Asian Harbor serves a blend of Japanese and Thai dishes in a sleek, modern dining room. Rich Thai spices turn curries the same deep-orange hue as the walls, which glow with light from hanging cylindrical lamps. A neon-lined sushi bar dishes out more than 20 specialty rolls. And a lengthy list of cooling cocktails, sake, and wine balances hot dishes on the menu such as Spicy Basil, an entree of sautéed meat, snow peas, fresh basil, chili, and bell peppers. Unlike libraries beefing with Confucius, the wok section of the menu includes several Chinese classics, such as general tso's chicken and egg foo yong.
Slick, modern countertops, warm hues, bamboo accents, and contemporary light pendants in Triad Sushi Lounge’s dining room set the stage for a feast of Japanese delights, both exquisitely seasoned and aesthetically presented. Guests can order up a spread of traditional or fusion-style Japanese cuisine, including fresh tuna tartar and lamb chops cooked over a grill and bathed in a French-inspired red-wine-reduction sauce. Chefs tuck fresh king crab, squid, and cucumbers into colorful pieces of nigiri, sashimi, and full sushi rolls, and servers pour out sake bombs or uncork BYOB bottles. For a more private dining experience, Triad’s modern space boasts a VIP room bedecked with a 37-inch plasma-screen TV that comes outfitted with a DVD player and stellar sound system for blasting tunes or hearing the dialogue from Big Foot’s home videos.
Sesame Inn’s mouth-watering menu whisks guests on culinary journeys through China, Japan, and Thailand. Seventeen stir-fried dishes, including spicy sichuan green beans and kung pao chicken with crunchy peanuts and water chestnuts, spring from traditional Chinese recipes like gold nuggets spring from fortune cookies. Chefs tuck chicken, beef, or shrimp into beds of pineapple fried rice or pad thai’s nest of egg-laced rice noodles. If diners prefer their entrees uncooked, the Kama Kaze maki showcases two types of tuna, and the vegetable maki arrives rolled with spinach, cucumber, gourd, pickles, and asparagus.
At South Kawa Japanese Restaurant, sushi isn’t just a delight for the mouth; it’s a feast for the eyes. Bold colors and delicate flavors intermingle as chefs spool fresh fish and rice into more than 40 types of maki rolls, including specialties such as the American Eagle, a mélange of king crab, spicy tuna, asparagus, and two types of roe. Plates of sashimi can be made to order from more than 20 varieties of sea fare, such as yellowtail, octopus, and freshwater eel. Hot starters such as steamed seafood shumai and pan-fried chicken gyoza pair nicely with cool beverages, which diners can bring from home or squeeze from low-hanging rain clouds.
Inspired by bistro-style restaurants in Japan called izagayas, Oysy pampers palates with fresh sushi and traditional Japanese fare served in a contemporary atmosphere designed by renowned Chicago architect Doug Garofalo. Gastronomy gurus concoct authentic and exotic nigiri and sashimi portioned to share, as well as more than 25 types of specialty maki trimmed with fresh seafood and eclectic ingredients such as fried oysters and chicken tempura. Behind the bistro’s glass façade, diners sit at streamlined wooden tables cloaked in hues of purple and green, all housed beneath a ceiling festooned with hanging silver tiles that beam guests' orders directly to the kitchen when servers are on break.
Cone-shaped track lighting dangles over the counter as I Love Sushi's chefs bundle sushi roll-ups, plate teriyaki entrees, and prep hot noodles inside a cozy pedway shop. Replete with ingredients such as white rice, fresh vegetables, seaweed, sesame seeds, and cooked or raw seafood, I Love Sushi’s more than 15 maki options make a healthy on-the-go option for midday diners. Specialties include the Lake Shore roll, which honks like a passing bus as it’s bitten, and the Fire roll, which chefs stuff with shrimp tempura and drizzle in three sauces before briefly setting it ablaze. Across from the eatery sits a table designated for dine-in customers, an ideal vantage point for checking out the cobalt, cerulean, and burnt-orange tiles that cover the restaurant's interior or for counting the number of aldermen who run by.