Scrap Happy

Creative design--and dining--at Ruxbin

To describe Ruxbin as "resourceful" is an understatement.

This new, petite Noble Square BYOB is filled with reclaimed and repurposed material, to stunning effect: Orange shipping crates panel the walls, seat belts serve as seat backs, and cookbook pages cover the ceiling.

But the design isn't the only reason to visit the 38-seat restaurant. Chef Edward Kim's menu is also peppered with ingenuity; it hops around the globe without feeling unfocused.

In a nod to French bistros, there are thin, superbly crispy frites tossed with garlic and herbs, with a smoky chipotle aioli on the side ($5). When topping an overstuffed bowl of mussels in white wine ($16), the fries are tossed in Japanese togorashi pepper.

Foil-wrapped elotes–roasted corn coated with cotija cheese, chili powder, cilantro and lime–are a true-to-form rendition of the Mexican street snack ($4). Hanger steak with chimichurri and fennel seed gastrique ($23) leans South American, while mojo chicken references both Latin America–with cilantro and black beans–and India, with basmati rice ($17).

One of the menu's stars defies ethnic definition: a salad of batter-fried eggplant with roasted beets, batons of cucumber, and fresh herbs, dressed in honey-cardamom yogurt ($11). Put simply, it's a delicious mix.

Ruxbin Kitchen, 851 N. Ashland Ave.; 312-624-8509 or ruxbinchicago.com