Best Fluorescent Dining Experience | Best of Chicago 2012 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

Best Fluorescent Dining Experience 

Does the lighting enhance the food? Not in this case.

Does the lighting enhance the food? Not in this case.

Ed Fisher

Sunshine Cafe

There are situations in which candlelight is appropriate, such as seances, or an episode of The Red Shoe Diaries. The sensual aspects of a meal at Sunshine Cafe, on the other hand, tend toward the gustatory, and not just because of the light, which does shine a bit garish. (It brings out the facial blemishes.) Consider it a foil for the comprehensive awesomeness of everything else about this place: the superfriendly staff and the primally comfortable home-style Japanese cuisine. The menu comprises four categories: small dishes (some badass potato croquettes), noodles (light, cold soba with a zingy dipping sauce), entrees (broiled fish, sukiyaki), and donburi—different cuts of meat in sauce over rice. I might advance a theory that oyako don, containing both the chicken and the egg, represents life itself; it sure tastes like it. It's the perfect tonic for a chilly night, a lingering cold, a heavy heart.

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