In Chicago, sushi has been the new black for so long it seems more like a black hole. Differences between one slick spot and the next are indistinguishable, with bare-bones decor, thumping techno and maki rolls resembling mythical creatures. This Old Town newcomer stands out on three counts: bad service (15 minutes for water), bad music (Tupac’s dated-and-ridiculously-out-of-place “Dear Mama”) and good food. If you can overlook the first two gaffes, give it a shot. Skip apps and go straight for the goods: generous sushi that tastes flown-in fresh (especially the buttery salmon) and the yakitori, grilled skewers of guilty pleasures like crispy chicken skin and meaty gizzards, good-for-you eats from asparagus to eggplant and unusual finds of bacon-wrapped tomato and chicken-stuffed portobello. Plus the pointy skewers can end your misery when Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is played.—Heather Shouse
315 W North Ave between North Park Ave and Orleans St (312-951-8880). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Sedgwick. Bus: 37 Sedgwick/Ogden, 72 North. Dinner. Average nigiri: $12.