Yusho may be another yakatori-inspired restaurant, but it doesn't look a thing like any of them. Instead of sleek and minimal, it is warm and welcoming, with bright colors, exposed wood, and space to stretch out. And then there is the menu. Instead of multiple pages to look through, there is only one.
Chef Matthias Merges and his kitchen staff at Yusho are not only doing the yakitori concept justice, they've elevated Japanese-bar cuisine to dizzying heights without losing sight of its casual, comfort-food roots. And Yusho's vegetarian plates display just as much ambition and flavor as the restaurant's fried and grilled fowl and delicate seafood.
Given its pancakey base, Takoyaki is somewhat of a blank slate, meaning that octopus can be swapped for pretty much anything. And Yusho does just that, elevating this modest street food to a memorably delicious one-bite wonder.
For years, the ramen in Chicago has felt unloved. That has slowly been changing, but this year seemed to be the tipping point, as a whole new group of restaurants popped up with a desire to do things right. It seemed like the perfect time to reevaluate the scene.
The vegetables are lightly coated in a greaseless batter, which surprisingly maintains its integrity even as it cools. Most of the mix is made of green beans, which are pleasingly crisp and sweet. But it's the other vegetables that are worth hunting for.
Of all the Cheap Eats guides I've put together, this was easily the most personal. I've lived in Logan Square for the past five years, so I feel like I've amassed some serious first hand knowledge of the affordable options.
Luckily, Chicago is a great drinking city, and some places are up to the challenge of offering non-alcoholic beverages that won't induce diabetic shock. Whether you are expecting, entertaining a pregnant guest, or simply looking to cut back on your spirit consumption, here are my five favorite options for Chicago drinking without the booze.
As a food writer, I am legally required to post about eating out on Valentine's Day. Honestly, it's in the bylaws somewhere. Which is fine, because as a husband, I have to admit that I am actually all for the tradition, even if I have very definite opinions about the specifics.