Nothing is better than healthy cuisine at a local Sushi spot in Chicago. One spot that has been on my radar for quite some time is Yuzu. Yuzu is a personable and cozy quaint restaurant to bring a bottle of wine and have good conversation over sushi, grilled bites, and numerous veggie options. Hands down a perfect spot for date for intimacy - hello, date night plans!Located in East Village, it is the ideal ending to a day filled with browsing funky boutiques and people watching. Yuzu also offers delivery and takeout, which is great for our regular polar vortex experiences. Its small dining room sets the scene for intimate dinners with close friends and significant others, and the BYOB policy is the cherry on a sundae.In many Asian recipes, soy sauce and other sauces are not gluten-free. If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, then you might have to figure out a game plan with the server to find something as a substitute to the ponzu sauce and soy sauce. Nonetheless, there is a bountiful amount of plant based vegetarian and vegan options that they have to offer and can prepare it to your specific needs!What we had: Seaweed SaladPacked with numerous vitamins and minerals, it's a great way to start your meal. Some might not enjoy the taste of seaweed, but it's worth a shot if you feel like being experimental. We love the salty flavor (and the health benefits)!From Yuzu's Robata Grill:The robata grill at Yuzu has a variety of veggies to choose from such as: asparagus, tofu, zucchini, cauliflower, shishito pepper, nasu (eggplant), and mushroom. Pictured above: Tofu with sweet chili and ground peanut, zucchini with peanut sauce, and eggplant with teriyaki sauce. All very delicious, and satisfying.Plant-Based Approved Menu Items:Besides what we noshed on, Yuzu has an abundant amount of healthy options for vegans and vegetarians. Here are our picks!Vegan Salads: + Cucumber salad with vinaigrette dressing. + Avocado mango salad with greens and ponzu sauce.Vegetarian appetizers: + Curry puff with caramelized onion, potato, curry, and cucumber relish. + Baked mushrooms with ponzu sauce. + Edemame and Miso soupVegetarian sushi rolls: + Asparagus rolls with asparagus, avocado, cucumber and wasabi mayo. + Shitakee mushroom + Green harbor roll: broccoli, sweet potato, asparagus, sunflower seeds, avocado, cucumber. + Sweet potato tempura roll.Veggie based lunch specials: + Bento box: Tofu, Zucchini, and sweet potato robata with miso soup and a green salad. + Veggie roll special: Asparagus and mushroom rolls with two pieces of inari.Besides all their veggie options, their sushi is DELICIOUS and if you are pescatarian then you MUST try Yuzu's maki rolls! We had the very spicy tuna roll (featured photo) - such a treat!Read More
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While it originated in 8th-century Asia as a means of preserving fish with fermented rice, sushi has since emerged as both a working-class street food and a gourmet cuisine. Chicago may be half a world away from Tokyo, but here you’ll find Michelin-recommended restaurants serving decadent signature rolls and trendy sake lounges. But the city also rewards those willing to try a simple laid-back sushi bar or a small BYOB hot spot.Read More
When Chicago nightlife veteran Joy Jara took over Chicago restaurant Rodan (1530 N. Milwaukee Ave.) last year, she was also changing neighborhoods, moving to Wicker Park after 10 years of holding it down in River North. In a neighborhood where everything changes, Rodan’s been a standby, recently celebrating its 10-year anniversary in October. Over the years, it’s entertained both locals and what she calls “weekend adventurers” as the neighborhood has changed from an artist’s enclave to a sparkling destination of shopping, dining, and nightlife. She describes Rodan as an Asian gastropub, serving craft beers and hand-spun cocktails, but that’s perhaps only part of the story. Her new executive chef, Art Ledda, has added his spin to the Eastern-influenced menu (think togarashi burgers and open-faced bao sandwiches). But the sleek interior is still homey and comfortable, and Asian movies flicker on the back wall, adding a touch of irreverence and whimsy to the space. It could be said that this reflects Joy’s personality as well. She’s stylish and magnanimous, yet she wears 5-inch heels on the regular. And she’s just as apt to start a discussion breaking down the Bulls’ defense as she is about Joakim Noah’s hairstyle. Below, Joy shares a recipe for the Dark Blossom, one of Rodan's signature drinks, which she likes to pair with the kitchen's open-faced bao or housemade ramen. The cocktail is made with aged Japanese whiskey in large batches, but here she pares down the recipe so cocktail aficionados can make it at home. The Dark Blossom Shake together the following: 1 oz Yamikazi single-malt Japanese whiskey (it’s aged for 12 years; available at Binny’s Beverage Depot) 1 oz Heaven Hill bourbon 1 bag of orange-spiced tea 1 1/2 teaspoon black sugar (or kuro sato, aka unrefined cane sugar, available at Asian markets like Joong Boo Market or Super H Mart) 2 dashes orange bitters Infuse whiskeys, tea, and sugar for six to eight hours in the refrigerator in a container. Fill a rocks glass with ice and pour cocktail over. Top it with the orange bitters and garnish with an orange peel. Stir, sip, and enjoy. Photos courtesy of RodanRead More