When I first started blogging, I occasionally posted about my favorite places to go out in Chicago. Since I no longer live in Chicago, I thought I'd consolidate those old posts into a single page for reference.
Always a favorite for sushi in Chicago, this West Town spot looks a bit like a hole in the wall from the street, but I promise, it's worth the trip inside. If you are a sushi fan I would definitely put Arami on your list of must-visit restaurants. Its somewhat obscure location in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood could be detrimental for some restaurants, however, once you get past the generic storefront on Chicago Avenue, great things await!
On my first two visits, I stuck with sushi; they have plenty of variety on the menu including traditional sashimi and maki choices. They also have some really good special sashimi; my favorite is the Secret Hamachi. While I love the Secret Hamachi, I think my favorite dish on the menu is the Togarashi Seared Tuna. It has some really unusual flavors with the kelp noodles, which give it a little crunch, and the Meyer lemon dressing.
On my most recent visit, at the recommendation of a friend, I also tried the Donburi, which means Japanese rice bowl. Our choice was the Braised Short-rib Donburi with pickled asian pear and pickled Fresno (Fresno is a type of chili pepper but it is not too spicy). While I didn't enjoy it as much as the sushi options, it was very good.
If you have the opportunity, I'd recommend sitting at the sushi bar and letting the sushi chef create something off-menu for you. On my first visit, he made us tuna sashimi with avocado and truffle oil which was simply outstanding!
Sushi Dokku, in the West Loop, is a cool environment that I would describe as industrial chic. It's a small space and a little bit loud, but nothing overwhelming. Given the size of the space and the Randolph Street location, I'd probably recommend making a reservation.
I started with the Tuna Truffle -- the combination of tuna, truffle and avocado provided a very flavorful taste. I love truffle and it was pretty strong, though definitely not overpowering, however, this might not be a good choice if you are not a truffle oil fan.
Next, were two Maki rolls -- the Dragon Roll and the Northern California Roll. The Dragon Roll is always one of my favorites, and while this version was good, the tempura shrimp was a little soggy. I have to say I've had better versions at other sushi restaurants in town. My dining companion picked the Northern California roll; I was a little hesitant about this one, as I'm not usually a fan of soft shell crab. I was pleasantly surprised; this had unique flavors and a great texture. It reminded me a bit of a traditional California roll, but with more unique flavors.
They have a fairly extensive Sake menu and a nice selection of wines by the glass.
Sushi Dokku is located at 823 W. Randolph in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood.