WEST LOOP — Strap on a plastic bib — the West Loop's newest restaurant addition brings by-the-pound cajun-style seafood to Madison Street.
Husband-wife team Stanley Liem and Nuchsara “Sara” Katekaew opened Mad Boiler, which specializes in cajun seafood boils, at 1045 W. Madison St. this week in the former Real Comfort American Kitchen. Both industry vets, the pair also owns popular Miku Sushi in Lincoln Square and Inari Sushi in suburban Elmwood Park.
Mad Boiler's menu includes a bevy of by-the-pound, market price cajun seafood options, including lobster tail (currently $26), king crab legs ($36), blue crabs ($15), crawfish ($10), shrimp ($13) and mussels ($9). After choosing from nearly a dozen seafood options, guests then select a sauce, heat level and other add ons, including corn-on-the-cob, sausage and potatoes ($3).
"This kind of cajun boil-in-a-bag with sauce was started by the Vietnamese," Liem said at the restaurant Thursday. "They said, 'oh the seafood boil is boring.' They mixed it up and it tastes even better."
Patrons dig in to a spicy seafood feast at Mad Boiler, a new cajun seafood restaurant in the West Loop Thursday. [dnainfo/Stephanie Lulay]
Right now, the in-season crawfish, mussels, dungeness crab, blue crab and full lobsters are all delivered live to the restaurant.
The menu also includes lobster rolls ($16), shrimp and oyster Po' boys ($13) and a full bar.
After looking in the West Loop for more than a year, the couple landed the Madison Street storefront and did a complete renovation of the space.
"We love the area," Liem said. "I would definitely consider opening another restaurant in the West Loop."
Liem, who is Chinese, and Katekaew, who is Thai, met while working at the Tank Sushi in Lincoln Square more than a decade ago, and the pair went on to open their own restaurants. The husband-wife team opened Inari Sushi in Elmwood Park in 2010, Sala Bua Thai in Chinatown in 2013 and Miku Sushi in Lincoln Square in January 2015 in the former Tank Sushi. The couple sold Sala Bua Thai in December 2015, Liem said.
The 75-seat restaurant is open 3 p.m.-Midnight Monday-Friday, Noon-Midnight Saturday and Noon-9 p.m. Sunday.
Mad Boiler, a cajun seafood boil restaurant, opened at 1045 W. Madison St. in the West Loop this week. [dnainfo/Stephanie Lulay]
Market prices for seafood by the pound at Mad Boiler Thursday. [dnainfo/Stephanie Lulay]
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