I've been to the Cesar's that was on Clark many times, but this was the first time I've been to this one. I was expecting it to be the same, but it is much better. It's more intimate, and cuter, with smaller dining rooms on different levels.
Note that the online menus don't really reflect the current menu for food or drinks. It's not a problem, it's just different.
To start, the signature margarita was fantastic, with just the right balance of lime, tequila, and sweetness.
I never liked the nachos at the other Cesar's, so we tried the queso dip, and it was very good, even though it looked a bit like movie theater nacho cheese rather than true queso blanco.
But the show stopper was the Costillas en Salsa Verde, which was a half slab of baby back pork ribs simmered in green sauce and topped with onions. Wow! I'm originally from Southern California, and have had thousands of Mexican meals in hundreds of Mexican restaurants, and this is the single best thing I have ever had in any of them. Order it!
Cesar’s Killer Margaritas – Broadway 2924 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60657
It's been a few years since I tried Sushi-San, and on a cold winter day we weren't in the mood to go out, so we decided to order delivery, even though it's about 30 minutes away.
We were super impressed with the condition everything arrived in, thanks to wonderful packaging. Everything came in its own tray, soup was hot, sushi was not, and best of all was the deliver box, which looked like a 80s boom box!
Excellent quality fish is the highlight of this popular Broadway sushi bar. The maki is great, but it's plates like yellowtail Carpaccio and Tuna Tartare that really let the fish shine through.
Surpisingly, though, the very best thing we had came from the robata grill: two skewers each of chicken and shrimp. The proteins were great, but it was the bed of sauteed onions and jalapenos that really took this dish over the top.
Service was friendly, and it's BYOB.
Yellowtail Sushi Bar and Asian Kitchen 3136 N Broadway St Chicago, IL 60657
This is a delightful omakase experience upstairs, and a really cool space downstairs. I liked that the omakase was available with table seating, as I prefer to spend my dinner chatting with my companion rather than focused on the chef, but here you have both choices.
The omakase consisted of 13 pieces of nigiri and two maki, plus a small bite for dessert. The quality of all fish was good, although I have had better — and better compacted — rice elsewhere. Since the chef took responsibility for the saucing and wasabi, a few pieces seemed perfect, others somewhat bland. This is not the level of fish you are going to get at a place like Kyoten, but it is also about a third the price!
A wine pairing is available, but we opted for a bottle of Cremant and one of White Burgundy, and they provided perfect pairings at less cost, and allowed us to avoid wines we aren't interested in.
Wow, I have no idea why I hadn't tried this place sooner, since it's so close to us. Their sushi, sashimi, and robata are all great, and I'm looking forward to going back and trying some other hot dishes.
Everything coming out of the kitchen is a work of art; just look at my photos. That's the prettiest carpaccio I've ever seen.
The seared shishito peppers were also the best I've had, doused in a very light, slightly sweet sauce to counteract the moderate heat.
Tuna tartare was a nice, summery take on the dish with lots of pineapple bits mixed in.
The salmon skin roll was also the best I've had anywhere, a delightful combination of crunchy and creamy.
Service was great (we went at a weird time, so it was not at all busy, but still, it was great).
It's BYOB. If their wine glasses are like their water jars, you may want to BYOG, too!
There are many sushi restaurants in Chicago. There are even quite a few Omakase restaurants now. And a few of them feature direct interaction with the chef. But there are no experiences in Chicago that quite equal the interaction you'll experience with very personable chef Otto.
Rather than the officious, controlling chefs you so often encounter in Omakase restaurants, Chef Otto brings a friendly, educational attitude to the experience. His vast knowledge of fish and sushi preparation is there for the asking.
It's evident from the first bite, how much he cares about the quality of the fish. It's comprised largely of selections you will seldom find anywhere outside of Japan.
I have no idea how many courses were served during our experience, as we soon lost count. I only know that each bite seemed better than the one before it.
Although the space looks abandoned from the outside, when you step inside you are in an almost Zen-like interior, with the perfect lighting and music to complement an extraordinary meal. And the fact that there are only six seats makes it an amazingly intimate experience.
The small wine list and impressive reserve list are personally curated by the chef, so of course they perfectly complement the meal. We selected both a Champagne and a white Bordeaux. It was fascinating to see how some bites were perfect with one, and others with the other.
If you're looking for the ultimate sushi and Omakase experience in Chicago, you have found it.
From the description of "cozy fireplace" and BBQ, this wasn't what I was expecting, but I did enjoy it. True, there is a more tavern-like room with a fireplace, but most of the space is a sports bar, filled with TVs.
The Big Ass Pretzel is indeed giant, and very good, with a crisp crust and light interior, and served with a slightly piquant cheese dip.
The BBQ baby back ribs were also good.
I had an excellent porter, and an equally excellent Irish coffee.
On a Saturday at lunch they were very busy, but the service was on top of it, and the meal was enjoyable.
I always check out the interior pictures on Yelp before I visit a restaurant, because they tend to tell me more about the dining experience than almost anything, including sometimes event the menu. So I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Pescadero, because it is really much nicer than the Yelp photos (even my own) suggest. Rather than the Long John Silvers decor of the photos, it really is more restaurant-ish. And despite the concrete floor, they've added acoustic treatments to the ceiling, which really help with sound levels.
The menu offers a variety of cooked fish, from pan-seared to fish and chips, a ceviche that sounded tempting, and a few "from the land" items. And of course there are oysters. There are happy hour specials on the latter, along with tap beer.
But I went a different route and had the Mussels Frites. They were a traditional French preparation in a garlic broth. The serving sizes of both the mussels and the accompanying frites (French fries for you landlubbers) were very generous. The garlic broth for the mussels was simple, but good, and the mussels were tender and tasty. The frites were the right dimensions for traditional Parisian frites, but could have used a couple more minutes in the fryer.
The wines by the glass offer a nice variety. My Albarino was a perfect match.
For dessert I had the special Bananas Foster cheesecake, which had lots banana flavor and a nice graham cracker crust, and an espresso.
Service was friendly, and the restaurant, open only a couple of weeks, seems well managed.
Pescadero Seafood & Oyster Bar 1258 W Belmont Ave Chicago, IL 60657