Thought I'd give these two sushi restaurants a try after they'd been noticed in the Chicago papers. Disappointed at both.
Doraku is the kaiten (or conveyor belt) sushi place on State opened by Benihana. The toro was stringy, the dragon roll sloppy, and the service poor. (The saba quite good, though.) I'm sure this place will do fine just because of the novelty of the conveyor belt. Unfortunately, Doraku's belt carries some offerings, yes, but also many signs depicting the more expensive fare. One can't eat a sign! Besides, the signs defeat the concept.
Ringo's sushi bar, is, well, nonexistent! The sushi is made in the kitchen. I should have turned and walked out right then and there. Ringo, actually, was a step up from Doraku. The dragon roll was exquisite: shrimp tempura, avocado, eel--beautifully presented. The toro, though, looked like those plastic sushi pieces one might see outside a restaurant in Japan and tasted even worse. Actually, there was no taste. It was an inferior piece of tuna. The same could be said for the salmon. However, the crab-meat salad was excellent--real lumps of crab in a vinegary broth. And the takoyaki (fried octopus balls) delicious and served Osaka style with both the sweet, dark sauce drizzled on the top as well as dashi (or broth) on the side. No toothpicks at the counter, though, and no offer of green tea after the meal--we had to ask.
I guess it's back to Mirai--although I hate the 'tude that permeates that place and it's overpriced. Why is sushi in Chicago--in this day and age--such a problem?
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