It’s Ethan Lim’s Khmer pub food vs your wolf hunger in Monday Night Foodpool
It was an eight-course blast in HermosaEthan Lim’s little sandwich shop by day, where the six-seater “Family Meal” prize is set at night. Lim’s constant nocturnal pop-up–during which he buries his guests in exorbitant abundance–is the conceptual antithesis of his daytime commitment to always asking Will a sandwich? While you can still get the now-legendary Cambodian fried chicken sandwich by day, after dark it’s likely to be treated full of crunchy herbs, spices, fowl, and loosened, and served with a pickled papaya salad and Thai eggplant. This is just the middle path. By the time the dishes are stacked Rat tail noodles, black pepper ribeye lok lak, and Khmer-style porchetta hit the table, you desperately need to find just a corner of your digestive real estate so you can enjoy the sugar-coated and fried bananas that make the evening close to bacchanalian.
Lim’s family meals are all booked up until next summer, but in a few days a banana and eggplant, an OG CFC sandwich and a new Khmer-inspired menu will be bringing to Kedzie Inn. It is the seventh week of Monday night food ball, The the reader Weekly Chef Popup.
Pickled Thai Eggplant, $10
Salted Tamarind Pork Ribs, Peanuts, Coriander, Fennel, $15
Cambodian Fried Chicken Sandwich, Pickled Papaya, Long Beans, $11
Grilled Crounge Toast, Eggplant, Maitake, Shishito, $11
Loaded Tots, Brahock Cuties, Coconut Cream, $12
Fried banana, $4
Lim also makes caramelized salted tamarind pork ribs, fingers loaded with coconut cream and prahok ktiss (also known as Cambodian bolognese). It’s an unusually meaty menu, but it has vegetarian risotto topped with vegan toast topped with charred eggplant and grilled vegetables, marinated in kroeung, the basic Khmer seasoning paste.
You can’t order these day or night in Hermosa, nor can you order evening drinks with Jon Pokorny from Kedzie. It is a filling daiquiri made with funky Javanese rice and the spirit of molasses known as Batavia Arak. I’ll call it “Lemongrass Arrackuiri.”
Hurry up before an animal bigger and stronger than your jaw grabs it. lem Take orders now, but as always, visits are welcomed and cherished. See you at 5 pm on Monday.