I wanted to love Fat Rice. I wanted to tell people I went there and feel their jealousy seeping through their pores. I wanted to believe that the fact that this place had a line of people at the door at 5:15 when the restaurant opens at 5:30 meant that it was worth waiting for. Didn’t happen. This place is so hot it’s cold. It’s so obscure it’s normal. It’s even foodier than Girl and the Goat, which I used to believe was the foodiest place in Chicago. You know it as soon as you walk in the door. The waitresses are pulling off trends that I wish I could try. One of them has an afro, the other has a ring between her nostrils, bull style. The menu has a typewriter font and a period after each ingredient in the dish. I’m beginning to think if you use those two components in a menu, you can get away with serving anything.
BAKED WHOLE SNAPPER
olive oil. poison ivy. 30-year-old horse manure. rosemary
See? I made it sound “foodie-friendly”.
It wasn’t all bad. The pork and shrimp potstickers were unique and delicious. Essentially an upside down pie, the potstickers are the filling and the crust is a crispy crepe, that the stickers adhere to. Get it? The crepe added an awesome dimension of texture and flavor. A minus.
On to the bad news.
Remember all of my posts about Thailand? Somehow in less than two months, I forgot that I hate the smell, taste and sight of curry. My counterparts loved the po kok gai, (mild chicken curry) but unfortunately I started dry heaving and the stranger next to me at our communal table tried to give me the heimlich maneuver. What is the appeal? I can’t figure it out.
The pepper steak was forgettable and the coconut rice tasted like Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30.
Bottom line: Although there were some highlights, I expected this meal to be the pants and it just wasn’t. It was also a rookie mistake not to order the Fat Rice. They named the place after it. I may have to go back.