Kala Modern Greek (2523 N. Clark St.; www.kalachicago.com ) is a charming spot in the heart of Lincoln Park that attracts a mix of residents and workers.
Kala incorporates elements of both fast-casual and more upscale dining establishments. For example, customers can order food remotely or with QR codes, but there are touches such as fine linen napkins. (Admittedly, I was concerned with the open-window approach, as bugs sometimes visit. However, I didn't see one critter the entire time I was there.)
And the cuisine? The homestyle Greek cooking tastes as good as it smellsand that's saying something.
By all means, start with the feta me melian absolutely addictive dish consisting of baked feta in flaky phyllo and partially submerged in honey. My dining companion instantly fell in love with this appetizer, and I certainly didn't blame him.
However, there were many other delicious items we sampled. The souvlaki (skewers) were wonderful, and there are varieties such as Slagel Farms pork, shrimp, chicken, veggie and mushroom. (They can also be ordered as sandwiches, bowls or salads.) Speaking of salads, I also loved the kolokythokeftedesa beguiling mix of zucchini fritters cherry tomato, pickled red onion, shredded romaine and feta with garlic sauce. As for the spanakopita (consisting of spinach, feta and phyllo), I've had this dish many times, and Kala definitely has one of the tastier versions.
The Greek burger was also pretty solid, and it's topped with granch (a ranch/Greek yogurt blend) and Kala's Greek fries (with feta, lemon, an olive oil-and-herb blend, and garlic sauce) have to be tasted to be believed.
And save room for dessert because Kala has those, too. We could've eaten the loukamades (fried donut balls topped with cinnamon sugar and honey, with candied walnuts on the side) all day long, but you could also opt for Fro-go (made with housemade Greek yogurt) or a Fro-go/loukamades combo.
Kala is BYOB, but there are some pretty cool (and authentic) drinks there such as Epsa juices. My friend and I both selected the uncarbonated Orangeade, which tasted just like a Hi-C. (Remember those?)
There are many reasons to recommend Kala. Visit once and you'll become a regular at this authentically Mediterranean spot.
Note: This visit was arranged.