Clipped From Chicago Tribune
REVIEW Marisol Impressive start for Lula sister in artful MCA space By Phil Vettel Chicago Tribune It sounds odd at first, but the same things that drew Jason Hammel to create Lula Cafe in Logan Square 18 years ago attracted attracted him to Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, where he opened Marisol three months ago. 'Tor me, it was a question of artistic community and creativity," creativity," Hammel said. "Logan Square was, and is, a center of a vibrant and productive creative community, community, and I started Lula to create a space for people who made things. I got swept into the MCA community in the same way." Marisol, named for sculptor Marisol Escobar (her Six Women work was the museum's first acquisition), is part of the MCA's $16 million renovation, concluded earlier this year. Through a side entrance on Pearson Street (no admission fee required), one wanders past an art installation or two to find the dining space, which is not adjacent to the corri dor as much as it's a part of it: A counter-service counter-service counter-service area, open most days at 8 am., offers all-day all-day all-day bites at plug-in plug-in plug-in communal tables; just beyond is the art-immersed art-immersed art-immersed dining dining room, a predictably contemporary contemporary space that's comfortable and gently lit. The space holds 125 people; it doesn't feel that big. Those familiar with Lula Cafe will feel immediately at home here; the menu reflects the quirky, vegetable-forward vegetable-forward vegetable-forward stylings of Hammel and his chef de cuisine, Sarah Rinkavage. Baby bites include dishes of olives and almonds (the former with a celery salsa verde, the latter dusted with pulverized honey powder and grated black lime), and a platter bearing bite-size bite-size bite-size pieces of brined and poached octopus, served with chips sprinkled with powdered aji amarillo. Other starters virtually scream Lula, where the food is known (and revered) for its offbeat flavor combinations. Charred beets mingle with black olives and Turn to Marisol, Page 2 IH ERIN HOOLEYCHICAGO TRIBUNE In the baby bites category, bite-size bite-size bite-size pieces of brined and poached octopus are served with chips sprinkled with powdered aji amarillo.