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little help...lotta fun

p
pkafka Oct 6, 2007 12:22 PM

Hello. I am a Northwestern student and feel a bit couped up over here in Evanston. I am very interested in venturing into the city this evening and am seeking the help of some foodies who also enjoy a good time.

I am going out with some friends and want to go to a sushi spot that doesn't only have some of the freshest fish and stickiest rice in town, but also want a scene and energy. Along side those specifics, I am also interested in eating at a restaurant that has an awesome surrounding area. I want a place that is surrounded by a lot of after dinner options - bars, live music venues, etc...

All in all, I am seeking a place that not only provides food and service but also serves up a nice bit of atmosphere and energy.

Thanks.

-pk, www.pkafka.com

also... places with brown rice are a big bonus... thanks!

  1. m
    misac Oct 6, 2007 01:41 PM

    I've found that the hipper the sushi restaurant is either A: the quality isn't up to par or B: it's way too pricy. I stick to the "mom and pop" sushi joints, whose prices AND quality are commensurate.

    But for a super hip spot, near lots of nightlife/bars within a short walking distance, near public transportation and with fairly late hours, visit Hey Sushi on Clark Street. They play dance music, have a younger crowd AND a sushi conveyor belt. The prices are fairly reasonable and the quality is good (I was told they ship their fish in everyday).

    I will ALWAYS suggest Itto Sushi on Halsted for the best sushi in Chicago proper. It's small, traditional and fresh. Prices are great. Not as hip, but there's a great Chicago blues club across the street that makes the trip worth it!

    Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: misac
      j
      jesteinf Oct 6, 2007 03:21 PM

      Wow, whoever told you Hey Sushi has its fish shipped in daily was either lying or it's being shipped in from God knows where. Seriously, Hey Sushi is atrocious.

      We just went to Ai (same owners as Tsuki and Ringo) and it was really good. It's a gorgeous space, and they've got some pretty interesting fish options that you don't see other places (shima aji, goldeneye snapper). Also, they make their sushi rice with a blend of white and brown rice, so that might interest you (we only had sashimi so I can't comment of the quality of the rice).

      Mirai and Tsuki would probably also interest you (good mixes of atmosphere and quality).

    2. b
      BRB Oct 6, 2007 02:19 PM

      I like Bob San a lot. It's at 1805 W. Division (just east of Damen). It has the energy you're looking for and it's very close to the West Town, Ukrainian Village and Bucktown/Wicker Park bars. http://www.bob-san.com/

      Sai Cafe, on Sheffield just north of Armitage, has very good sushi, but it really is more low key and not much of a scene. However, there are certainly lots of bars in the area and you're also a short cab ride from Bucktown/Wicker Park.

      6 Replies
      1. re: BRB
        Eaterlover Jan 23, 2008 05:05 PM

        I think bob san definitely aims for the cooked-fish crowd. I didn't see anything special in their raw fish selection which is kind of the point of a sushi restaurant.

        1. re: Eaterlover
          g
          gordeaux Jan 23, 2008 07:38 PM

          "I didn't see anything special in their raw fish selection which is kind of the point of a sushi restaurant."

          I'm extremely curious...what would you consider "special?"

          1. re: gordeaux
            Eaterlover Jan 24, 2008 08:10 AM

            Bob San only has the most basic selection of tuna and yellow tail. Nothing that stood out as interesting choices (nothing like Geoduck or Hotategai). I also noticed that the "cooked" (i.e. Anago) tasted significantly better than their raw nigiri.

            1. re: Eaterlover
              g
              gordeaux Jan 24, 2008 09:51 AM

              mirugai and hotetegai are both listed on their web menu. Maybe they were out, or they have scaled back on their offerings. I haven't been in six months-ish, but used to go quite frequently. I thought Bob-San walked the thin line between hipster mayo maki and really good nigiri/sashimi/chirashi offerings quite well. It was fun for people watching, but you could really get some decent quality fish as well. For all of the times I have been there, I would still recommend it with the caveat that once you get past the kind of hipster feel of the joint, and all of the maki heads, if you grab a seat at the bar, the chefs will hook you up nicely with some really decent traditional stuff if you ask them what's good. I hope they haven't gone downhill :-(

              Although, I could see it being more cost effective to cater to the mayomaki head crowd.

              1. re: gordeaux
                Eaterlover Jan 25, 2008 10:26 AM

                I didn't know there was a term for "mayomaki" heads! Thanks for the new vocabulary addition. :)

                1. re: Eaterlover
                  g
                  gordeaux Jan 25, 2008 11:52 AM

                  I use the term jokingly. Don't want to come off sounding "holier than thou" by any means because trust me, I know I'm not perfect. But, it sounds like you know the crowd I am referring to. I do enjoy a good spicy (mayo) tuna roll myself, and even make them at home quite a bit, but when I see the tables with platters piled with entire deep fried "crunch" rolls, I have to fight with my brain to not roll my eyes. And PLEASE don't get me started on the whole "deep fried and filled with cheese" rolls that I've seen. Just Ewww.
                  [/rant]

      2. p
        Pete Oldtown Oct 6, 2007 02:21 PM

        Blu Coral at 1265 N. Milwaukee in Wicker Park might fill the bill. Not cheap, but I thought it was worth the money. Not really super-expensive either. There's lots of clubs and bars nearby.

        1. j
          jayh Jan 24, 2008 09:46 AM

          Consider Tank in Lincoln Square (see metromix for reviews). Creative rolls, attractive space, fun crowd. Many bars nearby, though live music is limited (Martyrs and Green Mill are somewhat nearby). Take red line to belmont and then brown line to western.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jayh
            e
            Eldon Kreider Jan 24, 2008 06:58 PM

            The Old Town School of Folk Music is in the same block as Tank and has a great performance space. This block is a great place to have a good meal before or after a concert.

            The Grafton, a more or less Irish pub with pub food, in the same block has live music some evenings.

          2. p
            pkafka Nov 22, 2008 08:15 AM

            I ended up going to a good amount of these places... I love Tank. The most creative rolls and the fish is always fresh. Their Escolar is prime!

            -pk, theCulturePhile.com

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