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Sula Thinks Izakaya Mita is the Japanese Pub That Chicago Deserves

The Bucktown Japanese spot pulls no punches with its authentic pub menu.

Izakaya Mita
Izakaya Mita
Nick Fochtman

Mike Sula praises Izakaya Mita as the "Japanese pub the city’s been waiting for: simple, honest, and welcoming." There are bites like the ika shiokara—little strips of cold squid which "come alive in your mouth"–that show the restaurant’s "commitment to providing a serious, no-bullshit environment for those who want to drink the Japanese way." You’ll also find plenty rare bits of skewers grilled over binchotan such as "crackly ribbons" of skin, "fatty" nubbins and "iron-rich" gizzards and livers.

Other winners include a "light and piping hot" custardy chawanmushi that’s "brightened" by citrus zest, a medley of buttery soy-drenched mushrooms that are "almost too umami-rich to conquer," and a gooey savory pancake that’s "perhaps the most effective alcohol sponge in the world." Big appetites will be satiated by the guy tataki, a very rare thinly sliced beef dressed in ponzu that "will probably rank among [Sula’s] top ten steaks of the year." Don’t "waste stomach space" either on the sashimi offerings of the "thin-bodied" ramen; try the "rich, high-alcohol aged" Funaguchi Kikusui Jukusei sake instead. [Reader]

Izakaya Mita

1960 North Damen Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 799-8677 Visit Website