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Need help with a Chicago sushi pick....

teejaymoore Apr 14, 2009 01:35 PM

....I'm planning a dinner for friends in Chicago and looking for help on best sushi for a group of four to six. When we lived in Chicago we loved Kamehachi and Sushi Wabi. Based upon reading the posts - Mirai, Rise and Coast sound really good as well. Any thoughts on differences - we are pretty much all about the fish.

I think Mirai consistently seemed to rank near #1. My only issue with that was I felt it was a little sceney when we used to eat there (I lived in Chicago about seven years ago). We're in our 40s so we're not exactly the geritol set but don't want to feel like senior citizens at a nightclub of 20somethings as well. Thanks

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  1. f
    ferret RE: teejaymoore Apr 14, 2009 02:04 PM

    Honestly don't get the love affair with Mirai. It's good, but not a standout.

    1. j
      jesteinf RE: teejaymoore Apr 14, 2009 02:06 PM

      If you're in it for the fish, go with Mirai (I've always felt that the downstairs is way less of a scene than the upper level). Rise is pretty unimpressive (same owners as Shine, same mediocre quality fish). Haven't been to Coast.

      If you can trek a bit (probably need a car), Katsu is also excellent.

      2649 W Peterson Ave
      (773) 784-3383

      1. m
        ms. chow RE: teejaymoore Apr 14, 2009 02:09 PM

        Sushi Wabi is still right up there, despite all these years being one of the pioneers on the Randolph row. Try Oysy. It is definitely less scenester than Mirai or Sushi Wabi. 2 locations, one on South Michigan close to the Blackstone, another on North Bridge by Nordstrom. The food is very solid, and they also have excellent izagaya items (hot tapas for lack of a better translation).

        2 Replies
        1. re: ms. chow
          teejaymoore RE: ms. chow Apr 14, 2009 04:08 PM

          Question on Oysy....do they have one or multiple locations? I see notes on the web about Oakbrook and River North, but website only seems to show South Loop. It looks interesting (concerned about the "chain" thing if there are multiple locations). I found out our friends we're having dinner with live in West Loop so likely thinking Sushi Wabi or Oysy for convenience.

          1. re: teejaymoore
            ms. chow RE: teejaymoore Apr 14, 2009 04:57 PM

            There's 2 in the city. The original is at 888 S Michigan Ave. The other one is at 50 E Grand Ave.

        2. nsxtasy RE: teejaymoore Apr 14, 2009 03:00 PM

          I heard that Mirai was recently named one of the top ten sushi places in the country. I can't give you a personal opinion, as I'm not a sushi eater.

          In case it helps, there are lots more opinions at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/362763

          1. chicgail RE: teejaymoore Apr 14, 2009 03:01 PM

            These would be my top recommendations:
            Coast on Damen in Bucktown -- lots of 20- and 30-somethings, reasonable prices and good rolls BYO
            Hachi's Kitchen on California in Logan Square (surprised no one else has mentioned it) Don't miss the Ahi Poke and the Tako Sansai.
            Sushi Wabi

            Kamehachi is good, basic, fresh sushi, but not in my mind a standout.
            I haven't tried Oysy, but I've heard good things.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chicgail
              rubinow RE: chicgail Apr 15, 2009 09:03 AM

              FWIW: I like Hachi and Mirai way better than Coast...but a lot of people love Coast. Bob San is good, too.

              Kaze Sushi is mentioned on nsxtasy's link. It definitely is interesting and unique. The chef makes different toppings for the sushi. It's not for purists, but it's something nobody else seems to be doing.


            2. m
              ms. chow RE: teejaymoore Apr 14, 2009 05:03 PM

              Actually, another place to consider is Meiji. They do certain things that are different from most sushi places. For example, some rolls are wrapped in soy paper. Closer to a Vietnamese spring roll than a sushi roll. Also if your companions live in the West Loop, would be another convenient spot for them. It's at 623 W Randolph, next door to Blackbird.

              1. c
                chicago09 RE: teejaymoore Apr 15, 2009 08:44 AM

                I live near Coast and go there all the time...or get take out. It's my favorite sushi spot in the city. It has a good menu. Lots of unique items (love the volcano and sunrise rolls + the white tuna jalapeno. It's BYOB so that's also a bonus. Probably a good idea to make a reservation (especially on weekends). I find Mirai's menu very limited. It is nice in the summer when you can sit outside.

                1. t
                  teejaymoore RE: teejaymoore Apr 15, 2009 07:20 PM

                  Thanks everyone. Think we're going to roll the dice between Sushi Wabi, Mirai and Oysy!

                  1. f
                    foodlover23 RE: teejaymoore Apr 30, 2009 08:57 AM

                    I have been to Rise and loved it! They have a lot of unique sushi combinations on special and everything I've eaten there was fresh and tasty.

                    I also really liked Ai Sushi. The service was mediocre but the sushi itself and the presentation was awesome!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: foodlover23
                      ms. chow RE: foodlover23 Apr 30, 2009 09:41 AM

                      I have to disagree on Rise. It used to be very good, and i used to go there a lot. Quality AND service both have deteriorated over the years. My last time there the hamachi nigiri didn't seem fresh. I told our waiter when he checked up on us, and he basically just shrugged. I talked to the manager on the way out. They were very apologetic. With so many other better places, i stopped going.

                      1. re: ms. chow
                        scout1 RE: ms. chow Apr 30, 2009 12:38 PM

                        No mention of Sai?!?! Probably some of the best sushi I've ever had... sit at the sushi bar and talk to Dan, the head sushi chef. THE best!!

                    2. r
                      rocks67 RE: teejaymoore Apr 30, 2009 02:51 PM

                      Naniwa on Wells, hands down. Nicest people, best sushi. Fresh, different. If they don't have it on the menu, they will make it to your liking no questions asked. Best salad, best Miso.

                      Sushi Wabi is still a good bet, too, as well as Kamehachi, but again, go to the one on Wells in Old Town.

                      1. w
                        wineme RE: teejaymoore Apr 30, 2009 04:23 PM

                        Surprised nobody mentioned Indie Cafe up in Edgewater/Andersonville. Outstanding and cool atmosphere without being a scene.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wineme
                          forzagto RE: wineme May 1, 2009 02:48 PM

                          I agree with Indie Cafe, did a review on my experience there a couple weeks ago on lthforum. In my opinion it's the best sushi value in Chicago but the quality and selection does not hold up to Katsu or Mirai but at 1/2 the price it's pick your poison.

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