HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it
TELL US

Sumi Robata Bar, very authentic and very good

j
jbontario Jan 18, 2013 09:09 PM

I read a few of the first couple reviews on other boards and wow its getting ridiculous that people immediately nit pick. I've been to Tokyo a couple of times recently and the team got it right from the yelled welcome, to the expensive variety small plates, and ability to have every part of the chicken tastily grilled. It reminded me of being in Japan but they added some creative cocktails which were excellent. The food was all well seasoned and the sea bass and hot rock self-cooked tenderloin moves here from Japonais. The staff was very nice and seemed really happy to be there. Since I live nearby, i think Sumi Robata Bar and the outdoor terrace in the summer will be in regular rotation.

  1. Gonzo70 Jan 18, 2013 09:40 PM

    That is good you had a nice experience. I was one of the people yesterday who had a subpar experience; not sure why you feel the need to try and invalidate my experience by saying it was nit picky and ridiculous. I experienced a somewhat cold vibe, paid nearly $100 and left hungry, and had awkward experiences such as most of my small plates coming out simultaneously so that it was practically falling off the tiny bar counter and much became cold before I was able to consume it. While I am willing to let some things slide when a venue is brand new, I do not think it is ridiculous to express some concerns (with the hopes that the restaurant will pay attention and make improvements, not with the intention of trying to slam the venue). Fortunately taste wise, most of the food I sample was good (some very good) - but I still left feeling kind of bummed about the overall experience, even taking into consideration how new the restaurant was (I have often gone to restaurants when they are brand new and while I expect hiccups, there were far too many at Sumi, especially at their price point combined with all the pre-opening hype).

    Sounds like Sumi may have already made some improvements, and if so I am happy to hear this. You saying that it was "ridiculous" and nit picky to express some significant flaws yesterday (that two other parties who dined there yesterday also expressed) would be akin to me saying you are exaggerating how nice your experience was and being absurd. Hopefully Sumi heads in the right direction and more people have experiences like you described than like what I encountered.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gonzo70
      j
      jbontario Jan 19, 2013 04:38 AM

      OK maybe I was harsh saying that i think it's ridiculous that people immediately on Day 1 minus 10 (it was supposed to be a soft open) give very detailed reviews, but the point of this place is a Japanese experience and it was. If you went to an izakaya or other casual "pub" in Japan that is what you get, they have a very different dining and cultural experience than we do. How many times have you been in a restaurant where you summon the waiter by pushing a button on the table or dined in a restaurant that when they clear your plates it is considererd rude of the patron to linger? Yes, it would have been nice had everything been $1 cheaper and then our bill would have been more reasonable, but small and expensive is Japan. Roka Akor is the Americanized version, Sumi tries to be true.

    Show Hidden Posts