A brief note to say thanks to the hounds for introducing me to these japanses mega-grocery stores cum malls in Arlington Heights. I finally had a chance to check them out a couple of weeks ago, before going into Arlington Heights for a Schadenfreude taping. Those markets are a lot of fun.
Tensuke/True World has many of the same items found at the Korean Mega Mart on Kimball, with a greater focus on japanese products and significantly nicer fish. Plus it's impeccably clean - every floor time sparkles. We had a good time walking around and then sat down in the mini-sushi bar area and tried a sampler. It's no heat, but it's nice. They assembled our plates to order: yellow tail was very nice, nothing else really stood out. Beef Udon was OK but nothing too special. A crab salad roll had real crab which was a pleasant surprise.
We spent alot more time at tensuke than anticipated so only had a couple of minutes to checkout mitsuwa. There was no time to roam the aisles so we went to the food court and ordered Ramen, which I've been meaning to try since my first tampopo posting on this board a couple of years ago. The verdict is that Tampopo the restaurant serves significantly better ramen than the food court at Mitsuwa, which is exactly what I was told when i first asked about it. It was a really weird scene and thoroughly enjoyable. On a friday night lots and lots of suburban teenagers both anglo and asian were hanging out at the mall, flirting and raising a ruckus. There were som asian families, some truckdriver lookign types. A fascinating mix of people. The real eating highlight was the ice cream from the "bakery" stall. I had cream and mango, the tast I had of sesame honey was phenomenal. Really good ice cream, up there with the penguin. And the server was very gracious, letting me taste every flavor before deciding on a cup.
Anyhoo, thanks hounds for cluing me into these suburban treasures -- i'm eager to get down to west mont to try to other international mall. Is there any good pretext for a trip out there so I can combine a meal trip with something else to do?