Yococho - Chicago
In a city like Chicago, it might seem like another Japanese restaurant is simply redundant; but Yococho is a Japanese restaurant with a difference. Modeled after the backstreet eating and drinking places in Tokyo and other Japanese cities, Yococho might surprise even seasoned fans of the Japanese dining experience.
The menu at Yokocho is separated into three separate sections: a 10-course omakase-style meal; “mittsu,” or sets of three small plates served simultaneously; and temaki sushi, or hand rolls, which can be enjoyed in both traditional styles and as creative interpretations with surprising and unconventional ingredients including wagyu or white anchovy.
For lunch, the menu is headed up by sandos, Japanese sandwiches inspired by the American sandwich; these Japanese-style sandwiches, however, are served on milk bread, and contain such deliciousness as chicken katsu, spicy deviled eggs and even sweet variations like strawberry and matcha cream. Donburi bowls present fish like maguro, hamachi and salmon over sushi rice, crispy shallots, edamame, cucumber, kappa and pickled ginger -- delicious.
For dinner, you can start out with nigiri, sashimi and handrolls, and you can expect more surprises. Consider, for instance, watermelon tsukemono with green onion; shrimp dumplings; shime saba, arctic mackerel in mushroom escabeche; hamachi tartare; and takowasa, octopus in garlic and olive oil. There is also mini uni udon, the noodles with white truffle oil, enoki mushrooms and fresh black truffle, a marvelous mouthful of umami. There's also a "trust the chef" omakase option that enables you to sit back and let the chef make all the big decisions about your dinner.
The public response to Yococho has been very positive; Restaurantji tells us that "Yokocho offers a culinary adventure that’s nothing short of spectacular! Nestled in the trendy Fulton Market neighborhood, this establishment offers a seamless fusion of traditional Yokocho and Omakase dining experiences.The atmosphere instantly transports you to a vibrant, lively alley in Japan, marrying the charm of traditional decor with contemporary touches."