Much can be said about Yusho’s (@yushochicago, 2853 N. Kedzie Blvd.) approach to service. With pristine plating suggesting an artistic interpretation of food and a playful restaurant design, a diner can expect a fun foodie experience. However, do not expect to leave without being offered some serious sake knowledge. Japanese food and drink culture is extensive and loaded with history and tradition. This yakitori style restaurant houses an expertly trained staff ready to share their know-how with any guest.
Sake: An Education
According to certified sake sommelier Tim Koenig, sake is one of the most underrated beverages today.
“As American consumers, we’re just not equipped to understand it. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about how to enjoy sake, about how it’s produced, about what it actually is,” says Koenig. “We take every opportunity we can to try and give everyone an experience, even if it’s their first time tasting it. Even if they don’t learn everything they can about [sake] at least we can give them that taste where they say, ‘Wow, that wasn’t what I expected.'”
Many who have tried and dismissed sake have done so in a less than ideal circumstance. Yusho is ready to wipe that memory from existence. Whether it is a single pour to tempt your palette or one of their many sake flights taking the drinker through many different types of processing, the staff at Yusho believe there’s a sake for everyone.
For those interested in an even greater crash course on sake and modern Japanese food, check out “Sake Confidential,” an event hosted by Yusho. Monday at 6 pm, there will be a 5-course meal and sake pairing constructed by Chef Harold. Diners will have a chance to meet the five renowned sake brewers from Japan who brewed each of the sakes offered with their meals. John Gauntner, a sake sommelier and the leading English-speaking expert on the drink will also be in attendance. He will be passing out signed copies of his book, Sake Confidential, to all guests.
Cover Photo: Sarah Becan