Chicago’s sushi scene could be getting a giant upgrade starting tonight when Omakase Yume begins serving its Korean-style sushi from an intimate eight-seat space in the West Loop. South Korean immigrant Sangtae Park has prepared sushi for 27 years in his native country and at his adopted home. In Chicago, he’s worked at upscale sushi restaurants such as Japonais and Mirai. He’s making the leap from his suburban Niles sushi spot.
Chef and wife Kate Kim-Park continue to run a food stall called Izakaya Yume inside the Super H-Mart market in Niles. They also have a food truck that circles Daley Center and events like Highland Park’s Ravinia District’s Food Truck Thursdays.
Reservations are sold out tonight, said Kim-Park, who will work with her husband at their new restaurant, 651 W. Washington Boulevard in the West Loop. They’re offering a 15- to 17-piece omakase set menu for $125. The menu will change on the chef’s whim, as that’s the nature of omakase dining. Extra pieces are also available if diners really enjoyed a particular piece of fish or just want more food.
OpenTable can only accept parties as large as four. If diners wants to celebrate a special occasion, they can call the restaurant and Kim-Park will assist them, She said she wants to get to know her customers anyway. That way her husband can better serve them. There are two seatings nightly at 5:30 and 7:30. The restaurant will start as BYO, but the Parks hope a liquor license will soon allow them to provide sake pairings.
Many variations of sushi exist, and at Omakase Yume they’ll focus on edomae. This is a simple style with few ingredients with fish, vinegar, and rice. Chef Park fished while growing up in Korea, and the edomae style is what he remembers eating as a child. Customers will be urged to quickly devour their sushi immediately to ensure full freshness.
It’s a long journey from Korea to Niles to Chicago. Just because Chicago is in the middle of the country doesn’t mean the city shouldn’t have pristine seafood choices. The Parks hope to give the city’s sushi fans a top-notch choice starting tonight.
Omakase Yume, 651 W. Washington Boulevard, (312) 265-1610, nightly seatings at 5:30 and 7:30.