Now that the izikaya movement seems to be leveling out in Chicago, it looks like we're gearing up for the next wave of Asian dining: yakiniku. Global chain Gyu-Kaku, which has some 700 locations worldwide, is on track to open its Japanese BBQ concept in Streeterville mid- to late-November.
Yakiniku was adapted by the Japanese from Korean BBQ, but the concept is pretty similar: You order your meats and other ingredients and cook everything at the table. The Chicago location will seat about 175 (not including the bar) and occupy the first three floors at 210 E. Ontario, with the third floor being reserved for large groups or private functions.
This is the chain's first Chicago outpost, but has 12 locations throughout California, New York and Hawaii and hopes to open more here if the reception is strong. The menu tends to be similar from location to location, but is also tweaked to fit the market and is still being refined for Chicago.
Diners could see things like miso ramen, bibimbap, cabbage kim-chee, spicy tofu chigae soup, fried edamame sticks and, of course, the various meats and veggies to BBQ at the table. The menu may feature filet mignon, kalbi chuck, garlic ahi tuna, bacon wrapped scallops, kobe, shishito peppers and tofu with accompany dipping sauces.
· Gyu-Kaku [website]