Visitors walking into Sakuma Japanese Restaurant looking for high-quality, traditional Japanese cuisine can rest assured they're in good hands. In addition to the strong menu, sushi chefs make a daily special chef's choice roll, while the attentive staff goes the extra mile to make sure guests feel welcome. At sushi-making classes, they can even learn to make some of the signature rolls.
Orchid’s 7,000 square feet of sleek feasting space invites diners to sample a smorgasbord of contemporary pan-Asian cuisine featuring fresh sushi, hearty Korean barbecue, sweet Thai curries, and more. Entrees such as the braised Korean short ribs ($22) and the Thai green curry with shrimp ($16) detonate saucy taste explosions along thin red lip lines. Chlorophyll-friendly options include the vegetarian dinner plate ($15), a meatless medley of tofu steak, seaweed salad, kabocha mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables glazed in a miso-teriyaki sauce. For professional chopstick twirlers, Orchid offers an expansive selection of specialty sushi, including Crunch Melt, with shrimp tempura, cream cheese, and melted mozzarella, drizzled with unagi sauce ($14), and Salmon Obsession, a savory mix of fried and fresh salmon ($16) named in honor of Calvin Klein's best-selling portable grill.
Ginger-sauteed squid. Deep-fried pork. Creamy avocado and salmon. Dishes at Sushi Bar deliver fresh flavors, inventive pairings, and plenty of options. From maki to noodles to plated teriyaki combos, the menu greets hungry guests with diversity and Japanese favorites.
Sleek decor and bold colors fill Sushi-Ai's dining room to complement the elegant plates of sushi rolls and Japanese-influenced entrees. A white banquette lines one wall and modern chairs snuggle up to black tables illuminated by candlelight. Against a red-tiled backdrop, sushi chefs slice up nigiri and arrange their signature maki rolls, which can be cloaked in black rice upon request. The Green Turtle roll comes topped with shrimp and wasabi tobiko to hide its core of freshwater eel and avocado, and the salmon Obsession is filled with cucumber and crabmeat that move in with lightly battered spicy salmon, gradually copying the salmon's personality quirks and mannerisms.
If you spend time browsing the racks of authentic Japanese groceries at Tensuke Market, you're going to get hungry. When that happens, most people head over to the store's convenient food court, where kitchens bustle with the preparation of traditional Japanese dishes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sushi and sashimi are the most popular orders; each piece is prepared by a skilled sushi chef using fish flown in from Alaska, Seattle, New England, and Hawaii. Other favorites include miso ramen, nabeyaki udon, and katsu don, each of which pairs well with a hot bottle of sake. After closing time, the market doubles as a classroom, where a sushi chef with more than two decades of experience reveals his culinary secrets, including how a pair of chopsticks can double as drumsticks in a pinch.
Eclectic ingredients, including eel and mint leaf, fill more than 30 maki rolls and helped earn Wildfish a spot on Gayot's list of the 10 best Chicago sushi restaurants in 2012. One roll pairs spicy salmon, fried tuna, and pico de gallo, and another mixes spicy mayo and sweet soy sauce with Alaskan king crab and a splash of Bacardi 151. Filet mignon and lobster sizzle in the tropical-hued dining room with walls of red, green, and gold and bamboo that sways against the ceiling. Glasses of imported Japanese beer and sake clink together in high-backed booths that offer privacy during dates and meals out with a parrot that only knows how to say your medical records.