A passion for music and heritage provides the thread that binds at Mad Love, the Thai restaurant opening at 11 a.m. today from Rock 'n Roll Noodle Co., a popular farmer's market vendor which sells pad Thai and other dishes. Owner Anna Abbey built up music connections while working in New York, and she's mixed that passion in with her family business. Her parents once ran the Thai Room, one of Chicago's first Thai restaurants.
The DIY attitude and decor show this isn't your father's Thai spot. Abbey has a wall of pop art featuring the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Wonder Woman plastered side-by-side with scenes from her motherland. There are even speakers on the shelves, as Abbey had promised her restaurant would be the rare Thai spot where diners can hear Motown while slurping up their noodles.
The menu promises "twisted Thai comfort food" while pledging to preserve culinary tradition and use sustainable ingredients. There's the regular format of appetizers, rice bowls and noodles. The chap chae, with sweet potato noodles, is a highlight.
Read the full opening menu below and gaze at the photos above.
Mad Love Rock 'n Roll Noodle Emporium, 1810 W. Montrose Ave., (773) 687-9763, open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday.