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Lao Sze Chuan Uptown

4.1
32 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Chinese
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups

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About

Lao Sze Chuan is a refined Chinese restaurant serving a variety of Asian-influenced meal in Chicago, Illinois. The decor in Lao Sze Chuan is taken straight out of the eateries of the East. Chines lantern give off a soft glow in the dining room, and lit panels lighting the walls bring the aesthetic into a more modern place. The food is plated similarly to other refined restaurants.

Like most Chinese restaurants, Lao Sze Chuan's menu is conveniently broken into groups based on proteins. Diners who know they are in the mood for chicken, pork, beef or seafood can quickly find a suitable meal. Guests' favorites include the spicy Tony's chicken with three chiles and a twice-cooked pork Szechuan style.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Chinese, Asian
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Hours of operation

Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 12:00pm - 5:00pm.
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am.
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Phone number
(773) 293-4653
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Tony Hu
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Catering
Please call the restaurant directly for catering inquiries. We look forward to serving you.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Gunnison
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Parking details
Valet Parking available During Friday and Saturday.
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Public transit
Red Line- Lawrence Station / Argyle Station
Additional
Delivery, Full Bar, Takeout, Wheelchair Access
What 32 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.4
food
3.9
service
3.8
ambience
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on May 29, 2015

I'd go back for the spicy fried rice alone. The menu is huge and the very small part of it that we tried was delicious.

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4.0Dined on May 18, 2015

Excellent food and good service. We enjoyed everything fthe hot and sour soup, the pot stickers, chow mein and the scallops and garlic sause.

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1.0Dined on April 18, 2015

mediocre to poor egg roll and pot sticker appetizers: fatty and tasteless.
overly oily dishes.

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4.0Dined on April 10, 2015

Lao Sze Chuan consistently delivers interesting takes on Chinese flavors with updates on some familiar dishes. The chopped green bean/black bean appetizer remains a go-to favorite with suprising spices. I have eaten at a couple of its locations and have not had a bad meal. With the Riviera Theater just down the block, Lao Sze Chuan is an ideal pre-concert spot.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2015

I have had delivery from this place before and the food was good. But the dine-in experience was well worth it. The server was informative and suggested many food options. She was also very friendly and entertaining. I have never had a hot pot and I ordered one that night. It was great! The other fish dish that we had was tasty too but the hot pot was beaming!

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4.0Dined on March 13, 2015

The food was just alright. I would give it a second chance if I was in the neighborhood again.

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4.0Dined on March 12, 2015

Consistently excellent food at this location; very inventive dishes. The drinks were imaginative if a little watered down. My main issue has been the service there - the servers seem to only wait on you if you flag them down - I've never gotten in and out of this restaurant in less than 2 hours, no matter how quickly we place our order. They will never bring the bill unless you flag down multiple people for it. Service has always been friendly, however. Go for the food, just make sure you have a whole evening to carve out for it.

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2.0Dined on March 11, 2015

They may have two different kind of chefs, one is cooking traditional Chinese food, the other one is cooking Chinese food in American style. No Chinese waiter and waitress are there. The food is not good as the same name restaurant in Chicago Chinatown. The baked rice soup is too sweet, chilly bean pasted fish is wrongly cooked, even the Kong po chicken is very hard, not tender.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2015

I knew the food would be good, Lao Sze Chuan is well known all over Chicago for having great food. The wait staff was great, as well.

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3.0Dined on February 26, 2015

Thought the moo shu and the green beans were exceptional. Disappointed in the Scallops and should have known better but my friend was relying on the recommendation of the server and frankly his recommendation wasn't good. We aren't at Joes Seafood and scallops in an Asian restaurant, well you fill in the rest.

For all we spent and it wasn't cheap, they charged us $1.50 for 3 extra "pancakes" for the moo shu - really? That just seems very tacky and trivial.

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5.0Dined on February 20, 2015

A friend of mine was celebrating a very special occasion. I made a reservation and then had to continue to add more people. At the end of the day we had well over 20 people and the folks at Lao Sze Chuan made the whole experience easy from beginning to end. Really, really wonderful.

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4.0Dined on January 17, 2015

The food was amazing, and for me that's what's it is all about. The space and service were ok, but not exceptional. I will definitely go back. Great for a large group to order family style.

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5.0Dined on January 9, 2015

It was a big Birthday and I wanted to go somewhere comfortable with good food...kind of low key but celebratory...I love the food and the ambience...not typical Asian decor...more modern...the staff was great!

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2014

I had been to the Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown a few years ago twice and had terrific meals there. My partner is someone who likes to stick to the tried and true and had been going to Moon Palace for years. I loved that place too but recently we went there and the food had changed for the worse. So, when we were looking for places for an early dinner on New Year's Eve, my partner suggested here. And, oh, are we glad we came here. We both love Chinese more than any other cuisine and this place is it!!!

I started with the egg drop soup which was a wonderful golden color that you rarely see in this soup. In most places, it's a bland pale watery broth with egg drop floating inside. This soup had this beautiful color and you could taste a hint of the egg yolk in the soup. For my entree, I went with the Chef's recommendation of Crispy Shrimp with Lemon Sauce. It was cooked to perfection and the sauce was not overwhelming at all. When I'd eaten at the one in Chinatown, they had a dish on the menu, Prawns in a mayonnaise sauce, which is the best thing I've ever eaten in a Chinese restaurant. Unfortunately, they don't have it here.

My partner decided to order his usual meal that he would get at Moon Palace. He started with the hot and sour soup. One spoonful in, he looked up at me and said, "This is divine." (later in the evening he said to me, "Do you think I could get a gallon of that soup delivered here?"). We then shared the potstickers and both of us just raved about them. There is something (an herb or a spice) that they add to the meat mixture that gives it a really unique flavor, almost bacony. He finished with Kung Pao Shrimp which he said was spiced perfectly. He likes hot food but says sometimes it feels like a restaurant just throws some hot pepper in there or overdoes it to the point of not being able to eat it. This, he said, was amazing.

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3.0Dined on December 25, 2014

While the food is amazing the service was horrible. We waited 20 minutes before anyone came to take our drink order. Then another 25 minutes before our drinks arrived. We were sitting at an empty table for 45 minutes from the time we were sat. Our food showed up 2 minutes before our drinks. It was like winning the lottery when they actually filled your water glass, which is completely necessary with the spicy food.

We eat out almost every night and this is by far one of the worse services we've ever experienced.

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4.0Dined on December 24, 2014

We went to Lao Sze Chuan on Christmas Eve after 7PM and it was total chaos checking in. Despite the fact that we reserved on Open Table, the reservation seemed to mean nothing as people were instead being seated by what was available despite the fact that some of them didn't even have reservations or had later reservations. It took 20 minutes for the hostess to even recognize us and have me check in even though I was standing right in front of the check in area. The only other thing I will say about the reservations is that someone should do a better job of managing the reservation system and only allowing people who actually make reservations to be seated, otherwise reservations are meaningless. After we got seated, the service was very attentive and the food was excellent! I would go back but not on Christmas Eve ever again!

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4.0Dined on November 1, 2014

Have been living in Chicago for 15 years abd finally stumbled across this location on N Broadway. So glad I finally found it. The food is always delicious, fresh and flavorful. Not to be compared with any other restuarants llike it.

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2.0Dined on October 23, 2014

With so much hype about the LTS restaurants around town, including one that I've been wanting to try in Evanston, I was looking forward to eating here. The room is lovely. But I was disappointed in the food. It was "meh." Most annoyingly, the servers brought our main courses while we were still eating our appetizers, and with such a small table, and no desire to be rushed, we sent them back. When they then returned, rather than keep the food warm, it was cold. I would not go back.

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4.0Dined on July 15, 2014

The menu selections were endless. While I ended up with my usual beef and vegetables, my husband had the General Tso's, and my brother ordered the shrimp with lemon. The shrimp with lemon was the lightest breading on the shrimp and the most refreshing tasty dish for summer. I would come back for the shrimp dish and the spicy cabbage they serve as an appetizer for free. It was not busy so we were waited on by a team of servers. It was quick and the food was delightful.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2014

They accommodated our group of 10 quite well, making recommendations for dishes to share. We also had 2 preschoolers & they were great at getting dumplings to the table quickly for them & making special "bar drinks" with cherry juice & fuzzy water topped with a cherry which made them feel special. We love this place & come here often.

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2.0Dined on March 15, 2014

The service was fine the food was disappointing not much flavor and very mediocre . I would not recommend this restaurant.

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5.0Dined on February 21, 2014

Living in Wisconsin, I make several pilgrimages to Chinatown each year to Lao Sze Chuan. The food is always delicious! The place is always jammed with people. The service is always fast and friendly. When I visited my brother in his new Uptown location, I thought we would try the north side location. We were all very happy! Pot-stickers, dry chili chicken, tea smoked duck, sze chuan green beans, pork short ribs with cumin. All delicious! All prepared perfectly spicy to our specifications, served hot from the kitchen. The only caveat (not a reflection on the restaurant): CAREFUL WHERE YOU PARK! Being unfamiliar with this area, having a sign buried in a dirty snow bank, led to our car being towed.

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5.0Dined on January 17, 2014

While I migrate toward hotter, spicier foods, not only did I find it (oh, boy, did I!), but my dining partners and other with more timid palates seemed to be wildly enjoying their food. Such an expansive range of creations, large portions, great flavors offered. Bar offerings were also creative for cocktail specialities, along with a standard bar and limited but good beer & wine list. There were a few items that were unfamiliar-to-scary-to-ooky to me but i could bypass the intestines, kidney and tendon dishes ... i'm sure there were eyeballs on there somewhere!! But we have a flamingly enjoying meal is a beautiful space with great staff on a snowy, snowy night.

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4.0Dined on December 27, 2013

This was a first time dining here. Our reservation for 5 was noted and we were promptly seated. Wait staff poured water, but didn't immediately arrive which was perfect. The menu offers dozens upon dozens fabulous items from which to choose, it took several minutes to read it.

Our orders were served promptly without any glitches. 1 person in our group is not adventurous when it comes to dining, so we didn't expect her to rave about the experience the rest had there. I would definitely return here.

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4.0Dined on November 30, 2013

Probably the best Chinese / Schezwan food I've had anywhere. The technique used in the making of the food is masterful.

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5.0Dined on November 17, 2013

We love going here...always a treat! The staff is very friendly...

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5.0Dined on November 16, 2013

Lao Sze was excellent. Food is excellent. Very authentic. Not Americanized Chinese food. Service was excellent. Servers are friendly, polite. I would go back.

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5.0Dined on November 8, 2013

Best Chinese outside of Chinatown, NYC

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4.0Dined on November 1, 2013

Really enjoyed our meal here. Food was outstanding - no need to travel to Chinatown anymore. Service was very friendly, maybe a little slow, but we had no complaints. Warm and inviting atmosphere. Highly recommend.

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4.0Dined on October 26, 2013

We had a group of 10 and ordered a bunch of dishes to pass around and share. the staff was incredibly nice and made our evening special. I recommend the duck hometown style. All the dishes were delicious!

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4.0Dined on September 27, 2013

We'd been to the Chinatown location many times, so were anxious to try this uptown location. Food is almost as good, the atmosphere is "nicer", but it's not quite as much fun. The tea-smoked duck and green beans in spicy black bean sauce appetizer are phenomenal. Pot stickers are HUGE and too doughy for our taste. Could only eat one!

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5.0Dined on September 14, 2013

Had a great experience here. Menu is huge, but they summarize the must-have dishes at the top of the first page. Food was outstanding, service even better. We had the tea smoked duck in particular, which is not something you'll see at every Chinese restaurant. Definitely give it a try.

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