Lucky $13: Lac Viet
Cha Ca Thang Long, $8
Ever have fish and chips with a Vietnamese twist? If not, it's high time you did. Facilitating that heretofore unknown craving is the brand-new Lac Viet on Bethel Road. The dish in question is called Cha Ca Thang Long, but if you find that hard to wrap your mouth around, then order it by number: S-2. Believe me, you'll have no problem wrapping your mouth around the thing when it's on your plate.
It's a towering mound of profoundly tender fish (the type varies from monkfish cheeks to catfish curls to whatever's fresh) that's lightly dusted in curry powder and given a smoky-flavor-imparting quick grilling. The drill here is to stack the chunks of fish with its plate-side compatriots of rice chips, dry roasted peanuts and sauteed scallion and dill fronds. Awesome.
1506 Bethel Rd., Northwest Side