Chicago | Arami: Best Japanese Restaurant

Sunday, July 20, 2014

nabeyaki soba - shiitake, pea tendrils, ebi tempura, kamaboko, egg
clean & simple
agedashi tofu - fried egg tofu, soy-dashi broth, bonito, kizami nori 
chef's choice sashimi & nigiri
oysters - prepared selections from east and west coasts
nabeyaki soba & arami ramen
unagi donburi - freshwater eel, yuzu ikura, sweet soy, benishoga
This was hands down one of the best meals I've ever been treated to and my most meritable Japanese restaurant experience to date. To sum it up in a few words: authenticity and craftsmanship. Or zen for a lot of yen (as aptly phrased by Zagat haha).

It's usually a good sign if the front entrance is quiet and unassuming (seriously, it's minimalist at best - we passed over it the first time thinking it was an abandoned storefront), and the front door was only the first of many indicators of a restaurant committed to excellence (okay, except in the sphere of streetview aesthetics). Bummer that they ran out of seating in the more ambient back area, but at least we snagged the last table in the front complete with a pleasant and knowledgeable Japanese waitress.

Anyhow, to the food! The oh-so-delicate agedashi tofu, the delightfully fresh sashimi, the tangy oysters, the smooth and chilled soba, the chewy and structure-retaining (a personal requisite for satisfying rice) donburi about a feast. Where each entrée served is a work of art to boot.

Arami, it's unlikely we'll meet again, but you shall at least be a dear memory of a sweet summer fling.

Japanese, $$$
1829 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622


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