Monday, October 4, 2010



Thank you to those who participated in my lovely birthday. After dinner, presents, dessert and drinks the weekend rolled around and it was time for date night. Which was basically a repeat of the former. Warren and I have wanted to try Mana for sometime now. If you ever walk down Division in West Town I'm sure you've been intrigued by this dark little bar/restaurant. In the summer the outdoor seating is nestled between trees. The interior is very minimal, and small but you don't seem to mind because the space is used so well. We sat at the bar and although it took sometime to get used to staring at the brick wall ahead of us once the show started we were intriqued with our food.
This is the kind of dining that I love. People watching, talking to the staff, ordering small plates and drinking exquisite concoctions.

Mana  loosely translates to "the life force in nature" or "the things magic is made of". And by the way it is vegetarian. But not the tasteless kind.

Our menu:
Rice noodles in thai coconut milk broth with butternut squash, tofu, basil, mint and green onion
Sesame noodle chilled yellow wheat noodles tossed in spicy sesame peanut sauce with shredded peapods and carrots
Mana chili  - corn, black beans, chickpeas, green onions and white cheddar
Mana slider- brown rice and mushroom burger with spicy mayo
Spanikopita - baked filo filled with spinach, dill and feta cheese

The menu was fun, and allowed you to pick and choose small or large plates. There were so many other amazing options I wish we could have ordered them all! Next time I will try the sampler (pick 3 of the cold dishes) with options like: Jicama, mango & cucumber salad with cilantro and chili lime salt or Spinach and pear salad with walnuts and sweet mustard vinaigrette.

For drinks I ordered:
Watermelon and mint sake cocktail and the pineapple and fresh ginger sake cocktail.
The drinks were amazingly refreshing with just a splash of the sake flavor.

I love mana. And i will be back.

Mana Food Bar on Urbanspoon


I miss you bloggy.
I Just got back from a 2-week vacation to Iran so it has been awhile. Well, actually I got back 2 weeks ago. But between starting classes again (yup, doing the PH.D thing), quitting my full time job (tears), and looking for a part-time gig to stay afloat, it has been a busy couple weeks. Upon our return I happened to turn 26 (bleh). I really didn't want to celebrate or do anything special this year but when it came down to it a girl's got to eat right? We decided to check out Meze in the West Loop.

Mezé  is a gorgeous tapas space in the West Loop tucked away between the lofts and warehouses. If you don't hear about it my word of mouth you probably would never know it exists. I've been here for drinks at the bar but never had the food. The place is really pretty, and I have to start taking pictures of the interiors of places I visit.

We ordered off the 4$ happy hour menu...

Greek Pommes Frites


Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

Spicy Grilled Sausages

 Spicy Potatoes 
Vegetarian Thai Rolls

Beef Sliders

Pork Skewers

The happy hour menu is very eclectic. They call it Mediterranean, but to be honest any restaurant that boosts this title better know what they are talking about. Most of the time it seems to be a cover up for indecisiveness. It's like, "hey, we have a little bit of everything lets just call it Mediterranean". Lame.
I did like the friendly price. And it was fun to relax and unwind. But the food wasn't memorable. I'll come back for drinks but not for the food.