In The Running: Sushi Bar

After re-reading my last sushi blog on here, I realized that I hadn't been doing much research in the way of finding the "Ultimate Sushi Place in the Chicago Suburbs". In lieu of this, I decided to invite a couple of my best friends out to lunch at a new location I had never ventured to and only recently discovered; Sushi Bar in Bloomingdale.

The dining area was small, but the tables did not seem to be squeezed in uncomfortably. My party opted to sit at the sushi bar itself; lunch and a show. The chairs were a little low, so we couldn't see the work surface the itamea (sushi chef) was preparing our lunch on, but we could see their display case full of lip-smackingly delicious and brightly colored sushi (or, as my Uncle calls it, bait).

After our lunches were ordered, the waiter brought us the customary starter of miso soup. My friend Isabell* was pleasantly surprised to find that she actually enjoyed the miso soup from this place rather than the offerings from TL's. There really didn't seem to be much difference from my palate standpoint, but I would need to do a side-by-side comparison to be sure.

The waiter brought us our plates and we dug in. My friend Mike* ordered the same lunch I did, but he got a more interesting platter (resembling this) than I did, which you can view in the photo to the right. The fish itself was firm and brightly colored, no tearing or separating of the flesh which is a good indication of how high quality the fish is. If you look closely at the white tuna on the far right, there is just a hint of tearing but overall the pieces are firmly together. The portion sizes were also fantastic, and the proportion of rice to fish was extremely satisfying.

I also opted to have two rolls on the side to try, which was spicy tuna and spicy salmon (on left). While looking over the Sushi Bar brochure I received (highlighting their newer menu for their 10th anniversary) Isabell* was taken by a photo of their caterpillar roll. The photo showed a curved figure of a caterpillar made from sushi rice, avocado, cucumber and cooked eel. Below is the comparison between what was advertised and what was presented.

Not exactly what she had in mind, but she liked the textures and the flavors combined in the roll.

After hearing my group talk about our preferences in sushi and our knowledge of our favorites, the itamea created four of a special item for us to try on the house. I did not catch the name of it, but it was an extremely interesting texture and flavor playland. The item featured a Pringles Cheddar chip (no kidding), with some kind of crunchy tempura-like breading in the center, topped with diced tuna and sesame seeds. Beautiful and as fun to eat as it is to look at and think about. I hope he wasn't buttering me up because I was taking photos at lunch!

For those of you with an interest in the warmer side of things, the cooked menu was also extensive as they have a full kitchen in the back. Deanna* ordered the Nabeyaki Udon noodle soup (her favorite) which was full to the brim of bright vegetables, plump seafood (shrimp, scallops, crab, and squid), and an abundance of slippery udon noodles floating delicately in a light broth (which she doused in sriracha hot sauce).

The price of my lunch (American Dream Lunch, featuring six pieces of sushi and one california roll served with miso soup) was around $16.95. A little more expensive than my traditional location, but I received more pieces of the fish I enjoy rather than six different kinds. The bonus item was also quite pleasing. Sushi Bar is located at 369 W. Army Trail Road (suite 19) in Bloomingdale, IL 60108. Visit their website here where you can view their menu, and even place your order online.

To love, to food, l'chaim!

*Names have been changed.


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