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Jan 31, 2014 12:43 PM

Roka Akor vs Katsu?

New York foodie coming to town and looking for great sushi experience. Cost no object. Thoughts? Thanks

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  1. Unfortunately our best sushi venue (Juno) recently suffered a significant fire and is temporarily closed; it has yet to be determined how long it will take before they reopen, but appears to be months rather than weeks based on pictures of the damage. IMHO after Juno there is a bit of a drop in quality/experience and this is an area with better options in New York. Chicago does many styles of food extremely well and if your time here is limited you may be better off trying something other than sushi. If you must choose between Roka and Katsu, my understanding is that Katsu is better quality/more authentic whereas Roka Akor is more a trendy/clubby type ambiance - though this is based on what I have heard from friends; I have not personally dined at either of these.

    1. Katsu is clearly a more "authentic" experience (albeit expensive), although I have personally found it lacking on a couple of more recent visits. But many people swear by it.

      Roka is good and competent but no place you haven't already been to.

      1. Appreciate the feedback.. I am not committed to sushi. Please suggest any "must do" local experiences. Don't care if its a hole in the wall; love to partake in what the local scene deems is the best! Thanks!

        1 Reply
        1. re: tboner6

          Where are you staying? Do mind traveling a bit from your hotel?

          Whatever your answers are to the above, neither Katsu nor Roka Akor are places you should be spending your dining dollars, nor your daily calorie expenditures. I would only probably get a drink at Roka Akor if "dining on at a Palindrome-named restaurant" was an item on my bucket list.

        2. Coming to town for a meeting and staying near airport. Location not and issue; want the best experience. Thanks.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tboner6

            My "must-do" list for Chicago visits would be something along these lines (budget and distance being non-factors)

            - Alinea
            - Girl & the Goat
            - Topolobampo
            - Goosefoot

            Surprisingly, at least in my limited time in Chicago, the city doesn't really do sushi well.

            1. re: tboner6

              If you really want the best, I think Grace has become Chicago's top venue. Chicago has a great fine dining scene; Alinea is the most famous and Moto is also excellent. All of these are very pricey.

              Going down in price point Boka is an outstanding fine dining venue as is Goosefoot (but reservations are tough). Chicago also has some great modern venues with upscale creative food but relaxed ambiance such as El Ideas and Elizabeth. There are also excellent nose-to-tail venues such as Publican and Girl & the Goat. Modern Asian fusion has become hot in Chicago with Embeya being my favorite. Rick Bayless' Toplobampo and Frontera Grill serve amazing regional Mexican cuisine (but not the best ambiance or service). In cheap eats Chicago is known for hot dogs, Italian beef and deep dish pizza.

            2. Thanks! May try to get Grace or Goosefoot. Have already done Alinea. Interesting but didn't meet my albeit high expectations.

              Have to take a colleague out who loves steak. Thoughts? Burke vs Cut?

              1 Reply
              1. re: tboner6

                Burkes, Cut and Bavettes are all excellent; I really love the vibe at Bavettes.