Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hiro Sushi

On Tuesday night, we met my good friend Mike and his new lady for sushi at a new All You Can Eat Sushi restaurant.  Over the past view visits to our formerly favorite AYCE sushi place, we've noticed an increase in the the slightly rude attitude and the "I don't care if you eat here" mentality and decided to locate a new spot.

We've tried Ringo and a few places on Broadway. Everything has been just OK and nothing too amazing.  Hiro on Broadway was the most recent new contender recommended by Mike.  Why not give it a try?

I'll say that overall, the place was just OK. I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars.  Try it for yourself if you like, pass on it and you won't be missing much.  Here's the basic run-down:

Location: Walkable from our condo so that's definitely a plus! Limited to no street parking for drivers out there.

Decor: The restaurant is clean with a simple Japanese theme (what would you expect?) with lots of black and red colors.  There's a sushi bar along the south wall where you can watch the chefs at work.

Quality:  The fish was pretty fresh by Chicago standards. Still not as awesome as what we got on our Pacific NW vacation, but good for Chicago.  However, the amount of fish used per roll and piece of nigiri was much thinner than other options around the city.  The signature rolls had unique and racey names that illicits a feeling of being in a strip club...

Drinks: It's BYOB without a corkage fee.  Soft drinks are served in cans.

Service:  There were two Asian women that waited on us. One was super sweet, probably a first generation and actually looked more Cambodian than Japanese.  She also had a surprisingly loud voice when she called everyone's attention to sing happy birthday to a gentleman named "Michael" who embarrasingly sat at the bar while he was serenaded.  The other lady was clearly FOB Japanese and also very service oriented.  Usually sushi takes awhile to serve, but there wasn't a noticeably long wait for our rolls and nigiri after we ordered.

AYCE Rules: The major downside to this place is that there's a limit to what you can order, and the limit is quite low. Most AYCE places do charge for left over uneaten sushi.  I'm down with that rule otherwise everyone would be gluttonous and create a lot of waste. However, when your limit is either (a) 2 rolls per person, (b) 1 roll + 2 pieces of nigiri or (c) 4 pieces of nigiri, there's just a lot of waiting between orders. I imagine it also slows down the consumption so maybe it's better for the restaurant's margins.  However, I found this annoying since I'm relatively small (~120 lbs) and can defnitely take down more than 2 rolls. In fact, I'm probably closer to 4 rolls AND nigiri!  This will be a major deterrance for me returning to Hiro's.

It must be a week of Celeb-Sightings for us. Well, I don't know if you can call him a "celebrity," but we saw Shane from the Road Rules and MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge. I actually see him quite often as I think he lives in the neighborhood.

Hiro's Cafe
2936 N Broadway St

Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 477-8510

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