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Chicago’s Largest Restaurant Group Closes Japanese Combo Meal Spot After Four Months

Mr. Maki is reconcepting and Streeterville’s Ramen-San has a new name and menu

A white bowl filled with ramen noodles, soup, green vegetables, slices of pork, and a boiled egg sits on a black tray. A red soup spoon and chopsticks sit beside it.
Mr. Maki is out in Streeterville and Ramen-San has a new name and menu.
Jeff Marini

Mr. Maki, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’s latest Japanese restaurant focused on teishoku, or Japanese set meals, is closed after just four months in Streeterville, according to a representative. The group plans to reconcept the space at 676 N. St. Clair Street that opened in April, but there’s no word yet on the new restaurant’s culinary focus, appearance, or when it might debut.

Streeterville’s Ramen-San at nearby 165 E. Huron Street has also undergone changes. Now called Ramen-San Deluxe, the restaurant highlights a blend of Ramen-San and Sushi-San’s biggest hits. Fans can eat steaming bowls like kimchi fried chicken ramen (fried garlic, buttered corn), spicy miso (ground pork, kung pao chilies, napa cabbage), and miso matzo ball ramen (house-made matzo balls, carrot, celery). Roll selections include favorites like spicy tuna (avocado, cilantro, jalapeño) and tempura shrimp (gochujang, black sesame).

The spirit of Mr. Maki lives on in the “Maki Express Set” and “Express Lunch Menu” at Ramen-San Deluxe. The former, available at both lunch and dinner, allows diners to select two rolls (avocado tempura, spicy salmon, spicy tuna, or crunchy tuna) with edemame, miso soup, and a salad. The latter features a set meal of one bowl of ramen (shio, tonkotsu, or kimchi fried chicken) or “rice plate” with vegetable fried rice, karaage chicken nuggets, or miso salmon. A salad and marinated cucumbers accompany each entree.

A thick-cut sushi roll sits on a black tray. The slices are filled with rice, tuna, avocado, and red chili sauce. A dish of soy sauce sits beside it.
Spicy tuna maki
Alicia Fierro

Those who have previously dined at Sushi-San and Ramen-San may also recognize a number of cocktails on the drink list, including the “Penicillin #2” (Mars Iwai whisky, honey, ginger, lemon), and the “Okinawa Ol’ Fashioned” (Rittenhouse rye, Okinawan sugar, big ice cube). Drinkers can choose from three sake bombs (“original,” yuzu, and kimchi), or temper a spicy bowl of noodles with an Asahi beer run through a blast chiller into a frosted mug. Sake and wine are also available, as well as 22 Japanese whiskys.

Lettuce Entertain You, which currently operates more than 130 venues, has opened a number of casual Japanese restaurants in recent years. Its first foray into ramen, Ramen-San opened in River North in 2014 before expanding to the West Loop in 2017 and Streeterville in 2018. In the meantime, the group also opened casual sushi spots Sushi-San in River North in 2017 and Mr. Maki in Streeterville this spring. Mr. Maki is the only one of those to have closed.

Ramen-San Deluxe is now open in Streeterville and reservations are available on Tock. Stay tuned on any news of what’s coming to the Mr. Maki space.

Ramen-San Deluxe, 165 E. Huron Street, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Mr. Maki

676 N Saint Clair Street, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 584-3192 Visit Website

Ramen-San Deluxe

165 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611 312-767-4075 Visit Website