La Mom Kitchen, new Chinese cuisine


Exterior of La Mom (Crousore/LION).

Catherine Crousore, Reporter

The face of our beloved Calender Avenue has been painted over several times with a colorful array of different cultures. The newest addition to the neighborhood features a look into what they proclaim as the most “authentic Chinese cuisine” around town. With one location already well established in Chinatown, La Mom expanded its service to the surrounding suburbs with its second location this May.

Being an avid Chinese food consumer myself, I was eager to make my way between the lines of the menu and find things that I and my partymates would enjoy. Luckily, La Mom offers a clear menu on the website to scroll through until your heart’s content. Reservations were also quite simple to place with their aesthetically pleasing website having a direct link at the top leading you through the process of placing your reservation. 

Upon walking through the doors, we were immediately greeted with a waitress holding the door for us, her customer service already standing out before we sat down. She led us to a small two-person booth on the left side of the restaurant near the door, making it easy to observe the other customers as they flooded in near mealtime. Along with the booths, there were also tables and chairs towards the middle of the room to accommodate those who may need more accessible seating. The decor around us slightly contrasted the overall theme of the menu, as their traditional essence did not exactly carry out within the modern grayscale of the walls and rustic wooden details carved into the doors that lead into the kitchen and party room. On the surrounding televisions, however, we found that they were playing Chinese news channels and entertainment, which besides the food added a hint of culture to the atmosphere. Nevertheless, it was still clean and extremely pleasing to the eye. 

After settling down in our seats and contemplating the room around us, we were prompted about choices for drinks. I went with the bottled Arctic Ocean Soda ($5), a fizzy drink primarily based in the heart of Beijing. My first impression was that it was going to taste like the infamous Fanta, but it contrasted in quality and richness and blew our soda out of the water with its smooth citrusy taste. I also sampled their Homemade Black Tea ($5), which was served in a dainty ceramic teapot. Once it cooled to be tolerable, we poured some out and made our first impressions. The flavor at first was a bit diluted, weaker than expected. However, as the glass sunk to half full, the flavor of the traditional tea leaves was brought out and made for a nice and simple accomplice to the meal. 

For our appetizers and entrees, we decided on the Vegetable Egg Rolls ($5.95), Pork Pot Stickers ($9.95), Chicken Lo Mein ($13.95), and Hot and Spicy Beef ($16.95), which all came out swiftly after placing the initial order. I was slightly shocked to only find that two egg rolls and four pot stickers came on a plate per serving. However, after my first crunch into the warm outer crust of the precisely wrapped roll, and the thick homemade dough shielding the seasoned steamed pork in the middle of the potstickers, it slightly justified the prices. My primary dish was the Chicken Lo Mein, served with homemade noodles, steamed chicken, and various vegetables that complemented the dish perfectly. I also sampled the Hot and Spicy Beef, which was served on steamed rice and filled with various spices, including red peppers, serrano peppers, and bell peppers. Both dishes were layered with many flavors, making the meal unforgettably good. 

Overall, La Mom is a great addition to our beloved downtown area, filling it with more culturally diverse selections of food that more people can experience and enjoy. They offer top-notch service, as well as great food for a moderate price. Although the decor doesn’t exactly fit the overall theme of the restaurant, the environment was still pleasant to observe and I would definitely go there again if given the opportunity. Out of five paws, I would give it a solid four. 

La Mom is located at 19 Calender Avenue, La Grange, and is open from 11:30 a.m to 9:00 p.m Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m to 9:30 p.m Friday through Saturday, and 12:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m on Sundays. 

Paw Rating: 4/5 paws