We were psyched to learn that Top Chef?s Chrissy Camba (of Bar Pastoral) was opening her own restaurant, Laughing Bird, in Lincoln Square. But when we heard it was a Filipino-American spot, we had to wonder: What the heck is Filipino-American food?
The investigation began.
After just a few dishes, we?ve dubbed the cuisine ?kind of like Thai, but with Spanish, Chinese and American influences.? Simply put: It?s really good.
We started with the crunchy and tangy Lumpia Shanghai (9 for $6), which are basically skinny little egg rolls stuffed with onions, pork and carrots.
For a second appetizer, we loved the Lechon Kawali ($11), crispy, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly chunks that come with grilled watercress. (Make sure to follow them with the refreshing Green Papaya and Raw Beet salad. Your mouth will appreciate the flavor break.)
The highlight of the meal, however, was the adobo chicken ($16), which just so happens to be the national dish of the Philippines. Juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender, the braised legs and breast pieces are served with jasmine rice and pickled green papaya.
A word to the wise: Your server will bring a bottle of the house hot sauce. Use it.
Laughing Bird, 4514 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-506-2473 or laughingbirdchicago.com