I love sushi, you love sushi, and pretty much every millennial / hipster says that they love sushi too. So like the good millennial that I am, I finally made my way over to Yuzu in on the west side of Chicago. Without further ado, let's get into the review!
Yuzu (yoozoo) is the round, yellowish citrus fruit with fragrant, acidic juice, used for flavoring in Japanese cuisine. And just like this vibrant fruit, the restaurant is filled with lively music, decor, and a buzz of excitement around each decorative dish. As soon as you sit down it is clear to see from the wall art and your menu, that there is a strong love for Naruto at Yuzu. Fun and a bit of a nostalgic touch to my middle school days, I thought this added a nice touch. Along with the semi-open kitchen, beautiful dark wood furnishings, and large flood windows; I enjoyed the general setup of the restaurant. However, I would not recommend this as an intimate setting for quality / deep conversation as it was quite hard to hear the person across from or next to you.
Starting off the dining potion of the evening, I order the The Bang Bang Shrimp (deep fried shrimp balls, fried maitake, arugula, and sweet chili aioli), Takoyaki (octopus ball topped with sweet mayo, soy sauce, bonito flakes and nori), and the Robata Sampler. My favorite of these apps was by far the Robata Sampler which came with Chicken satay which was so-so, delicious pork shoulder, and a my personal highlight: the beef short rib. The Bang Bang Shrimp was not what I expected in the slightest, lacking a truly flavorful aioli, but still pretty good. As for the Takoyaki, I'm not going to front, it was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I'm glad I tried it! The octopus was find; however, I felt as if there was too much going on with that dish. I recommend that you give it a try and let me know what you think!
Chances are, if you follow a hand full of foodies in Chicago, you have probably seen one of the stunning Yuzu rolls on your feed. Let me tell you, these rolls are as impressive in real like as the pictures would lead you to believe. But how do they taste? That is another story. In my visit I tried two rolls: Dragon Ball and #ThugLife2 (WOW haha what a name...). Dragon Ball was more or less your classic dragon roll with shrimp tempura, cucumber, spicy mayo, unagi, and avocado. The roll was not as fresh as I had hoped for, and honestly seemed to lack sufficient flavor. On a day when I am craving a dragon roll I don't think I'll be making my way over to Yuzu. Next up, #ThugLife2. This roll was as confusing as it's name and came with marinated salmon, salmon skin, jalapeno, avocado, cucumber, cilantro, ikura, and pickled red onions. In comparison, it made me love the Dragon Ball roll. There was definitely too much going on with this roll and it seems as though it was the brain child of a very creative...or drunk individual. Not to be confused with the "Sorry I'm Drunk" roll, which in all honesty did not sound like a bad move (unagi, cooked shrimp, spicy mayo, black and red tobiko, chili oil & scallions).
Overall, I was disappointed in my trip to Yuzu. Maybe I had built it up too much in my head before going, but dish after dish seemed like a bit of a let down. If ever I am to return, I'll be sure to try different options so please share your Yuzu favorites with me! And to those of you who have yet to try Yuzu but want to make your way over, I highly recommend the Robata section of the menu as it was the best part of my dining experience.
Until the next one! ♡