• Illinois (6)

Deerfield, IL — Wakaba

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Published on: June 19, 2012
20506 Milwaukee Ave
Deerfield, IL

Wakaba located in a little strip mall just down the road from a major Chicago area client. I asked my colleagues about sand several of them mentioned Wakaba. Wakaba is a modern looking restaurant with dark wood decor. When I arived at lunch time, there was not too much of a crowd but there appeared to be several Japanese diners.

The menu at Wakaba looked relatively ordinary, so I ordered the gyoza and a sashimi combination. The meal came with miso soup and a salad with ginger dressing. The gyoza, miso and salad were good, but the sashimi was the star of the show. The white tuna melted in my mouth, it was cold and tasty, I would go back for that alone. The mackeral was also first rate.

As an aside, after I paid my bill I left my iPad at the table and as I was driving off, the waitress ran out to my car to give it to me. Excellent food excellent service.

Wakaba will be a regular lunch stop when I am in the area.

Wakaba 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Napierville, IL — Kiku Japanese Steakhouse

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Published on: April 2, 2010
Kiku Japanese Steakhouse
2764 Aurora Avenue
Napierville, IL

My wife and I were in the Chicago area around our anniversary and her brother treated us to dinner. Since neither of them are sushi lovers (they both eat some sushi), we decided to go to a Japanese steakhouse that also served sushi. My brother-in-law had been to Kiku before so we were decided.

Kiku is a very modern looking restaurant in a strip mall. We sat down at the grill and ordered cooked entrees and some sushi rolls as appetizers. Of course in places like this, the show is the main draw. Our chef performed the requisite tricks with the grill and the steak I had was quite good.

We ordered a few rolls before dinner. I especially liked the Hawaiian Roll. It includes mango, pineapple and asparagus, along with a ton of other ingredients. All of the rolls were fresh and tasty.

For a Japanese steakhouse, Kiku has good sushi.

Kiku 3 rice bowls * * * - -

Park Ridge, IL — Maki Sushi & Noodle Shop

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Published on: May 15, 2008
Maki Sushi & Noodle Shop
12 S. Northwest Highway
Park Ridge, Il

This week, I was working at an office near O’Hare airport. I used my GPS to locate the nearest Japanese Restaurant and it found Maki. Maki is located in Park Ridge, an upscale Chicago suburb. It is a large restaurant in a neighborhood with several trendy shops and restaurants.

When I entered, I was seated near the windows at a nicely lit table. My opinion of the place began to rise as I started looking at the menu. Maki has a very colorful menu with a wide range of Japanese items. There were also some Chinese and Thai entrees that looked good. But it was the sushi menu that caught my interest. I ordered some sort of sashimi combo and the Mango Madness Roll.

I am not usually a big roll fan but I had to try this one. The Mango Madness roll is described as:

Yellowtail, shitake mushroom, avocado topped with fresh mango and spicy mayo.

Every item in the list is a favorite of mine. I ordered a Mango Madness roll with high expectations. When it arrived the roll was absolutely beautiful, pieces of mango on each slice topped with a small dollop of spice mayonnaise. Not only was it beautiful — it tasted even better than it looked. I am writing this review a few weeks after the fact. I don’t remember much else about Maki but I would go back just for the Mango Madness Roll!

Maki surprised me, everything was good but the roll was exceptional.

Maki Sushi 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Lombard, IL — Momotaro Japanese Restaurant

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Published on: December 19, 2005
Momotaro Japanese Restaurant
801 E Butterfield Rd
Lombard, IL

I figured that Momotaro had to be good since it has the moxie to be situated right next to a Benihana’s on busy Butterfield Road. My dining partner and I ordered mixed seafood sunomono, miso soup and some tuna and halibut nigiri with a sashimi combo to share. Of course I also ordered a Philiadelphia roll.

The sunomono warrants a comment here. The portion was huge and could easily have been a small meal in itself. There was a good variety of seafood in a nice vinegar sauce. The problem I had with the dish was that the

The fish at Momotaro was very good. The tuna was excellent and the halibut was tasty without being ‘fishy’.

I enjoyed Momotaro and will be back.

Momotaro: 3 rice bowls * * * - -

Forest Park, IL — Fuji Grill

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Published on: December 13, 2005
Fuji Grill
315 Harlem Avenue
Forest Park, IL

It was a cold Chicago day and I was looking for sushi. The NeverLost

GPS unit in my rental car found Fuji Grill. Fuji Grill is a bright clean restaurant with a good selection of sushi and terriyaki. The service was quick and friendly.

I ordered a bowl of Nabe Yaki Udon and a Philadelphia roll. The roll was nearly perfect. It was presented in a rather ordinary manner but the ingredients were well distributed from the first piece to the last. The fish was fresh and firm and the whole thing was excellent.

I have to comment on the Udon. The broth was tasty and needed only a little bit of hot pepper flakes. With 5-6 inches of snow expected tonight this was a nearly perfect meal.

Fuji Grill was a gem of a find, it will be a regular stop when I am in the suburbs.

Fuji Grill: 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Chicago, IL — Tokyo Lunch Boxes & Catering

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Published on: November 18, 2004
Tokyo Lunch Boxes & Catering
179 W. Van Buren St
Chicago, IL
(312) 435-4005

The Chicago Loop is not a great sushi destination. I spend a couple of weeks here each year working by the Sears Tower and the Chicago Board of Trade. In the middle of a long week when I need a sushi fix, I go to Tokyo — Tokyo Lunch Boxes & Catering that is!

Tokyo Lunch Boxes & Catering is a small chain of sushi-in-a-box restaurants located in the downtown. Tokyo is not the kind of place you go for a fancy dinner. It as a lunch place with premade sushi, salads appetizers and soups served in styrofoam and plastic takeout containers.

Surprisingly the quality at Tokyo is — not bad. My normal order is a seaweed salad and a Philadelphia Roll. Not the best sushi in the world but whenever I walk out with that little white bag, I anticipate a sushi fix. I eat at Tokyo at lease once every week that I work in the loop.

Tokyo Lunch Boxes & Catering: 3 rice bowls * * * * *
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