The explosive popularity of small plates dining heats-up even further as chef Kee Chan, a 20-year veteran of Chicago’s restaurant scene (Suntory, Heat, Mulan, Mirai Sushi) introduces more new menu items to his recently opened, Tokyo-inspired Lure Izakaya Pub.
Tucked in a quiet corner of Chicago’s bustling Chinatown Square, Chan delivers big-time on his mission to better acquaint Chicagoans with the Japanese concept of Izakaya. Much like tapas, which began as simple bar snacks, eventually becoming more sophisticated, these small plate offerings have similar origins.
Izakaya pub fare originally consisted of simple snacks meant to keep sake refills flowing. Over time, the pub grub grew more substantial, combining traditional Japanese ingredients with elements of French, Italian and other cooking styles, becoming more globally fused.
With chef/owner Chan’s newly-expanded menu, Lure Izakaya Pub’s line-up now stands at 60 small plates, each designed to be shared, and all priced at just $3 to $9. “We offer a highly-innovative, yet affordable menu in a fun and casual setting which encourages guests to sample a variety of tastes to create a full dining experience,” says Chan.
New items include Summer Salad with watermelon, grape, feta cheese, watercress, pear cactus dressing ($5), Blue Crab Spicy Tofu Soup ($7), Ayu Karaage Japanese river fish, lightly battered and fried ($7), Hamachi Kama no Shioyaki apple wood grilled yellowtail cheek ($9), and join existing favorites like Braised Pork Belly with golden beet and pickled bok choy ($5), Beef Sashimi with truffle oil, chili mayo and chive ($5), Seared Duck Breast, jalapeno-mirin-soy marinated and served chilled ($7), oak wood grilled Lamb Chops with yuzu miso citrus ($9), and marinated Seared Zuke Salmon with daikon-oroshi ($5).
Lure Izakaya Pub is located at 2017 South Wells (northwest corner of Chinatown Square), Chicago and is open Monday thru Friday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.