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Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto puts his brand on surprisingly successful fusion dishes and some of the finest sushi and sashimi in town.

Our Review

The newly rebranded Japonais by Morimoto—as in Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto—has been given an interior makeover and a complete overhaul of its menu, which features overfished species such as freshwater eel, yellowtail, and, worst of all, bluefin tuna, the irresistible taste of extinction. If you choose to ignore your nagging conscience, his highly lauded tuna pizza—a circle of flatbread covered with meaty slabs of blood-red fish, crosshatched with streaks of anchovy aioli and dotted with sliced jalapeño—is a delicate appetizer that actually respects the fish. That's the case with most shareable plates and entrees here—no matter how ridiculous things look on paper, they tend to make sense in execution. Still, the pinnacle of Japonais by Morimoto's achievements comes when its rice (which arrives brown and is polished white in-house) meets raw fish. Where much of Morimoto's menu is flash and dazzle (wagyu-and-lobster-masala surf and turf, foie-gras-and-uni-topped steamed oysters), this is quite simply some of the finest, freshest sushi and sashimi I've encountered in the city. Morimoto's elevated Japonais to the very top of the food chain for raw fish in Chicago. And the chef's wacky signature Japanese fusion? That's not so bad either. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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