In the world of writing, they say you should never judge a book by its cover. Well, in the world of food, the same goes for restaurants.

Set in a strip mall on 63rd Street, just past the Target when you’re headed east to downtown Downers Grove, Bok Choy’s neon, red sign, sandwiched between two dance studios, doesn’t exactly scream ambiance. In fact, the overall effect is so unappealing, I can’t even bring myself to post a photo for you, lest you rule it out entirely, like we almost did.

Inside Bok Choy

Inside, things are better: dozens of little tables with white tablecloths and silver chairs accented by deep blue glasses and contemporary art. There’s a small bar area in the corner, not much bigger than the wet bars in the basements of nice homes, and a lounge/seating area offers magazines, I presume for patrons who are waiting to dine.

We went on a Friday night recently, at around 7:30 p.m., a time when more popular restaurants would offer 45-minute wait times and too-crowded floor plans. But at Bok Choy, we were seated immediately, becoming one of only four occupied tables in the restaurant. There was one waitress.

Cashew Chicken

Sticking with my usual stand-by at Chinese restaurants, I ordered the cashew chicken, which was served in a large, modern white bowl and filled with vegetables, mushrooms, chicken, cashews, onions and a thick brown sauce, along with white rice on the side.

Also typical of my experiences at Chinese restaurants, my portion size was much more food than I needed. I ate it again for lunch the next day and still had more for a third meal. The prices are reasonable, my chicken costing less than $10.

All in all, a great place to try for a quiet night of good Chinese food that doesn’t break the bank. I should add, though, avoid the chicken pad thai at all costs. I’m told the rice noodles were soggy, and for the chicken, there were no words.

Neighborhood: Downers Grove, southwest suburbs of Chicago

http://www.bokchoycafe.com/

2117 63rd St
Downers Grove, IL, 60516
(630) 960-9882

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Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

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