Located in Logan Square, Fat Rice is a casual neighborhood joint serving up Euro-Asian comfort food family-style.
Because of the popularity of the place and the fact that they don’t take reservations, we found ourselves lining up half an hour before opening time on Saturday to ensure we would get seats. The plan worked. They opened their doors promptly at 6pm, and we were the second party to get seated.
The communal layout of the restaurant creates a sociable atmosphere, but be warned- there is a two hour time limit when they are busy...so don’t get too comfortable. Of course our party of four fell foul of that rule because of the sheer volume of food that we ordered. Not to mention, ahem, the amount of drinks.
The menu is divided up into ‘pickles’, small, medium, large, and extra large plates. Plus side dishes, an optional prix fixe menu and desserts. The drinks menu had some interesting choices. I opted for the Salty Hound- a mixture of vodka, grapefruit juice and a preserved salted plum. Not bad, but the salted plum didn’t really add much to the drink.
After our drinks arrived, the dishes started coming out fast and furious. We started with a trio of pickles with the sichuan eggplant being a favorite amongst our party. Next came salt cod, pot stickers, fat noodles, twice cooked bacon, jamon mangalica, and a salad. The pot stickers were delicious and were accompanied by a ghost pepper and carrot hot sauce that made our tongues tingle. We liked it so much we used it with regular abandon on all the other dishes, even one of the desserts.
The twice cooked bacon dish we were expecting to be crispy. Far from it, it had a pork belly texture which we gleefully devoured.
One of the stars of the show was the fish curry. The fish, of which the name escapes me, was flown in fresh from Hawaii and was tender and flaky, perfectly accompanied by the spicy cilantro-heavy green curry sauce and slightly sweet coconut rice.
Even though we were bursting at the seams, we managed to cram in three of the four desserts on the menu. Pineapple upside down cake, macau rice crisp and some creamy deliciousness called serradura. All were fabulous.
Definitely a meal for the ages. By the time we left the rice was fat and so were we.
2957 W. Diversey
Tuesday thru Saturday 6-10pm