I first learned of Green Village from Kevin Pang, a Chicago Tribune food writer with impeccable credentials as a lifelong fried rice connoisseur. But I needn't have waited for a recommendation from two time zones away, since Wendy Lu's restaurant is an International District mainstay and Yelp darling.
There's a range of classic Chinese-American dishes on the lunch menu (which is, by default, the only menu, since Lu shuts up shop at 5 p.m.) But the standout item is the house special fried rice, dotted with nubbins of smoky pork and tiny shrimp so plump and clean that they wouldn't be out of place on a party platter with cocktail sauce.
The tender, greaseless rice -- finished with bits of scrambled egg and diced scallions, and fragrant with the rice starch essence familiar from rice wine - is a remarkable illustration of wok hay. Chinese cooks sometimes debate whether wok hay, the soulful flavor which occurs when fresh ingredients are tossed in a very hot wok, originates from the food; the wok's seasoning or the cook.
Although the last argument is uncomfortably mystical, it's difficult to discount Lu's good-natured spirit when trying to dissect her fried rice's greatness. From her station behind the counter, Lu warmly greets every customer who enters the restaurant, and happily dispenses to-go boxes. Since every $6.95 mound of rice is properly sized for two meals, you'll probably need one.