[Photo: Tim Hiatt]
Kamehachi is Chicago's oldest sushi restaurant, but that doesn't mean its ideas about food are outdated. The restaurant, first opened by Marion Konishi in 1967 and now run by her daughter, Sharon Perazzoli, and granddaughter, Giulia Sindler, moved into a newer, larger, prettier space—its fourth location in Chicago—and opens its doors officially today.
In the space last occupied by Eivissa, the Spanish tapas and pintxos restaurant, Kamehachi has also added small plates to its Japanese menu created by chef Iwao Handa. Two sections, ko guchi (small bites) and tori wake mono (sharing items), feature the various bites, including rock shrimp tempura, duck tataki, mushroom tobanyaki and seafood sunomono (assorted seafood with seaweed and cucumber in rice vinegar dressing). Diners can also get the Tokyo flight ($16) featuring shiozake (salt-cured salmon with scallions, citrus and wasabi tobiko), zuke maguro (tuna with capers, citrus yogurt cream and chips), and hachi ceviche (whitefish with tomato, basil, kizami wasabi puree and plantain chips).
The menu also features skewers (chicken yakitori, breaded oysters), large plates (filet mignon, salmon teriyaki, tempura udon) and, of course, sushi including signature rolls white heat (escolar with wasabi tobiko, avocado and red chili paste), spicy tuna dix dix (crab, scallion, spicy tuna mix and eel sauce) and the un-named maki featuring king crab, spicy tuna and avocado.
The modern, bi-level space was done with reclaimed wood from a local church, river rocks, hanging sake barrels and even art from the family's collection, including traditional vintage Japanese garb.
The new restaurant also features an expanded cocktail list, created by mixologist Adam Seger. Some new drinks include a strawberry-jalapeño mojito, spicy apple-Asian pear saketini and the lucky red pina 'rita as well as a list of more than a dozen types of sake, including the $130 bottle of junmai ginjo gekkakow. But enough of this, take a look at the menus yourself, view the photo gallery and then go into the restaurant and wish the family a happy 44 years of being in Chicago.