It’s been three long months since Rich Melman and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises have opened a restaurant in Chicago, but that streak should soon come to an end in River North. LEYE’s taking over the Osteria La Madia space vacated in March and opening a casual Japanese restaurant. Sushi-san should open this fall at 59 W. Grand Ave., according to a news release.
LEYE’s keeping with the naming convention established when it opened Ramen-san in 2014 in River North. The same team behind the ramen-focused spot is opening Sushi-san, R.J., Jerrod, and Molly Melman — along with chef Doug Psaltis and executive sushi chef Kaze Chan. Chan was behind Kaze Sushi in Roscoe Village.
Planned menu items included hand rolls, maki rolls, Bintochan-grilled meats and vegetables, roll-your-own, nigiri bombs, and signature Oma-Kaze menus. The drink list will feature shaved-ice cocktails and Japanese whisky. The space includes an open kitchen, hand-roll bar, and sashimi bar.
DNAinfo first reported the pending opening and mentioned to the hip-hop references used in Sushi-san’s social media accounts, as shown in a post reading “Straight Out of River North.” Apparently, LEYE will use some hip-hop elements in the restaurant. There’s an established connection between Asian Americans and hip-hop which is alluded to on Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat on ABC-TV. It’s not just used at places like Furious Spoon.
Osteria La Madia had been open for a decade. Meanwhile, Sushi-san is hiring. A spokeswoman didn’t share an opening date. Come back later for more details as the opening approaches.