Momotaro | West Loop/Fulton Market | Asian, Japanese | Restaurant
Japanese restaurant from the Boka Restaurant Group, featuring sushi, a robata grill, and a downstairs izakaya with its own entrance.

Our Review

The menu at this triple-decker Japanese behemoth from the Boka group is divided among snacks, cold and hot appetizers, skewers from the robata grill, items brought to the table on live hibachi grills, a seasonal category, and, from the sushi side of the operation, donburi, sashimi, makimono, nigiri, and a separate "chef selection nigiri." The line between austere, simple Japanese food and modern, often irreverent innovation is pretty thin. The signature "Momotaro tartare," made from the minced and dehydrated flesh of the sweet and tangy Japanese tomato variety that, like the restaurant, takes its name from the folk hero who landed on earth inside a giant peach. The Japanese obsession with itameshi, or Italian food, results in two superb mashups: spaghetti enriched with the egg of the free-range Jidori chicken and a risotto-like pool of creamy uni rice. Richness isn't limited to blatant cross-cultural experiments. Momotaro's sushi chef, Jeff Ramsey, doesn't seem to have applied many of that restaurant's modernist tendencies to the fish, but he does have his Achatz moments, as with the presentation of a pair of mackerel nigiri accompanied by a sudden whiff of burning Cypress sawdust. Other special nigiri have subtle but interesting touches. Overall, come into Momotaro with a focus on fish; you won't do poorly at all. The dessert section is brief, just four options including a quenelle of cool sorbet surrounded by baby green peaches, and a dense soy custard concealing a layer of huckleberry jam. And there are plenty of other diversions at Momotaro: a fine selection of Japanese whiskeys, beers, and sake, and a subterranean "izakaya" serving snacks.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

Bar Details

The downstairs at the Boka group's Japanese restaurant is given over to a separate spot with its own entrance. This izakaya—which has a much more divey feel than the chic restaurant upstairs—serves drinks and Japanese-style bar snacks till the wee hours. —Mike Sula

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