Bambola  review image



1400 W Randolph St, Chicago
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

The West Loop has no shortage of large, popular, sceney restaurants. For example, the Beatnik team’s latest spot, Bambola. This restaurant’s food and decor are inspired by countries along the Silk Road, an ancient trade route that extended from Asia to Europe. In addition to plenty of ornate chandeliers and overstuffed couches with fluffy pillows, there are antiques like sections of a 300-year-old house from China decorating the dining space. And it’s hard not to feel like this piece of history deserves a better fate than to be trapped in a gaudy place playing club music and serving inconsistent food.

Some dishes are pretty decent, like flavorful lamb dumplings with a smoked shakshuka sauce, or tender braised oxtail with polenta cake. But there are also pitfalls like overcooked cod and walnut muhammara. Or a confusing wok-fried risotto topped with truffle foam and pomegranate molasses. It has the texture of gruel and a sour, funky flavor that makes you question the dish's expiration date. One thing that is consistent at Bambola is that there’s plenty of seating for groups of all sizes. Plus the servers are friendly, and reservations are easy to get. Come here when you’re in charge of planning a last-minute dinner for a large group and everything else in the West Loop happens to be booked. 

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