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Lao Sze Chuan

Lao Hunan builds on Chinatown empire

Lao Hunan builds on Chinatown empire

Lao Hunan, 2230 S. Wentworth Ave.

Who eats: Mostly Chinese and Chinese-Americans, with a few business types mixed in.

Why eat: As part of the growing Lao empire headed by chef Tony Hu, Lao Hunan serves Chinese food that's based on Hunan-area cooking. It is one of four sister restaurants to Lao Sze Chuan, which was recently named a Bib Gourmand by Michelin Guide Chicago, meaning it was one of the inspectors' favorites for value.

Ambience: The Chinatown restaurant is small and by no means fancy, with basic wooden tables, simple padded chairs and a tiled floor. What it lacks in comfort, it more than makes up for in...