Moms feed us in many ways.
Thai Dang (RIA, L2O) and Attila Gyulai (Elysian) are living proof.
Dang remembers how his mom tenderly fed an army of ten; Gyulai speaks to his mama in Budapest every day. Together, the duo conceived Embeya (Vietnamese for “little one” — and Dang’s childhood nickname), now open in the West Loop.
In a lofty space (180 seats, gleaming bar, tamarind wood tables) Dang applies classic French technique to Southeast Asian flavors — a welcome reprieve from the city’s pork craze.
Bright, crunchy green papaya salad is already a signature; sides (young bamboo and maitake, variations on rice) and wok items (pea vines, water spinach) give you freedom to mix and match. Tuck into snails in lemongrass broth, robata-grilled short rib, and silky noodles with rock shrimp.
The finale: a knockout Asian fruit fest (jackfruit, lychee, rambutan, dragon fruit).
Embeya, 564 West Randolph Street, at Jefferson Street (312-612-5640 or embeya.com).
Photo: Huge Galdones / Courtesy of Embeya