendly. But the restaurant seemed understaffed. Our overworked server had too many tables--spaces far apart--and there was no bartender on duty, so none of the menu's intriguing cocktails could be served. The manager was very attentive, though, as was the busboy, and the food arrived promptly and with courses appropriately timed. I am rooting for this restaurant to be the success it deserves to be. A larger and consistent clientele should help even out the staffing question. I look forward to my next visit.
9/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great place for a date
The food is okay. I like the decoration of the restaurant.
9/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
The Chinese food here is spectacular. Very Nice decor and right in the middle of the action on Hubbard. Really great food.
9/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
We recently loss our favorite new Chinese restaurant that closed. We've been anxiously awaiting the opening of Lao 18. We were very pleased from the start. Spring rolls are fantastic. That's a good basic test. Both of our dinner choices were flavorful and enjoyed. We will return soon.
9/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fine for area
Lao 18 was not crowded. Service and noise level fine. Food good, not exceptional. Fine choice when in near north neighborhood and wanting conversation with a good dinner.
9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Dim sum in the loop!
It's great to finally have a fun spot for dim sum in the loop. Best dish we had was the Peking Duck Spring Rolls, which were flavorful and more like traditional egg rolls. Also loved the desserts - chinese donuts and chocolate mousse. Restaurant was pretty empty during the lunch hour. I certainly hope it gets busier and is a big success.
10/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Really high end, excellent
Really high end, excellent Chinese Food with a flair. Worth going to. I'll be going back again and again.
10/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good Food, But No Reason to Return
We arrived at 500 on a Friday afternoon and were the only people in the restaurant until 530. The bus boys stood several yards from our table and flirted loudly with the hostess for nearly a 1/2 hour. It was annoying and colored our view of the ensuing meal.
The small eats were incredible. We had the Scallion Pancakes with Pork Bellies and the Shrimp Dumplings (both recommended by our server Tim). Simply delicious and very plentiful.
We shared Tony's Three Chili Chicken and the Szechuan String Beans. We enjoyed both and left feeling very full.
We had two drinks (they are expensive) and our bill was < $90 after the tip.
We didn't regret going, but we won't return due to the plethora of dining options in the Loop and Near Loop areas.
10/25/2013 12:00:00 AM