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Bites Asian Tapas to Open on Clark with Kimchi Egg Rolls, Bulgogi Burgers

By Serena Dai | October 31, 2013 6:41am
 Marita Tantivirasut, 32, is the chef at Bites Asian Tapas, a new small-plates restaurant expected to open in November at 3313 N. Clark St.
Marita Tantivirasut, 32, is the chef at Bites Asian Tapas, a new small-plates restaurant expected to open in November at 3313 N. Clark St.
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DNAinfo/Serena Dai

LAKEVIEW — Another Asian restaurant is joining Clark Street.

Bites Asian Tapas, 3313 N. Clark St., near School Street, plans to debut its pan-Asian small plates in a soft opening within the next couple of weeks, said co-owner and chef Marita Tantivirasut, 32. 

Tantivirasut and co-owner Asana Nakornchai, 32, both from Thailand, met while working as servers at Lincoln Square's Tank Sushi. The two became best friends and roommates and decided to open a restaurant together, Tantivirasut said.

Though both women are Thai, Bites will serve small plates with flavors from across Asia, including recipes from Tantivirasut's mother back in Thailand, Tantivirasut said.

Menu items include dumplings with shrimp, pork, shiitake mushrooms, carrots and masago with a whiskey soy sauce; kimchi egg rolls and garlic escargot. 

It will also serve bigger dishes, such as a bi bim bop with bulgogi and their planned signature dish "Pretty in Pink," Thai-Chinese rice noodles with a sweet pink sauce. 

On weekends, Bites will serve brunch with items like green tea crepes, bulgogi burgers and Asian-style pulled-pork waffles. 

Bites will be open for dinner from 5-10:30 p.m. weekdays and 5-11:30 p.m. weekends. Brunch will be served from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

The restaurant will have a full bar with Asian-inspired cocktails. 

The duo wanted to focus on small plates so that diners can try more different flavors by sharing dishes, Tantivirasut said. At regular restaurants, ordering one dish often makes a person too full, she said.

"We didn't want to do just Thai," she said. "We wanted fusion, to keep different tastes and flavors. People can share everything."

Bites will be the second pan-Asian restaurant to join the street this year. Four Belly Asian Street Food opened in August at 3227 N. Clark St.

Tantivirasut acknowledged that both restaurants' idea of pan-Asian dishes to share is similar, but the two shops are different enough. Bites will not serve street food, she said, and will have a different atmosphere because of the full bar.

Plus, she and Nakornchai are friendly with Four Belly owner Tony Kammaty, she said. They all looked for storefronts together and now help each other out.

"Everything worked out," she said. "We became neighbors."