Surrounded by uninspiring discount stores, Friendship Chinese Restaurant hits you over the head with its stunning outer decor. Its tall red columns, green awnings and circular windows will have you referring to your mental map to confirm you aren't in Chinatown. You'll be pleasantly surprised again to see the fabulous interior. Hardwood floors, soft lighting and lavish table setups give this restaurant a sense of class absent along Logan Square's stretch of Milwaukee.
Owner Alan Yuen is responsible for the eatery's design: After studying design and advertising in college, he took over his father's 25-year-old business. The cuisine is traditional Chinese with a slight French influence. Yuen recommends the Hong Kong steak, which is grilled and served in a fried potato shell with snow peas, mushrooms and carrots; and the crab Rangoon appetizer, which contains a unique creamy filling that is prepared with a French roux. Once a month, the restaurant serves up a $45 six-course meal with live entertainment in the form of classical Asian and Western music played on traditional Asian instruments.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Keith Ecker