Two new Chicago restaurants are making a case for the hand roll

Two new Chicago restaurants are making a case for the hand roll

Time Out Chicago |
Morgan Olsen |
Mar 6, 2018
Original Article: "Two new Chicago restaurants are making a case for the hand roll"

Hand rolls are arguably the most underappreciated sushi variety. Unlike maki and nigiri, these inconspicuous cylinders aren’t about showing off—warm rice and raw fish are all but hidden under a blanket of dark nori. But two new Chicago joints are out to prove that even though it may not be ideal for Instagram, the hand roll tucks away a tasty science.

The menu at Sushi-san in River North is exhaustive, but the hand-roll bar promises diners an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Once seated, guests are asked to choose a three-, four- or five-piece tasting that isn’t available on the menu circulating the main dining room. Why the exclusivity? Chef Kaze Chan argues that this type of sushi should be gobbled up as soon as it’s constructed; even a 30-second delay in service could spoil the experience. “If you don’t enjoy it at that moment, it can get soggy,” he says.

He’s right: The textural elements change as you make your way through the morsel. That first bite is the most divine—the seaweed is crunchy, the rice warm and the fish buttery-soft. All three courses start with refreshing negi hamachi (yellowtail with green onion) and end with a deeply indulgent baked umami scallop roll, creating a satisfying progression.

Each piece is handed directly from the chef to the customer, which requires a certain level of back-and-forth banter that’s just as enjoyable whether you’re dining solo or with a small group. Ignore Emily Post’s advice here and start eating before your companions are served.

At Anaba Handroll Bar in Wicker Park, that personalized service is ingrained in the team behind the 15-seat bar. “We decided that it was just as important to [hire] based on personality as it is that someone has years of sushi experience,” says co-owner Susan Thompson, who partnered with chef Soon Park on the restaurant. “For what they’re doing, it’s really about customer service.”

Dreamed up by the folks behind vegetarian mainstay Mana, Anaba allows guests to select a three- to six-course meal or choose from the à la carte menu. Expect all the usual suspects (salmon, blue crab, spicy tuna) alongside a few stellar veggie rolls, including garlic-and-soy oyster mushrooms and sesame-roasted squash.

Whether you go full fish or dabble in the nontraditional, Thompson says you’re bound to be impressed: “It’s that first bite into the nori that people are just blown away by. It’s something [you] can’t describe until you experience it.”

 

Media Contact

Emily Clark pr@leye.com 773-878-7340

You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
James Beard Eats Week 2019
Apr 15, 2019

James Beard Eats Week is back! From Friday, April 26 - Monday, May 6, 2019, show your support of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch – Chicagoland
Apr 15, 2019

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
5 Things to Know About Sushi-San’s Omakaze Experience
Mar 19, 2019

One of Chicago's most unique omakase experiences is Sushi-San's aptly named omaKAZE, where guests…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Late Night & Live Music with Lettuce
Feb 3, 2019

Night owls rejoice - select Lettuce restaurants and nightclubs offer everything from late-night food…

read more >
In The Restaurants
5 Healthier Menu Alternatives to Help You Keep Your Resolutions
Jan 8, 2019

January is here, which means it's time for New Year's resolutions. It's not our fault that the cold…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: Kaze Chan to Kaze-san – What it takes to become a Sushi Master
Sep 28, 2018

Here at Lettuce Life, we take a deeper look at the incredible talent that makes up Lettuce Entertain…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Food For Thought: What Our Chefs Cook Their Kids
Sep 12, 2018

School is back in session and our chefs are cookin' up a storm...but this time for the kiddos. We…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: Alex Payne Takes Drawing on Menus to a Whole New Level
Aug 9, 2018

Lettuce Life takes you behind the scenes into the culture of Lettuce Entertain You, spotlighting the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Summer Ice Cream Checklist
Jul 19, 2018

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM...we all know the drill so let's get to the good stuff. July is National Ice…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Somm Picks: Top Bottles Under $50
Jun 26, 2018

Searching through wine lists can be a daunting task. Thumbing through dozens of pages filled with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Go-To Lunch Spot is Sushi-San
May 25, 2018

If you work in River North, your lunch break just got a major upgrade with Sushi-San’s lunch! What…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Trending Now: Matcha
Apr 10, 2018

For all those who are matcha obsessed our chefs and mixologists have incorporated this…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Trending Now: Emochi at Sushi-san
Feb 15, 2018

Sushi-san is now open in Chicago's River North and if you've checked Instagram lately you may be…

read more >
Openings
Hand Rolls and Hip Hop: A First Taste of Sushi-san
Jan 2, 2018

The wait is over – Sushi-san is officially open! From the team behind Ramen-san, it’s the latest…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Welcome Our 2017 Newcomers
Dec 5, 2017

2017 is coming to a close, but we opened lots of new doors this year! Lettuce has welcomed newcomers…

read more >
Openings
Video: Sushi-san: Coming Winter 2017
Oct 18, 2017

We've got some hot tea that needs spilling. The Ramen-san team is dropping River North's hottest…

read more >

Recent Posts

How To
How To: Make Wildfire’s Slow Cooked Brisket
Apr 20, 2019

Are you tasked with cooking for your friends and family this Passover? Try Wildfire's Slow Cooked…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Passover 2019: Chicagoland
Apr 19, 2019

Join us for your Passover dinner this year on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 in our…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Passover 2019: Metro D.C. Area
Apr 19, 2019

Join us for your Passover dinner this year on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 in our Metro…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Easter 2019: Chicago
Apr 19, 2019

Celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 21 at one of our Chicagoland restaurants. Enjoy Easter brunch with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Easter 2019: Los Angeles
Apr 19, 2019

Celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 21 with brunch offerings from Stella Barra Pizzeria in Hollywood…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Easter 2019: Las Vegas
Apr 19, 2019

Celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 21 at one of our Las Vegas restaurants! Enjoy a holiday brunch on…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Easter 2019: Metro D.C. Area
Apr 19, 2019

Celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 21 at one of our Metro D.C. Area restaurants! Click here to see…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Easter 2019: Twin Cities
Apr 18, 2019

Celebrate Easter in the Twin Cities on Sunday, April 21 at Wildfire - Eden Prairie! Check out their…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat and Drink on the Patio in Las Vegas
Apr 18, 2019

Relax in Las Vegas and people watch on the Strip while al fresco dining! Check out our restaurant…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Earth Day Specials 2019
Apr 18, 2019

Happy Earth Day! On Monday, April 22, celebrate Mother Nature with these environmentally-friendly…

read more >
How To
How To: Make RPM Italian’s Maine Lobster Ravioli with Spinach Pasta
Apr 17, 2019

RPM Italian's signature Maine Lobster Ravioli with spinach pasta is one of the restaurant's best…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season in Chicagoland
Apr 17, 2019

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now