We're not sure if it's the vacant storefronts or what, but it seems like West Town is the hot spot to open new eateries. In the last few weeks, we've seen Frontier, Leopold and Butcher & Larder open their doors. Now the area is about to get smacked with another new sushi spot.
Kai Sushi, a new BYOB spot at 1405 W. Grand (312-733-9083), will open its doors on Valentine's Day. Chef/owner Unurbayar Tsendsururen, a.k.a. John to his loyalists, has served time creating sushi magic at NoMI, Sunda and Kamehachi, and was a managing partner at Hyde Park's Sit Down Cafe.
Kai aims to be a casual neighborhood spot with seating for about 40 now and another 15 when it opens a sidewalk patio this spring. Expect traditional sushi and Japanese fare with a modern twist. Special rolls include the neighborhood namesake, West Town, which includes smoked salmon, spicy shrimp, avocado and spring green mix wrapped in soy paper, and the Chicago Fire with tuna, fresh salmon, escolar, avocado and a jalapeño sauce. They will add a few hot dishes to their menu as well.
Kai has applied for its liquor license, but will remain BYOB even after they obtain it. They want the opportunity to serve drinks you may not be able to bring in yourself like hot sake and their own creative signature cocktails. If you want to stick to bringing your own, they are conveniently located next to a liquor store.
· Kai Sushi [Website—not yet functional]
Eater Chicago's intrepid reporter Samantha Lande contributed this article.