"The fish was remarkably fresh and there were innovative rolls that we hadn't seen before. The service was very good, though the restaurant got busy toward the end of our visit, and our waiter got a bit harried. For two soups, an appetizer, two rolls, the sushi dinner and dessert the bill came out to $57. And we were stuffed. Will definitely be back as the food is good and it seems that the staff sincerely tries hard and wants to succeed."
"Pluses: fresh sushi, quaint place, kids' sushi menu items (nice touch). Negatives: no sushi bar, lettuce in spider roll. Other notes: firecracker roll is very good (very similar to the shuttered Sushido's volcano roll) and the Ringo roll is fabulous! Another keeper on my short list of fave sushi places in the city."
"Ringo has quickly become my favorite place for sushi in town. The firecracker maki is tremendous as is the dragon maki. Great food and unpretentious. Very reasonably priced as well. The only downside might be the small size, which can mean calling ahead for a table, but it is a nice atmosphere and everyone is quite friendly. BYOB is a nice change from other places as well."
Shiroi Hana Restaurant
"I just discovered this place, and it is very good and a truly excellent value. I haven't found anywhere else in the city where two people can get thoroughly stuffed with good sushi for $17. The sushi was very high quality, prepared before our eyes and just the right temperature (not frigid). The eel and shrimp nigiri were prepared perfectly, although the salmon was bland." --S.Y.
"I went to Rise last night for the first time. Although the service was very slow, as warned, the food was great. The spicy calamari was very good. We had a variety of sushi rolls and were pleased with all of them, especially the spicy Rise sushi. If you're not in a hurry, I would definitely recommend a trip here."
"I've gone to Rise twice in the past two weeks. The service could be more attentive, but it was not horrible by any means. The sushi was great -- everyone in both of my parties would definitely go back."
"If you have a party of four to six, try the sushi boat. At $100 to $150, it's a bit pricey, but you get a wonderful selection of high-quality sushi. The dragon roll was fabulous. They also do marvelous things with soft shell crab. The oyster shooters were a great start to a wonderful meal. Wait to sit upstairs -- the atmosphere is perfect."
"Very fresh sushi. While they don't have a wide selection of maki, they offer an assortment of nigiri that is tasty. Their tuna nigiri melts in your mouth, and the kani nigiri is amazing. Worth a trip, but be prepared to spend a little bit more money!"
Nohana Japanese Restaurant
"Nohana is in a dangerous location, almost right across the street from me. There are takeout menus lining my silverware drawer and I have enough chopsticks to host a stir-fry luncheon. And with good reason: The sushi here is fantastic. The raw pieces are as fresh as any you can find in Chicago, and the cooked selections, like the eel and tempura shrimp, are just plain tasty. I usually stick with the sushi, but the unagi-don bowl is out of this world. The proportions are just right. The service is a little inconsistent -- usually very reliable, but a little sloppy when they're busy. There's not much in the way of atmosphere either. But the location and value make it worthwhile."
"This place absolutely leads the league for Chicago cut-rate sushi. I have decided that the perfect lunch is a dragon roll, a bowl of miso and a 22-ounce Kirin Ichiban. The huge, albeit confusing, menu offers many more choices than I will ever get through and their tonkatsu is the best too, for you non-fish eaters."
"The sushi here is very fresh and flavorful. The menu has a good number of offerings and the selections are very creative, though I felt not all of them translated as well to the palate. Service was so-so -- our waiter was not very attentive. Overall, I think Heat is definitely a place to be checked out at least once -- especially if you are a big fan of sushi."
"Wow, the sushi here blew anything else in Chicago out of the water. The toro here did indeed melt in my mouth as the waiter described. My girlfriend and I love the couches in the lounge. We sat and sipped on these martinis they specialized in for three hours. Not only is the staff extremely friendly, but we soon found out that the people who dine here are just as friendly. Our neighbors on the couch next to us joined us for drinks as well. A great experience overall. We'll be back."
Compiled from Reader Reviews.
Originally published Nov. 21, 2002.