The Brown Line is such a long and perilous journey from the Loop that, once you've reached Western, you're exhausted and potentially ravenous to the point of cannibalistic. The solution? Just cross the street to Thai Oscar, an Asian fusion restaurant of Thai and Japanese cuisine that doesn't make you wait an hour at a minimum to get your food. Sure, it looks like a convenience store on the outside, but didn't your mother ever tell you to worry more about what's on the inside
? Because once you've stepped inside, you'll swear you've traveled back in time to feudal Japan for a samurai adventure with a serious lack of samurai-adventurin' and a serious excess of fantastic Asian food. The wall to your left is all beautiful wood that looks classically Japanese (something that has to be seen, not described), which contrasts nicely with the wall to your right made up of different shades of exposed black and tan brick. The back wall isn't even visible behind a gigantic display case showcasing an out-of-use and dusty gong, various Asian pieces of art and an honest-to-goodness katana, Akira Kurosawa-style. Speaking of Asian art, Thai Oscar is covered wall-to-ceiling and back again in all kinds, from wood-work to metal-work to ceramics, and most of them sculptures of men and dragons phallically intertwined. Um, neato?
The very moment you get bored of just 'looking' at your surroundings, your meal magically appears in front of your face, practically begging to be shamelessly and immediately consumed by you. On the Thai side of things, try the Peanut Sauce Topped, a steamed chicken and broccoli dish topped (surprisingly) with peanut sauce, the pepper steak (both $6.95) or the cashew chicken ($7.95). On the Japanese side, try the chicken teriyaki ($7.95), the beef teriyaki ($8.95) or the salmon teriyaki ($10.95). For the sushi and seafood buffs in all of us, there are also very expansive sushi and seafood menus for your perusal. The website says, "drop by or have your food delivered," and incidentally, you can now order online as well.
As if you weren't lazy enough already.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Benjamin Andrew Moore