This West Town outfit housed in a cozily narrow space split into two rooms delivers the standard sushi-bar lineup with appreciable execution. Pan-fried gyoza arrived flaky and crisp in a rich sauce that helped mask an unassuming vegetable and shrimp filling. The carpaccio appetizer--a special the night we were there--delivered a cleaner taste and a more delicate balance, with four quarter-inch slices of hamachi sitting under a sliver of jalapeño and a pinch of garlic, fried shallot, drizzled with olive oil and lime juice. The surprise stunner on the plate was a small salad--a deliciously simple mix of greens tossed in a light ginger dressing. If it's this classic Japanese taste you're after, stick to the nigiri and sushi. The fatty hamachi and namasake (fresh salmon) come as fresh as we're able to enjoy here in Chicago. The maki is similarly plain, with just the right amount of rice to carry but not overwhelm the ingredients. Avocado maki was plump with slices of the perfectly ripe fruit, and spicy tuna maki packed large chunks of fish in a surprisingly spicy sauce. Aimed straight at our American tastebuds, the heavier-handed part of the menu can be found right where expected, in the signature rolls section that's so often a blight on otherwise good menus. The Seadog Tower stacked thinly sliced rolls like a pyramid, combining asparagus tempura, smoked salmon, white fish, and cheese for a creamy, saturated taste further confused by the ginger-yogurt dipping sauce. Mango, daikon, strawberry, and soft-shell crab achieved similar results in the Tango roll, which was served drowning in a sticky sweet-and-sour sauce.
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