Thu, 03 Jan 2013 18:36:09 +0000 by Ryan Fernandez
At Slurping Turtle, Chicago’s place for Japanese comfort food, people only really wait for a table at night — dinner reservations here are taken only for parties of five or more. For a quicker bite, visit during lunch hours when there is virtually no wait for small parties.
Slurping Turtle – 116 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654 – (312) 464-0466
Slurping Turtle is chef Takashi Yagihashi’s downtown counterpart to his flagship establishment,Takashi, in Bucktown. That original location offers a more refined, “white tablecloth” experience, whereas Slurping Turtle is geared more towards the younger professionals crowd.
Chef Takashi even has a branch at Chicago’s downtown Macy’s — check out Noodles by Takashi on the 7th floor.
As for Slurping Turtle, its downtown Hubbard Street location and slick minimalist decor definitely give it that “world-class city” feel. And like a top-notch eatery you’d find in Tokyo, it’s a very clean establishment, with friendly and attentive staff, and an excellent bathroom.
The duck fat fried chicken is as good as it gets. Cooked in duck fat as its name implies, this appetizer comes with a salad and dressing that looks like thousand island, but is actually a hot and spicy mixture that goes great with the fried chicken.
The Tonkotsu is a bowl of homemade ramen noodles, braised pork shoulder, pickled greens, woodear mushrooms, and bok choy. The self-proclaimed “silky pork broth” was so tasty!
As can be seen, all the elements come together gracefully and successfully at Slurping Turtle. Add to that a team that is fun and down-to-Earth, and you’ll find an environment where the best dining experience is set to thrive for years to come.
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 17:14:11 +0000 by Tsz Chan
[by Tsz Chan]
When I try something I like, I can eat it everyday until I get sick from it—figuratively (and in some cases, literally). For example, the first time I experienced melted brie on toast with truffle honey and almonds, it turned into a two-week obsession. My co-workers can attest to this as the office would smell like truffles during lunch… every day. Sorry!
So , it’s quite fortunate that Wakasaya is quite a ways from where I live as lately I’ve been obsessed with their seared salmon don. Picture a bowl of hot, sticky rice, layered with a shelter of crispy nori, on which slices of fatty salmon rest after getting a smoky kiss by a blowtorch. End result is like the fish version of Two Face, one side charred while the other is is pristine and raw—not sinister by any means, but deliciously addicting.
The best part is that when you go for lunch, you can get this as part of the lunch special, which comes with a second entree and a drink. For a little surf and turf action, I like to pair the seared salmon bowl with some niku udon. Plump udon noodles, beefy soy broth, a generous helping of beef, caramelized onions and fresh shredded scallions—the Japanese equivalent of pho. That and a frosty glass of ice tea and I’m heading towards a much welcomed mid-day food coma.
If you’re a big eater, or dining with a friend…or both, I would recommend an extra order of takoyaki on the side. For the uninitiated, they’re these crispy balls of umami and texture-filled brilliance.
Octopus and tempura bits are enrobed in a pudding-soft wheat batter and cooked so a thin crispy crust forms that holds the molten mass together. They’re then lined up in rows, then lacquered with a sweet, savory sauce and lines of Japanese mayo. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a sprinkling of dried nori and a mound of bonito flakes that seems to “move” as it comes into contact with the sauce. It’s simply out of this world.
If you’re ever in the area, give Wakasaya a chance!
Wakasaya – Little Tokyo 104 Japanese Village Plaza Mall Los Angeles, CA 90012 213-621-2121
[Images by Tsz Chan]