Bona Sera takes over the short-lived J. Neil's Mongolian Grille at the corner of Washington. A huge space, with two walls of windows, it feels rather cavernous in its present rendition, with simple tables and chairs and a few rococo sofas barely filling the expanse. Topped by a mammoth stainless steel hood, the open kitchen brings some life into the restaurant, a counterpoint to the bored and rather indifferent counter girl who takes your order. The chef-owners used a kickstarter.com campaign and their own savings to open Bona Sera, and I would guess it's still a work in progress. Perhaps another campaign and a liquor license would bring in a cozy bar and a few improvised dividers to break up the room, and a focus on what they do best would bring forth a menu both tasty and exactly written.
Bona Sera Cafe
200 W. Michigan Avenue
Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Sun. & Mon.