BEST RESTAURANT FOR LATE-NIGHT DINING - 2000
Living in a city that virtually shuts down at ten on a weeknight can sometimes feel like Exile in Mayberry. A late-night breakup that requires an emergency girlfriend powwow leads you to the grease-laden, open-air psych wards that are the 24-hour chain restaurants. The only place to take your blind date after the movie is your filthy, furniture-free studio apartment (bad idea). Enter Chino Latino: Just walking through the door makes you feel you've just been invited to a cosmopolitan beach soirée. Flashy, well-lit dining areas help you shake the lingering thought that maybe you should be in bed by now; skilled bartenders help you shake any other lingering thoughts. Chino Latino serves a full menu and dim sum until 1:00 a.m. on weeknights and 2:00 a.m. on weekends, giving you plenty of time to get to know your blind date. Witty conversation over the fabulous pupu platter or the to-die-for phuket noodles invites safe and healthy romance far more than awkward silence over the one can of Mountain Dew in your fridge. And for that girlfriend powwow, Chino Latino must have had your posse in mind when it created a banana split big enough for a whole sorority. If that doesn't drag you into this decadent dining spot, let us note that even the kitchen staff looks like the cast of a new WB series. The eye candy, along with a killer mai tai, should wipe out any regrets over a loser date or a cheating ex-mate.