At Hokkaido Sushi Hibachi Steak House and Lounge—named after Japan's second-largest and northernmost main island, Hokkaido—highly trained chefs entertain both family gatherings and intimate dates at the hibachi table and prepare fresh sushi with salmon, tuna, squid, scallop, sea bass, and other cuts of seafood. The in-ground fish tank that circles the entire bar illuminates platefuls of teppanyaki filet mignon and crispy shrimp tempura. Nearby in the LED-laden Vegas-inspired eatery, a team of sushi chefs rolls slices of tuna, yellowtail, salmon, and asparagus inside a sheet of seaweed in the signature Crazy maki roll. Additional maki ingredients include unagi, cream cheese, jalapenos, and tempura soft shell crab.
Maki Sushi & Noodle Shop earned city-worthy praise in both the Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune for the elegant simplicity that characterizes both its menu and décor. Japanese letters run down the floor-to-ceiling murals that color the bright eatery’s mint-green walls, flanking a sushi bar centerpiece where more than 20 seats rest courtside as master chefs prepare soft shell crab, homemade dumplings, and crispy rangoons. They also churn out fresh sashimi and dozens of signature maki rolls including Crazy Crunch filled with tuna, salmon, yellowtail and tempura crunch topped with wasabi mayo and unagi sauce. The clean lines of the eatery’s exposed brick pillars and polished wood-grain floors spill over into lunchtime bento boxes, which compartmentalize protein such as crabmeat fried rice or chicken katsu. Delicate flutes of martini glasses filled with fruit-infused takes on the classic cocktail. Equipped with a glass-enclosed wine cellar, Maki Sushi’s lower level lounge plays host to private get-togethers, corporate happy hours, and very short games of hide-and-seek.
Combining his French culinary education with his Japanese heritage, chef Takashi crafts Michelin-starred French dishes with an East Asian twist. Finish off the weekend with Sunday’s multi-course kaiseki dinner, or pair a glass of sake with a plate from the chef’s tasting menu.
The Chan family has made a name over the last 15 years with their sophisticated Japanese cuisine at Mirai Sushi. Their latest spot is Macku, named one of Chicago magazine’s best new restaurants in 2010. Sashimi and sushi rolls are dressed up with truffle oil and foie gras, and daily specials include ceviche with kumquat and fried pineapple.
Shaw's Crab House has a split personality. It's part sophisticated seafood restaurant, part casual oyster bar. No matter where you sit, the oysters are plucked and shucked fresh from the daily shipments of assorted fish and seafood such as Alaskan golden king crab legs.
It’s hard to find a place where two shareable ideas share the same table so successfully. At Ukai Japanese restaurant, specialty maki rolls are priced to promote sampling, much like the tapas that come hot from the kitchen. Such pairings include crunchy spicy tuna rolls and Mushuu duck buns with cherry chutney.