When Gov. Rod Blagojevich and some cronies popped into the Playboy building during his inauguration week, not even the strongest of Democrats could spin a scandal. The governor, along with Streeterville residents and employees at Playboy Enterprises, had discovered Bistro Pacific.
The bistro is nestled in a corner of the Lake Shore Drive building, now occupied by condos and cubicles rather than scantily-clad bunnies. Purple walls, a small private lounge with comfy couches for groups and a raised sushi bar in the center create an atmosphere of privacy and class fit for an emperor.
Sashimi and sushi dominate the menu, and much of the maki is named after domestic destinations. Try the Miami maki, a deep-fried delight with shrimp, crab, cream cheese, tobiko, avocado and cucumber and mayo.
Standard Chinese offerings are also available, and at bargain basement prices during the lunch hour. Even the most casual cafe in the 60611 zip code can't compete with the $6.95 curry chicken and steamed rice special. Several Thai dishes complete the Pan-Asian roster. Should a lunchtime appointment opportunity at Playboy Enterprises arise or a dragon roll craving hit while walking along The Drive, a stopover at Bistro Pacific will not disappoint.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Robin Wright