Newly opened in Lakeview, Bites Asian Tapas is a neighborhood spot that offers the opportunity to taste a variety of pan Asian dishes all in one spot.
The mostly small plates – which range from $4 to $14 – are divided into “meaty,” “under the sea,” “meatless,” and “Chinese buns/gua bao.” Omnivores, vegetarians, and even vegans have a variety of dishes to choose from, giving the opportunity to satisfy the need for several flavors in one meal. And to go back for more without getting bored.
The names of Bites Asian Tapas’ dishes are quirky and fun. Drunk Chicks, fried boneless chicken served with Asian whiskey sauce or or spicy hot sauce and onion sour cream, and Crying Amigo Tacos, grilled rib-eye, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cilantro, and lime sauce are two notable for their names and snack-ability.
There are two types of ramen, spicy miso or tonkotsu, that could serve as hearty meals on their own. Also substantial is the Oriental paella with crab, egg, tomato, and scallion.
But the beauty with a small bites restaurant is the ability to order another dish if the appetite hasn’t quite been sated. The butternut soup tastes deliciously of a peanut-y Thai red curry. The gua bao are two to three bites of richly flavored fillings – pork belly, duck, avocado tempura, among them – nestled inside fluffy clouds of steamed bun.
The cocktails lean on the sweet side and include a hot option, It’s Onsen Time. The sangrias, red and white, include tropical fruits like mango and rambutan. All of the beers are Asian imports, and there’s a selection of sakes.
Bites Asian Tapas will begin brunch service in April. Basics like eggs Benedict, only with Vietnamese ham for the Canadian bacon, and a burger with a Korean twist show up along side rice porridge, pulled pork waffles, and stir-fired macaroni.
Bites Asian Tapas is an affordable neighborhood spot great for a weeknight dinner or, soon, weekend brunch.
[In preparation for this article I attended a media dinner gratis.]