By Ivan Yeh
Former Hapless Intern
“What defines deliciousness? Taste is tough to explain, isn’t it?”
These were the words that stuck with me after watching “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” a David Gelb documentary depicting the life of sushi master Jiro Ono, the 86-year-old head chef at the Michelin three-star restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro.
Despite his fame, Ono still runs his renowned sushi counter from the basement of an office building in the Ginza district of Tokyo, and prides himself on only serving perfection to each of his guests. There are no theatrics here; Ono lets his ingredients speak for themselves. As I watched the film’s many montages of exquisitely crafted, minimalist pieces of nigiri, I knew that in order to truly understand deliciousness, I had to first experience how quality ingredients can elevate a dish from good to great. Problem is, a seat in his 10-seat restaurant is almost impossible to come by, as bookings have to be made one month in advance and the call must come from within Japan. Despite these challenges, I was determined to have what many believe is the best sushi in the world, and after months of trying, my dream came true. Read More
Just because The Hopleaf has an incredible selection of Belgians, doesn’t mean every BOTW has to be from there. In fact, this week, Michael Roper is looking across the Lake, to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the Founders Brewing Co. has produced a double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout. The “breakfast” in the title refers to those oat flakes that are used to produce it, but I’m not sure you’re going to want to crack one open at the crack of dawn. Although it wouldn’t be the first time alcohol has been consumed before noon.
Like barbecue restaurants in the ‘burbs, it seems there is no limit to how many burger joints one city can sustain. In Chicago, The Paramount Room has always offered food that aspires to (and reaches) new heights, despite its outward appearance as just another late night lounge. Their craft beers are as good as anywhere, save the Map Room or The Hopleaf, and even when it comes to burgers, they overachieve. Their fatty-rich wagyu, draped with melted cheese, served on a grilled brioche bun that’s been slathered with “secret” sauce is one of my favorites.
What an incredibly delicious week in Chicago. Check out my latest videos for the inside look at Little Goat Bread and Diner, as well as fine-dining resurrected at Grace in the West Loop; also, some of the best Korean fried chicken in town at Dak Wings.
By Camille Izlar
Lunch=sandwich. Loop lunch=better sandwich. The ubiquitous meal is everywhere downtown. But I found you can eat better than Potbelly for less money. Check out these famous and not-so-famous places when you find yourself lost in the Loop and wondering why everyone else seems to have such purpose in life.