Thursday, July 8, 2010
Last night was a return trip to Toro Sushi in Lincoln Park , my old stomping grounds. I really miss this place not only because of the great fresh sushi but my fondness of the space. The tiny restaurant, which hosts maybe twelve tables, is located across the street from my old apartment. And although my address had changed not too long ago it feels like a life time since I've been here. Not to get all nostalgic, but isn't it amazing how the atmosphere of a restaurant can have that effect?
Toro has a reputation for their no-reservation policy (expect a long wait), unique house rolls (don't expect me to detail ingredients because they are strictly hush-hush), and the one and only heart of this place- Mitch Kim, chef and owner. You can find plenty of positive reviews on yelp - and local Chicago websites. And you might find the occasional brat complaining about service ( get over it, its about the food). But all in all a great local find!
It is BYOB, and between Sanaz and our new friends Johara and Nadia we weren't bothered by the new limits on bottles per party. I brought a bottle of Dancing Bull Cab. Johara brought a bottle of Riesling and a few Sapporo's. I found out that Johara's knowledge of beer might be a premise for her new blog (I'll keep you posted!). With two pairs of sisters, drinks and Sushi - you can't go wrong.
The food: fresh as always. Johara and Nadia shared the sashimi, Sanaz and I started with salads with ginger dressing. We got four rolls (all pictured above - minus the Taco roll ). I have to admit, before moving to Chicago I knew little about sushi, thus I won't go into the different types of rolls. For a great glossary of terms check out Toro's website.
All I can say is wow - Southern galz- was a deep fried spicy and very filling roll. The Oh my god with crispy eel on top was a mouthful of delight. The Tako Roll wasn't listed on the menu and although it looked a hot mess it had tasty octopus! El Feugo, was a spicy roll with jalapeños and cilantro- a unique twist. Complete with green tea ice cream tempura, sparkler and all (a prelude to Sanaz's birthday coming up) it was a perfect night of sushi!
The recent return to Toro was a nostalgic trip to my old life as a Lincoln Parker and I miss it dearly. Complete with the LP mom's fetching sushi to-go for their families, Pocket Puppies across the street, and Molly's cupcakes next door - I can't picture this space anywhere else in the City. On the list of top ten Chicago finds this fits the bill. Enjoy.