Party Earth Review Far removed from the bigger nightlife areas of Chicago, Arami entices discerning diners with Japanese fare way (WAY!) beyond California rolls. A Shinto gate marks the otherwise nondescript entrance, leading patrons into... ... read full review
1829 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
Blue Line: Division
Tu–Sa 5–10:30pm, Su 5–10pm
Ukrainian Village, Chicago –
Far removed from the bigger nightlife areas of Chicago, Arami entices discerning diners with Japanese fare way (WAY!) beyond California rolls.
A Shinto gate marks the otherwise nondescript entrance, leading patrons into a small, modern lounge with exposed brick, a handful of candlelit bamboo tables, and a long sushi bar.
The venue’s tiny menu is only a starting point, so seasoned regulars often leave everything to the daily chef’s choice, which might start with fatty tuna bites and spicy octopus, then segue to sake mussels and a dabble in pork belly or braised beef.
Or maybe it will just be a boatload of fresh sashimi.
No matter what patrons order, dishes are often meticulously presented with fresh flowers and detailed garnishes, and servers even put a stone in the soy sauce dishes so nobody can over-saturate their sushi.
Atrium windows let in light high above the main dining area in back, which fills nightly with guys looking to impress their dates, still-suited business types talking shop, and groups of friends ready to splurge on an upscale gorge-fest.
Both conversation and music rise steadily as the evening progresses, the former no doubt aided by the nice selection of sake and specialty cocktails on the drinks menu.
A tucked-away gem and a trendy – albeit pricey – spot for expanding the palate, Arami is sure to please all who venture inside.
Except the fish.
Sushi enthusiasts, couples on dates, after-work business types, groups of well-to-do friends, and trendy girls starting the night, mid-20s to early 40s.
Music selection ranges from downtempo and mellow dubstep to upbeat funk and trip hop.
Contemporary Japanese cuisine including sushi, maki rolls, ramen bowls, spring rolls, and meat dishes. Reservations suggested.
Chef’s tasting menu $80–$120. Cold bites $4–$12, hot bites $3–$14, noodle and ramen bowls $8–$15, donburi $12, nigiri and sashimi $2–$4/piece, maki rolls $7–$13, chef’s choice combination $35.
Beer $5–$12, wine $8–$11/glass or $30–$75/bottle, specialty cocktails $9–$15, sake $9–$10/glass or $27–$150+/bottle, spirits $9–$30.
Smart casual: pressed button-downs, cashmere cardigans, floral blouses, designer jeans, dress shoes, comfortable heels.
The minute they open to get first dibs on the numerous types of rare fish that usually sell out quickly.
Roots Handmade Pizza (1924 West Chicago Avenue) is owned by the guys behind The Fifty/50 and offers a casual Italian alternative to the Japanese styling of Arami.