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Ora Sushi, Andersonville

Ora Sushi, Andersonville
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  • Ora Sushi, Andersonville

    Post #1 - August 27th, 2012, 11:57 am
    Post #1 - August 27th, 2012, 11:57 am Post #1 - August 27th, 2012, 11:57 am
    Ora Sushi is a new-ish Japanese restaurant in Andersonville that took over the spot formerly occupied by Hama Matsu at 5143 N Clark St. My wife and I tried a variety of sashimi and maki via carry out recently and were quite impressed (and certainly more impressed than we were with Hama Mastu). The pictures on the website (linked below) give a good sense of the aesthetic they are going for. The quality of the fish was really high.

    Ora Sushi
    5143 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60640
    (773) 506-2978
  • Post #2 - August 27th, 2012, 12:43 pm
    Post #2 - August 27th, 2012, 12:43 pm Post #2 - August 27th, 2012, 12:43 pm
    I'm no sushi aficionado by any means so my data point should be taken with a grain of salt but my single meal here was pretty enjoyable…fish was above average, the saba in particular was delicious and everything was served at the proper temperature. BYOB with a liquor store just up the block is an added bonus. I'll be back next time the sushi bug hits.
  • Post #3 - September 27th, 2016, 8:47 am
    Post #3 - September 27th, 2016, 8:47 am Post #3 - September 27th, 2016, 8:47 am
    The bride and I finally checked out Ora Sushi after reading/viewing Frank Patterson's Facebook posts. Fantastic, really enjoyable, Ellen used the word pristine more than once during the meal, a very good sign. Impeccable nigiri, sashimi and the just flown in uni was spectacular as was the salmon belly and scallop with yuzu kosho. They speak highly of FrankP and we are up for a return visit soon.

    Friends who've been lamenting the loss of Itto Sushi and places with an emphasis on letting the fish speak for itself, as opposed to "fashion" rolls, should check check out Ora Sushi.

    In addition to enjoying what was on the plate, the staff was very friendly, service terrific, seating comfortable, prices reasonable for quality and the owners wife was there with their cute as a button newborn. Lots of Monday night parking on Clark, Ora is BYOB

    Ora Sushi, count me a Fan!

    Ora1.jpeg Scottish salmon, tuna, Scottish salmon belly.


    Ora2.jpeg Hakkaido Scallop w/ yuzu kosho


    Ora3.jpeg Scottish Salmon Belly


    Ora Sushi
    5143 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60640
    773-506-2978
    Last edited by G Wiv on September 27th, 2016, 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - September 27th, 2016, 9:41 am
    Post #4 - September 27th, 2016, 9:41 am Post #4 - September 27th, 2016, 9:41 am
    As one of those lamenting the loss of Itto Sushi, I value this info. Thanks, G Wiv.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #5 - September 27th, 2016, 10:41 am
    Post #5 - September 27th, 2016, 10:41 am Post #5 - September 27th, 2016, 10:41 am
    Ora Sushi looks interesting. I had no luck finding the web site with the link above, though. In fact, the restaurant doesn't appear to have a website.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #6 - September 27th, 2016, 11:19 am
    Post #6 - September 27th, 2016, 11:19 am Post #6 - September 27th, 2016, 11:19 am
    Katie wrote:Ora Sushi looks interesting. I had no luck finding the web site with the link above, though. In fact, the restaurant doesn't appear to have a website.


    They took down their website a while ago and so I removed the link above.

    They have a Facebook page. Menupages has a menu, though it isn't updated regularly and doesn't contain specials, but it gives you an idea of what they have and prices.

    Ora is in our regular rotation, generally for carry out. As Gary said, the fish is very good. I happen to like their 'fashion' rolls a lot too.
  • Post #7 - October 29th, 2016, 6:08 am
    Post #7 - October 29th, 2016, 6:08 am Post #7 - October 29th, 2016, 6:08 am
    My favorite place for sushi is frequently overlooked on "best of" lists for sushi in Chicago. I suppose I should be thankful for that, because I can usually get in as a solo diner without too much advanced planning. The chef makes a point of acquiring fish that is sustainably raised. All I know is that he is a genius at combining flavors that enhance the seafood he presents. I've been to Michelin one star sushi places in Manhattan, Tokyo and Osaka, and he is at that level, but without the Michelin one star prices. If you are there on a weekday evening, sit at the sushi counter, bring a bottle of sake, Champagne or Riesling and ask for Omakase (chef's choice). The nigiri will be presented one at a time, which makes a major difference in the texture of the rice, and therefore the quality of each piece. The fish is seasoned perfectly, so there's no need to add wasabi or to dip the fish in soy sauce. Ora is a BYOB gem.

    ImageBeef Tataki

    ImageMadai

    ImageHamachi Toro with yuzukosho

    ImageBeni Toro with chives and ginger

    ImageHotate (Hokkaido) with yuzukosho

    ImageEbi Motoyaki

    ImageShiro Maguro

    ImageIka

    ImageSpicy Octopus hand roll
  • Post #8 - November 3rd, 2016, 8:35 am
    Post #8 - November 3rd, 2016, 8:35 am Post #8 - November 3rd, 2016, 8:35 am
    Dinner before the Cubs game last night consisted of one of my favorite items on Ora's menu, Ora-rashi. It's their take on Chirashi, but better. Rice, lettuce, avocado, vegetables with fish marinated in a spicy sesame soy sauce. Delicious and filling.

    ImageOra-rashi
  • Post #9 - April 14th, 2017, 1:00 pm
    Post #9 - April 14th, 2017, 1:00 pm Post #9 - April 14th, 2017, 1:00 pm
    Some pictures from two recent omakase dinners at Ora. I'm kind of addicted to this place and each time, they manage to surprise me with something new.

    ImageSashimi platter

    ImageSeared waygu beef with sea urchin and slivered nori

    ImageSpicy tuna over crispy rice

    ImageJapanese uni

    ImageOctopus roll

    ImageFirefly squid

    ImageChirashi roll
  • Post #10 - April 14th, 2017, 1:45 pm
    Post #10 - April 14th, 2017, 1:45 pm Post #10 - April 14th, 2017, 1:45 pm
    nice^ :lol:
  • Post #11 - April 15th, 2017, 9:26 am
    Post #11 - April 15th, 2017, 9:26 am Post #11 - April 15th, 2017, 9:26 am
    FrankP wrote:Some pictures from two recent omakase dinners at Ora.

    I had the pleasure of attending one of the omakase dinners with Frank and two others, an absolutly spectacular meal. As wonderful as the progression of lightly cheffed offerings were what stood out for me was the impeccable quality of the nigiri and our sashimi course, which FrankP pictures above.

    Ora is BYOB which, in addition to reasonable pricing for high quality, attention to detail and friendly informed servers and talented staff make it a true standout in the not so slowly Fashion Roll Kewpieazation happening in Chicago.

    Ora Sushi, Count me a Fan!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - April 15th, 2017, 11:30 am
    Post #12 - April 15th, 2017, 11:30 am Post #12 - April 15th, 2017, 11:30 am
    Seeing this group of new posts reminded me that I never posted about my sole experience here, which was outstanding. This was back around the beginning of the year. It's great -- and no surprise -- to see that Ora is still chugging along. The family and I also had the Omakase (plus) and I was really pleased with the quality of the fish and the non-sea-faring dishes we ordered.

    Due to a strange glitch with the reservation book, even though we'd reserved 3 spots at the bar, they were not available. Instead we were seated at a table. Normally, that would be a bit of a bummer but our server, Max, was so awesome, I ended up actually being glad we'd been re-routed. This was some of the most memorably wonderful service we'd experienced in years friendly, knowledgeable, professional and genuinely warm . . . darn near destination worthy.

    Now, I need to get another trip to Ora on the books right away.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #13 - April 15th, 2017, 11:33 am
    Post #13 - April 15th, 2017, 11:33 am Post #13 - April 15th, 2017, 11:33 am
    These omakase courses look amazing. Just wondering, what's the cost per person for omakase?
  • Post #14 - April 15th, 2017, 2:18 pm
    Post #14 - April 15th, 2017, 2:18 pm Post #14 - April 15th, 2017, 2:18 pm
    rtb178 wrote:These omakase courses look amazing. Just wondering, what's the cost per person for omakase?


    It varies. I've asked for a 10 piece nigiri selection and it comes in at around $50, depending on what specials are available. For the dinner with GWiv, I lost count, but it was probably 16 or 17 courses, one of which was the sashimi platter pictured above. That dinner was over $100 and still a good deal.
  • Post #15 - April 16th, 2017, 3:15 am
    Post #15 - April 16th, 2017, 3:15 am Post #15 - April 16th, 2017, 3:15 am
    FrankP wrote:For the dinner with GWiv, I lost count, but it was probably 16 or 17 courses, one of which was the sashimi platter pictured above. That dinner was over $100 and still a good deal.

    $310.50 for 4-people not including tax or tip. We spent well over three hours at Ora, not really sure how many courses we had, 16 or 17 sounds about right, we were comped one, maybe two due to the fact they truly appreciate Frank as a customer.

    Oh, and 100% agreement with Ronnie, Max is a terrific server!

    Ora is a gem which I highly recommend.

    ORALTH7.jpg Delbert, itamae/owner with child.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - April 16th, 2017, 12:05 pm
    Post #16 - April 16th, 2017, 12:05 pm Post #16 - April 16th, 2017, 12:05 pm
    Enjoyed an excellent meal here Fri pm. After a bit of wait on our reservation (nearly 45 mins) as soon as the food started arriving, all was well. High quality ingredients made and served by gracious people changed what was beginning to be my surly attitude. The place is small, so week nights are no doubt a better idea.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #17 - June 3rd, 2017, 9:07 am
    Post #17 - June 3rd, 2017, 9:07 am Post #17 - June 3rd, 2017, 9:07 am
    Time over time, I have people telling me I need to try some sushi place . . . "it's amazing!" A certain place on Chicago Ave comes to mind. I usually try it and leave thinking, yeah, it's okay . . . but who cares. Often, I leave bewildered wondering why nobody cares about the art of sushi - the texture and flavor of the rice, the temperature, the ratio of fish to rice, the size of each piece, etc. Honestly, the overwhelming majority of Chicagoans just don't give a f**k about sushi.

    So when I visited Ora Sushi last night, so close to the heart of Andersonville, I was prepared for good neighborhood sushi, but convinced I would laugh off the glowing comments here. I left Ora Sushi very sad, disappointed . . . as if I've wasted the last several years of my life with this precious gem sitting right under my nose, never having visited. And shame on the Chicago food media for allowing this place to fly under the radar. Sure, go ahead and review the same fine dining restaurant several times a year, but allow a Michelin quality sushi restaurant (byo though) to beg for customers.

    Yes, this guy gets it - the rice, the nori, everything. Years ago I was scolded by a sushi chef for taking a picture of my hand roll when handed to me. I was told I ruined the perfect bite because the brittle crispness of the nori immediately begins to deteriorate and you have only one to two bites of nirvana. He scolded me in a fatherly way, the way very few chefs would. The way insanely passionate chefs would. So when my dining companion and I were separately handed our hand rolls last night, I wouldn't make the same mistake. And yes, the hand rolls were prepared separately too. He gets it. And not only does he get it, but he's using some spectacular nori. This was one of the best hand rolls I've ever had. Some people would ding a restaurant for serving the same dish to a dining couple separately. But here the customers should be bowing.

    The nigiri was similarly spectacular. Each piece was uniquely and deliciously seasoned. No clumped rice, and yet it held together just right. And nigiri is not something you eat in several bites -- you can't! So it's refreshing that Ora is one of those places that doesn't feel the need to serve you an oversized piece of fish that's impossible to handle. And that rice! He was excited to talk about his journey towards perfect rice - understanding the seasons, new rice versus old rice, the differences in moisture, and understanding the differences so that the rice comes out perfect. Yeah, Ora Sushi is for real, and in the back of my head I continue to recall so many wasted sushi meals over the years. What have I done!

    Although the omakase (chef's choice, never to be confused with kaiseki) at Ora is typically only available on weekdays (when crowds are thinner) or weekends with plenty of advance notice, we were lucky that the late Friday crowd last night (we arrived just before 9pm) was a little thin and we were allowed to partake. Aside from the nigiri and hand roll, there were some other incredible bites - wonderfully rich mackerel, an oyster tempura with a thin, light and non-greasy crust you experience at oh so few places. There was also the chef's take on a Japanese Oysters Rockefeller that stunned me again. And there was uni . . . and more uni.

    Yeah, there's fun maki too. We didn't have any of it and I didn't want any of it . . . but I don't hate it.

    Overall, a stunning meal. Truly stunning. And it was the most eye opening meal I've ever had when you compare quality of the meal compared with fanfare the restaurant receives. The one (and only) minor transgression was a piece of unagi which was a little too sweet for my taste and the rice didn't quite hold together here. So, perfect? Maybe not . . . but pretty damn close and utterly fantastic.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #18 - June 3rd, 2017, 4:34 pm
    Post #18 - June 3rd, 2017, 4:34 pm Post #18 - June 3rd, 2017, 4:34 pm
    I've been remiss in not posting about an excellent meal I had at Ora a little over a month ago. I guess I'll start by stating that not only do I generally dislike maki with a lot of ingredients and flavors (and, shudder, cream cheese) going on, I have not sought out local sushi in years because the mediocrity seems only rivaled by its ubiquity.

    Ora seems to get it. They served a great meal that had me and my friends talking and it will not be long before I return.

    I strongly echo BR's comments about the quality of the rice cookery and the perfection of the hand roll. I was very full and ordered a salmon skin hand roll at the end of the meal just to see how they did on one of my favorite dishes. While I often get passable or forgettable versions at other restaurants, this one was truly memorable.

    Memorable is a good word to describe the whole experience. We had excellent service (we sat at a table) from Max, who guided us to order the oyster motoyaki (the oyster Rockefeller-like dish BR describes above. I *hate* oyster Rockefeller. Why would you do that to a perfectly good oyster? --- Brief Aside. Friends have been organizing a January steak dinner for over a decade that has grown in attendance to nearly 20 people. For the better part of that decade, it was held at a local chain steakhouse. One year, we ordered 4 dozen oysters. They brought 4 dozen oysters Rockefeller. They quickly corrected the mistake, but my god. Who actually orders nearly 50 oysters Rockefeller? We changed venues the very next year --- So after all that baggage, my opinion on the oyster motoyaki at Ora? This dish was fantastic and I would absolutely order it again.

    We had a handful of nigiri and actually had and enjoyed a couple of rolls (which, I believe, Max suggested). Everything was very good or better - save for some uni I found to be very average.

    Ora Sushi: damn good food, great overall experience. Whether you are a sushi recidivist or a sushi burnout, if you like fish married to rice and seaweed, you owe yourself to give this place a try.
  • Post #19 - June 3rd, 2017, 5:21 pm
    Post #19 - June 3rd, 2017, 5:21 pm Post #19 - June 3rd, 2017, 5:21 pm
    Very much enjoy Ora, but if the uni isn't straight from the animal that moment, forget it. No comparison. Not even close.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #20 - August 9th, 2017, 11:30 pm
    Post #20 - August 9th, 2017, 11:30 pm Post #20 - August 9th, 2017, 11:30 pm
    The various posts above adequately describe what separates Ora from so many other sushi places in town. The restaurant still has not caught on with most of the publications that produce listicles of the "best" places in town, The Reader being the lone exception. They have caught on with knowledgable diners, because the place is now packed, even on week nights.

    Image
    Octopus in Ponzu Sauce

    Image
    Sushi Set B

    Image
    Ika with Uni
  • Post #21 - September 4th, 2017, 6:48 pm
    Post #21 - September 4th, 2017, 6:48 pm Post #21 - September 4th, 2017, 6:48 pm
    A couple of stellar off menu uni dishes from a recent visit.
    image.jpg Uni over thinly sliced tuna and seared waygu
    image.jpg Uni, ikura, and raw quail's egg over rice
  • Post #22 - September 4th, 2017, 7:44 pm
    Post #22 - September 4th, 2017, 7:44 pm Post #22 - September 4th, 2017, 7:44 pm
    I have really enjoyed Ora over the past few months (and have enthusiastically recommended it to many) but my most recent visit -- about 2 weeks ago -- was a definite notch down from previous visits mainly because the rice was quite hard. It was immediately noticeable on the first bite and did not change throughout our meal. I wonder if no one behind the counter noticed or if it was, for some reason, intentional. Either way, it was an unpleasant surprise and a bit of a disappointment. :(

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #23 - September 4th, 2017, 7:54 pm
    Post #23 - September 4th, 2017, 7:54 pm Post #23 - September 4th, 2017, 7:54 pm
    Spoiled by fresh. Hard to have it off a wooden board when you've had it seconds post uni's demise.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata

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