I did not expect things at the restaurant to start out like a Viagra ad. Me: “It’s ok. It happens.” Chef: “Not to me it doesn’t. I don’t think that has ever happened.” Advertisements
When I first walked in to Green Street Smoked Meats, I remember telling owner Brendan Sodikoff to fuck off.
Love has done a lot of things for the world, but it has not brought me great bulgogi. That is until now, for Sol’s on Sheridan, a new Korean restaurant in Uptown that serves great red chili-slathered beef, has landed in Chicago as a result of a great love affair.
One. Dollar. Sushi.
I have reached peak taco status. The same goes for steak, pad thai and pulled pork. Even if all of the restaurants that specialize in these foods closed tomorrow, I’d still be golden. I’ve been to the mountaintop and back—and back up again. You may think this is sacrilegious, and I understand. In case you’re wondering, there’s no such thing as peak fried chicken or pizza status. The same goes for really good sushi
Restaurateurs Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm of The Boka Restaurant Group have quite the collection of successful restaurants, from the crispy pig-faced glory of Girl & the Goat to the bustling raw bar at GT Fish & Oyster. But even before they opened their very first spot, Boka in 2003, they’ve been dreaming of opening a Japanese restaurant. Planning a restaurant for that long can be both a blessing and a curse. The devil (or akuma, as they say in Japanese) is in the details. After recruiting two chefs to bring their vision to life—Mark Hellyar to handle the hot dishes and Jeff Ramsey for sushi—Momotaro opened last week in the West Loop. I stopped in to see how this dream of more than a decade in the making shaped up.
The contemplation of the cut, the hand to the knife, the flaying of flesh—this is his profession. Stealthy like a ninja, discreet like a geisha, and eviscerating like a samurai—he will be, is, what the fillet requires. Watching toro ribbon beneath his blade, the word “rote” comes to mind. But, that’s wrong. Though repetition and study have yielded to mastery, he acts as though he has mastered nothing. Each slice is treated like his first.
There are a lot of toddlers who were more sophisticated than me in 2002.
I like it when a restaurant owner dines in his own establishment.