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A Critic Thinks a New West Loop Spot Strikes Sushi Gold

Plus Che Figata’s menu is overly ambitious

Omakase Yume
[Official Photo]

The omakase revolution is underway at Omakase Yume. The tiny West Loop spot captivates Mike Sula with a 15- to 17-course sushi tasting menu. Chef Sangtae Park — a veteran of Mirai, Japonais, and Izakaya Yume in Niles — “slices, molds, and paints his nigiri with the decisive fluidity of a croupier at a craps table.” He starts the experience with a “clean and meaty” slab of fluke that “bonds perfectly with each and every grain of subtly tangy rice.” It’s followed by three cuts of bluefin belly, the highlight being otoro that oozes “exquisite fattiness.

“One of the most remarkable pieces” Sula enjoys is skipjack dressed with onion, grated ginger, and powdered skipjack. The “oil-rich, full-flavored meat is like the duck breast of the sea.” In addition to the chef’s selections, there are more “revelatory bites” available as a la carte supplements. These include a scallop-like pen shell with a “simultaneously crunchy and soft texture [Sula] can’t recall ever experiencing” as well as a “Lovecraftian-looking” heart clam. At $125 per person, the meal doesn’t come cheap but the food makes it “seem like a steal for this level of performance.” [Reader]

Phil Vettel thinks Che Figata has some kinks to work out. The 3-month-old Italian restaurant in Naperville features dozens of dishes but “all this abundance comes with a certain sacrifice of focus” and there are “sloppy errors” abound. Porchetta is “disappointingly dry” and swordfish similarly yields “bone-dry, grainy-textured flesh.” A dish promising scallops, pork belly, lobster, and polenta is missing the swine and the “overcooked” lobster is “conspicuous by their meager size.” There is promise, though, as the “terrific” pizzas are “airy” and “well-crisped” while the pastas are also good, especially the short-rib ravioli with black truffle and Gorgonzola in a Parmesan brodo. For dessert, “very good” gelati are served with pistachios, amarena cherries, and pistachio tuille. [Tribune]


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