Nori Sushi’s fourth and newest location (@norichicago, 2537 N. Milwaukee Ave.) is scheduled to open later this month, nestled next to The Rocking Horse and steps away from the Square. Nori already has locations in Lakeview, Wicker Park and Edgewater—all of which have garnished moderately high praise on all the standard grub review sites.
The Nori-to-be building is blacked-out and nondescript. So, with no chance of getting some preliminary eats there, I grabbed a friend and dropped by the Wicker Park location to get a taste of what will be coming to the neighborhood.
Nori Sushi Opening on Milwaukee Avenue
On par with Wicker, residents should expect the standard sushi-chic interior: glossy menus, moody lighting and gregarious staff. What it may lack in distinctiveness, though, it will surely make up for in mood: chill, relaxed with a little urban elegance. The ethos blends perfectly into the menu selections, which are nontraditional and forward-thinking, but far from overdone.
Every sushi dinner should start with miso soup, and for $2, their bowl of warm and umami broth is near-perfect. The small tofu pieces and crunchy scallions wet your tongue for what really pops out on Nori’s menu: the Nori Signature Maki.
I made little qualms or fuss about ordering the Chicago Crunchy Crazy—a hamachi/escolar/unagi-based maki roll slathered with two of my favorite things on Earth: avocado and spicy mayo. The combination of traditional Japanese fish and the American garnishes perfectly exemplifies Nori. Much of the menu items reflect the same “sushi theory.” Yes, the sushi was both spicy and crunchy.
The Nori Signature Maki selections are between six and eight generous pieces. The standard Nori Maki selections are smaller in size and simpler in construction (I recommend the Ninja).
Because sushi is such an urban institution, it’s hard to pick a real “favorite” place from the innumerable selections throughout the city. Another sushi joint never hurts, especially one right in the neighborhood.
Nori’s flamboyant and cross-cultured menu will make all the difference with sushi fans.
Oh, and they might even deliver!
Nori locations represent a post-fusion twist and feature entrée-style rice and pan-fried noodle dishes alongside styled “kitchen favorites.” I’d expect to see many of the same flavors and styles at the new Nori in Logan Square, with eccentric yet balanced dishes and typical à la carte nigiri and sashimi playing a backup role.
Nori’s menu balances à la carte items and more familiar one-dish offerings. It’s a great mix of both dining experiences.
For all things Nori, visit norichicago.com.