Though you’ll find sushi on the menu at most Chicago Japanese restaurants, Japanese cuisine is far more eclectic than you might have known. At a Japanese restaurant in Chicago, you might find robata—similar to barbecue but using special coals to imbue meats, seafood, and vegetables with a delicate, smoky flavor. Another Japanese staple is rich, fatty ramen, which is sure to be way more of a culinary delight than whatever you ate from a package in college. Authentic ramen features more grownup flavors including creamy broths and tender strips of pork belly.

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