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Sula: 'Triple-Decker Japanese Behemoth' Momotaro 'Does Very Much Well'

The Reader critic finds quite a lot to love at the Boka group's latest restaurant.

Marc Much

Mike Sula, in attempting to tackle the "triple-decker Japanese behemoth" Momotaro, comes away surprised that the Boka group manages "to do so much" so "very well." Despite a few visits, the Reader critic still expects to "dither anxiously over the seven-page menu" when he returns. Calling the menu "a lot to take in," he adds that "it's a sign of remarkable restraint" that it does not feature a ramen dish.

He cites "two superb mashups" of Italian and Japanese cuisine as standouts on Mark Hellyar's menu. One, a dish of spaghetti with an egg from a "free-range Jidroi chicken" with "spicy Pollock roe" tossed into the mix, and another of a "risotto-like pool of creamy, vividly orange-colored uni rice" that comes topped with black truffle "that perfumes the table's orbit with a fungal ambrosia." There's also a "fat chunk of Wagyu tongue" which finds "searing" Japanese mustard and fermented yuzu chile paste cutting its "richness."

Sushi chef Jeff Ramsey, despite time at a Tokyo's Tapas Molecular Bar, keeps the modern gastronomy tricks to a minimum here. Though "he does have his Achatz moments" such as with mackerel nigiri that is "accompanied by a sudden whiff of burning Cypress sawdust." The "gimmick" works in this case and restraint returns on "not unlikably unadorned" makimono.

Despite praising the fish at Momotaro overall, Sula takes issue with the sashimi omakase that is "beautifully presented atop a tureen of crushed ice," but "is just too cold to express the fish's full potential.

After the agita experienced choosing from the afore-mentioned seven-page menu, dessert selections are "mercifully brief." There's also praise to go around for the "fine selection of Japanese whiskeys, beers, and sake."

That's not even mentioning the underground izakaya. "I've only scratched the surface here," Sula states.


820 West Lake Street, , IL 60607 (312) 733-4818 Visit Website