Really dig. Excavate. Get down to some core truths.
When you’re done, look us in the eye and tell us that a cozy Japanese joint in the South Loop wouldn’t make your life a little nicer right about now.
That’s what we thought.
So: Umai, a rustic Japanese cabin with grand corner views, has opened to beckon you to Printers Row with fresh nigiri, warm bowls of sukiyaki and plenty of wine and sake.
First off, this really makes a strong play for the fabled let’s-not-make-too-big-of-a-deal-about-this Valentine’s Day dinner. There’s just something romantic about the place. Wood shingles, sake drums, a split-log communal table, plus a mural of some kind of sea goddess. Well, something romantic enough.
Give it a test spin during lunch. There’s sort of a Pacific Rim thing going on in the form of a Hawaiian staple called loco moco: a hamburger with gravy and rice, topped with an egg.
But for dinner, request that leather banquette. Order a Ginger Cinnamon (rye, pear nectar, cinnamon syrup and ginger beer) or split a bottle of hot sake. Your night will unfurl forth in a wave of shrimp dumplings, teriyaki steaks, udon noodles and a shrimp tempura roll topped with seared squid, called Goosebumps.
Yeah, squid gets ’em every time.