On one side, a takeout joint for fast food with a twist, on the other, more upscale offerings from chef-owner David Gupta.

Our Review

Two restaurants in one single-story building, Chef Luciano tends more toward higher-end meals, Gourmet Chicken (previously Gourmet Fish) to more standard fast foods such as fried fish and chicken. Offerings draw from all sorts of influences—Cajun, Italian, Jamaican, African, and chef-owner David Gupta's native Indian—and the results, as you might expect, are eclectic: Chef Luciano Cajun catfish, for instance, comes with a vegetable stir-fry accented with curry. On the other side of the building, Gourmet Fish turns out exceptional fried chicken, its crispy thin breading seasoned with cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon. Though there are a few tables scattered about, both spots are essentially take-out joints; eating on-site means doing so amid a crowd of people waiting for carry-out orders served from the bulletproof carousel. On one of my visits a wild-eyed chef Gupta reamed a customer for requesting extra hot sauce, then chewed out a short-order cook for not having my order ready. Despite (or because of) Gupta's fiery temper, his food's generally quite good. In fact, his collard greens were perhaps the best I've had on the south side—and that's saying something.

David Hammond

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