Mr. Maki, the latest venture from Lettuce Entertain You, Chicago’s largest restaurant group, opens today at 676 N. St. Clair Street. The Japanese-style restaurant, which offers rolls and combination set meals in a casual atmosphere, joins sister restaurants Ramen-San and Sushi-San in Streeterville, growing LEYE’s contingent of Japanese restaurants in the area.
The understated interior is lined with wooden booths that seat two or four diners. The 1,500 square-foot restaurant seats 64 and eight backless stools line the bar. Natural light floods through the front windows, and round white lanterns hang high above the tables.
The menu offers diners a la carte options as well home-style teishoku, combo or set meals composed of several dishes served simultaneously. Individual highlights include three tartare options (tomato caprese, hamachi avocado, and smoked salmon) and “new age” sashimi, including salmon served with with Fresno chilies and garlic ponzu. The restaurant’s nine “maki rolls” (which translates to “roll rolls”) offer non-traditional takes on classic Japanese flavors: the spicy tuna maki is made with avocado, cilantro, and jalapeño, and the tempura shrimp maki includes gochujang, a Korean red chili paste, and black sesame.
Teishoku sets are served with roasted edamame, miso soup, a house salad, and a side, plus a choice of a main dish. Diners can choose from three versions of stir-fry noodles, three types of teriyaki, or various maki and sashimi combinations.
Mr. Maki’s long beverage menu features 22 different Japanese whiskys, available in one and two-ounce pours, as well as six Thai whiskies and four American brands. Asahi, a popular Japanese lager, is funneled through a blast chiller and served in frosted mugs. Other Asian beers are available as well, including Sapporo, Kirin, and Tiger, a Singaporean brew. The cocktails play on Japanese flavors, like the cilantro-lime margarita made with blanco tequila and yuzu. Sake fans can try the rice wine by the glass or in “bomb” form.
Mr. Maki takes reservations on its website and on Tock. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and carryout, and management plans to start delivering in the near future. Take a tour of the space below.
Mr. Maki, 676 N. St. Clair Street, open 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.