Chicago is finally catching up to LA, New York, and San Francisco when it comes to Japanese restaurants focusing on omakase. Later this month, the owners of Wasabi in Logan Square and Ramen Takeya in Fulton Market will enter the fray. They’ve built out a seven-seat space in the basement of their ramen spot and plan to open Omakase Takeya on August 28.
The Fulton Market restaurant is only one of a batch of new projects for ownership. They also plan on opening Artisanal Noodle by Ramen Wasabi in October or November at 2207 W. Montrose Avenue in North Center. They’ll feature a plethora of soups and noodles and stay open until they sell out. They’ve applied for a liquor license.
But the more pressing news is about sushi in Fulton Market. Co-owner Satoko Takeyama has held on to the omakase idea for three years. Visits to Japan and those aforementioned American cities prompted her to think about why Chicago didn’t have more restaurants focusing on high-end sushi. So instead of hunting for a new space in Fulton Market/West Loop, where real estate prices are spiking, they’re opening a restaurant within a restaurant. There are no changes to Ramen Takeya where customers will still be able to get dishes like the precious chicken paitan.
Sushi chef Hiromichi Sasaki specializes in kaiseki which comes with a variety of smaller dishes. The omakase will consist of 16 to 17 courses over the duration of about two hours with two seatings a night. Takeyama said they’re looking to charge $130 to $135 per person and be open Tuesday through Saturday. Customers will enter through the same door as Ramen Takeya.
“It’s almost like a speakeasy,” Takeyama said.
Omakase Takeya is using Yelp for reservations. The same ownership also runs Yakitori Boogytori in suburban Arlington Heights. Summer is typically slow time for ramen and construction along Fulton Market has slowed traffic. But the new restaurant should bring some excitement to the space. It adds to the omakase boom in Chicago which includes the upcoming Kyōten Sushiko in Logan Square and Omakase Yume in West Loop.