Sushi is one of mankind’s most ancient foods, dating back to a time before humans discovered fire and, subsequently, that fish are terrific makers of s’mores. Delight in the savory side of nature’s pastry chef with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of sushi and more at Sushi Badaya in Highland Park. With more than 18 years of experience preparing Japanese specialties, Sushi Badaya’s owner and head chef, Neo, delivers a menu that includes classic nigiri, sashimi, and maki, as well as an arsenal of inspired specialty rolls. The Badaya roll is a rolled-up sleeping bag of spicy tuna, ebi tempura, and cucumber on which seared tuna rests its weary, wasabi-mayonnaise-covered head. Cooked entrees include teriyaki salmon ($17.95) and tempura udon, a combination of thick noodles, shrimp, and veggies served alongside tempura and salad ($13.95). Sushi Badaya’s full-service bar keeps the intricate machinery of the digestive tract from drying out, cracking, and requiring out-of-warranty repairs from the dealership.
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Five Yelpers give Sushi Badaya a four-star average rating:
Upon a marbled wall, a Japanese triptych mural tells the story of a gargantuan fish licked by cerulean waves and a tiny boat tossed about in its wake. Even though this vibrant piece reflects a chaotic scene, the sushi bar where the owner and head chef crafts creative rolls and maki is anything but—he’s a seasoned artist with more than 15 years' experience slicing, dicing, and coiling. He carefully furls Alaskan king crab, shrimp tempura, and sweet chili sauce and creates tantalizing nigiri and sashimi with freshly carved squid and freshwater eel. Bartenders, meanwhile, pour wines and sakes to complement the chef's mouthwatering Japanese cuisine.
Sunlight pours through ground-to-ceiling windows, streaming across hardwood floors and dark wooden tables that friendly servers speckle with dishes of aromatic steak teriyaki and tempura udon soup. Diners can enjoy these exotic feasts amid the contemporary yet casual dining room’s traditional folding screens and bamboo accents or, when the extraterrestrial overlords who control the weather permit it, outside on the patio.
600 Central Ave.
Highland Park, Illinois 60035Get Directions