KAI ZAN

We love sushi. I’ve posted several reviews of sushi spots over the years, like Naoki and Arami and even a pricey omakase at Omakase Yume. Dare I say that while they are all very good (especially Naoki), none compare to Kai Zan.

Kai Zan may be the best sushi spot in Chicago. Perhaps my favorite sushi spot to date anywhere. It’s a bold statement, I know, but I’ll share the reasons why.

You’ll find this restaurant in an unassuming and quite small space in West Town, with nothing else really nearby. There’s plenty of street parking and it’s not busy like other neighborhoods, so it’s already off to a relaxing start. The restaurant has 3 sections – the sushi bar and kitchen area in the middle with dining areas on either side of it. The right side offers seating at the sushi bar itself (where we were seated), as well as general views of the kitchen as they work away. The kitchen staff are super efficient and organized. Most diners chose to do the $69 omakase but there is a full a la carte menu as well, which is what we went with.

 

Before I share food photos, I usually share what my favorite bites of the meal were. In this case, literally everything we had was delicious and I would order it again and again. With that said, we’re going back and taking friends this week.. so we will order all of these again. πŸ™‚

MAGURO PEARLS | seared tuna, sushi rice, spicy mayo, truffle oil
DYNAMITE MUSSELS | New Zealand mussels, masago, black tobiko, scallion mayo
GRILLED HAMACHI NIGIRI | brushed with soy and topped with minced jalapenos
ANGRY CRAB | spicy crab wrapped in tuna, tempura crunch, spicy mayo SHISHITO peppers with bonito flakes and soy sauce
A5 WAGYU | grilled wagyu, oyster mushrooms, mashed potato, microgreens ($24 special)
IKURA NIGIRI

Things to note:

1. They offer 2 omakase options – regular at $69 and premium at $110. The A5 wagyu pictured above was part of the $110 premium omakase, but we spotted it being prepared in the kitchen and asked if we could order just that a la carte. They happily obliged and it was the single best bite of meat we’ve ever had. That’s saying a lot because we’ve also had A5 at RPM Steak, and while theirs was also amazing, it was the overall bite served at Kai Zan that puts it at the top.

2. For parties larger than (I think) 3, they require a credit card to hold the reservation. Not a big deal, and it makes sense given the size of the restaurant and that most diners go with the omakase.

Have I sung the praises of Kai Zan enough in this post? πŸ™‚Β  Just make a reservation and go as soon as you can!

Kai Zan – 2557 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

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