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  • Post #121 - September 7th, 2011, 8:08 am
    Post #121 - September 7th, 2011, 8:08 am Post #121 - September 7th, 2011, 8:08 am
    Needed a place for a quick bite on the way down to chilly Wrigley Field last night with a pal of Japanese descent, and he suggested Sunshine Cafe. I had never been, but remembered it having GNR status. We walked into a semi-dingy room (the vacuum cleaner was propped against the bathroom door!) but it was clean, and when I saw two elderly Japanese women talking over hot tea, I knew this would be good.

    And it was. The gomaaye & my katsu-don were wonderful, my pal's tempura soba was excellent as well. He said there are little shops like this all over Japan. We were in & out in 30 minutes, just what we wanted.

    Another GNR miracle!
  • Post #122 - December 16th, 2011, 1:53 am
    Post #122 - December 16th, 2011, 1:53 am Post #122 - December 16th, 2011, 1:53 am
    I was hoping to check out Sunshine Cafe, because it is right by the storefront church I attend, and I found out today that several members eat there frequently; unfortunately, it is closed at the moment. Hopefully the issues that led to the closure will be resolved soon.
    "When I'm born I'm a Tar Heel bred, and when I die I'm a Tar Heel dead."
  • Post #123 - December 16th, 2011, 9:23 am
    Post #123 - December 16th, 2011, 9:23 am Post #123 - December 16th, 2011, 9:23 am
    There was a separate thread mentioning that last week, but then it mysteriously disappeared, so I was hoping that meant it was untrue. They were closed by the city department of health. It looks like there's quite a ton of stuff to fix, so I hope they are able to reopen. Their inspections were on 11/29 and 12/9 and the details are on the city's site at http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/health ... ection.jsp
  • Post #124 - December 16th, 2011, 11:45 am
    Post #124 - December 16th, 2011, 11:45 am Post #124 - December 16th, 2011, 11:45 am
    Tambreet wrote:There was a separate thread mentioning that last week, but then it mysteriously disappeared, so I was hoping that meant it was untrue. They were closed by the city department of health. It looks like there's quite a ton of stuff to fix, so I hope they are able to reopen. Their inspections were on 11/29 and 12/9 and the details are on the city's site at http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/health ... ection.jsp

    The post was removed because it could not be substantiated at the time and we have strict rules about such posts...

    in the Posting Guidelines, the Admins wrote:Some types of posts have legal implications for you and the site. Please refrain from accusations of criminal activity, health code violations, or other wrongdoing. If your complaint is serious and provable, please take it to the proper authorities. Further, we find reports of restaurant and purveyor violations or closures, regardless of the circumstances, to be an area ripe for competitor abuse. We will remove these posts unless substantiated with a published source, e.g. a link to a quality published account.

    Thank you, for providing a link to the City's site.

    =R=
    for the moderators
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #125 - December 31st, 2011, 2:13 pm
    Post #125 - December 31st, 2011, 2:13 pm Post #125 - December 31st, 2011, 2:13 pm
    I was just thinking of Sunshine Cafe yesterday--because I had a taste for shioyaki salmon--and wondering if they had re-opened, when I saw the following. I'm not sure why the Sun-Times is just reporting this now, because the original close order was issued December 8. Hardly breaking news. (Fox Chicago News also aired the same story on its 9 pm news last night.)

    Foodie favorite Sunshine Cafe closed by health inspectors
    By Jim Scalzitti
    Staff Reporter
    Updated: December 31, 2011 2:06AM

    For years now, Chicago “foodies” have flocked to the Sunshine Cafe, a Japanese restaurant at 5449 N. Clark.
    “A wonderful, homey place,” according to lthforum.com, whose members have also named it “one of Chicagoland’s Great Neighborhood Restaurants, 2010-12.” Members of the foodie website praised the small restaurant’s “perfect tempura . . . perfect bowl of Udon noodle soup . . . (and) fantastic sukiyaki, teriyaki, salmon.”
    The Chicago Department of Public Health’s recent review of the Andersonville eatery had a different tone, however.
    In shutting down the eatery, the department noted that the restaurant had dirty food prep equipment, walls covered with grease, rusty shelving and dirty floors.
    “Dirty cloth curtains at both entrances to kitchen. Must clean,” reads the city’s report from a Dec. 8 inspection. There was also a “dirty food-encrusted slicer in basement on metal prep table . . . and, all walls throughout kitchen (were) dirty with grease, food splatter.”
    The report also noted that all the shelving in the coolers was dirty, with rusty shelving throughout the kitchen and the rear dry storage area was dirty with grease, food debris.
    Sunshine Cafe’s license was suspended until it can pass reinspection. As of Friday it remained closed.

    http://www.suntimes.com/9731799-417/foo ... ctors.html

    Count me among those who really hope the restaurant can overcome all of this and re-open....
    "Life is a combination of magic and pasta." -- Federico Fellini

    "You're not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in from the lake. And there's practically no opera season at all--and the Lord only knows whether they've ever heard of lobster Newburg." --Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
  • Post #126 - December 31st, 2011, 2:18 pm
    Post #126 - December 31st, 2011, 2:18 pm Post #126 - December 31st, 2011, 2:18 pm
    tarte tatin wrote:I was just thinking of Sunshine Cafe yesterday--because I had a taste for shioyaki salmon--and wondering if they had re-opened, when I saw the following. I'm not sure why the Sun-Times is just reporting this now, because the original close order was issued December 8. Hardly breaking news. (Fox Chicago News also aired the same story on its 9 pm news last night.)



    It seems like a few food-related news stories got recycled this week. The sale of Moo & Oink's assets was re-reported in the Sun Times as well.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #127 - December 31st, 2011, 3:07 pm
    Post #127 - December 31st, 2011, 3:07 pm Post #127 - December 31st, 2011, 3:07 pm
    Channel 32 even went as far as to show the GNR certificate in the window. I don't know why this is even "news" on a day when at least 4 people died in the city from gun violence (including a cop). The strong way in which channel 32 worded the "teaser", I thought for sure the owner had died. Turns out the place just failed a routine health inspection. Big deal. It is still a GNR for me. Sounds like the place just needs a good scrubbing. I have eaten in much less clean places than that, without any negative effects (including food carts in Mexico and China). The only place that has ever gotten me sick was a spotlessly clean fast food chain restaurant.
  • Post #128 - December 31st, 2011, 3:20 pm
    Post #128 - December 31st, 2011, 3:20 pm Post #128 - December 31st, 2011, 3:20 pm
    d4v3 wrote:Channel 32 even went as far as to show the GNR certificate in the window. I don't know why this is even "news" on a day when at least 4 people died in the city from gun violence (including a cop). The strong way in which channel 32 worded the "teaser", I thought for sure the owner had died. Turns out the place just failed a routine health inspection. Big deal. It is still a GNR for me. Sounds like the place just needs a good scrubbing. I have eaten in much less clean places than that, without any negative effects (including food carts in Mexico and China). The only place that has ever gotten me sick was a spotlessly clean fast food chain restaurant.

    That is utterly bizarre, not only in light of other, far more serious news (as you correctly mention) but also given the hundreds of reports of failed routine inspections that appear on the City's website (including dozens from this month alone). Why single out Sunshine? Is there some agenda-ism going on? Is it the mere appearance of popularity? That'd be ironic, given how off the mainstream radar it is.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #129 - December 31st, 2011, 3:51 pm
    Post #129 - December 31st, 2011, 3:51 pm Post #129 - December 31st, 2011, 3:51 pm
    I do hope they can come back from this -- I understand they have been exceedingly generous to the little storefront church I attend that is right next door, and generosity needs to be rewarded with lots of support, IMHO.
    "When I'm born I'm a Tar Heel bred, and when I die I'm a Tar Heel dead."
  • Post #130 - January 3rd, 2012, 10:44 am
    Post #130 - January 3rd, 2012, 10:44 am Post #130 - January 3rd, 2012, 10:44 am
    I like Sunshine (though perhaps not as much as many here), but I am happy that they will be rectifying these problems:

    http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/healthinspection/inspection.jsp wrote:14. PREVIOUS SERIOUS VIOLATION CORRECTED, 7-42-090 Comments: A separate and distinct offense shall be deemed to have been committed for each Serious violation that is not corrected upon re-inspection by the health authority.PREVIOUS SERIOUS VIOLATION FROM 11-29-11 #517641 NOT CORRECTED. #30- PREPARED FOODS NOT LABELED OR DATED. #32- MUST CLEAN/REPLACE RUSTY FAN COVER IN REACH-IN COOLER. #32- ALL SHELVING IN ALL COOLERS DIRTY, RUSTY. SHELVING THROUGHOUT KITCHEN AND REAR DRY STORAGE DIRTY WITH GREASE, FOOD DEBRIS. MUST CLEAN AND REMOVE ALL RUST FROM SHELVES. MUST NOT USE TIN FOIL AS SHELVING FOR ANY EQUIPMENT.#33- INTERIOR/EXTERIOR COOKS LINE EQUIPMENT, INTERIOR EXHAUST HOOD WITH EXCESSIVE GREASE, FOOD DEBRIS. MUST CLEAN.#34- FLOORS THROUGHOUT ENTIRE KITCHEN WITH DIRT, DEBRIS, GREASE. MUST CLEAN/REMOVE. ALL STORED ITEMS THROUGHOUT KITCHEN AND IN REAR STAIRWELL STORAGE MUST BE ELEVATED FROM FLOOR 6" OR ABOVE. THESE PREVIOUSLY MINOR VIOLATIONS ARE REMAINING FROM #140341, 2-15-08. 29. PREVIOUS MINOR VIOLATION(S) CORRECTED 7-42-090 Comments: SEE VIOLATION #14. 32. FOOD AND NON-FOOD CONTACT SURFACES PROPERLY DESIGNED, CONSTRUCTED AND MAINTAINED Comments: NEW VIOLATION NOTED AT THIS TIME. MUST INSTALL SPLASH GUARD BETWEEN EXPOSED HAND SINK AND THREE COMPARTMENT SINK. DIRTY CLOTH CURTAINS AT BOTH ENTRANCES TO KITCHEN. MUST CLEAN. 33. FOOD AND NON-FOOD CONTACT EQUIPMENT UTENSILS CLEAN, FREE OF ABRASIVE DETERGENTS Comments: DIRTY FOOD ENCRUSTED SLICER IN BASEMENT ON METAL PREP TABLE. MUST PROPERLY STORE CLEAN. 35. WALLS, CEILINGS, ATTACHED EQUIPMENT CONSTRUCTED PER CODE: GOOD REPAIR, SURFACES CLEAN AND DUST-LESS CLEANING METHODS Comments: ALL WALLS THROUGHOUT KITCHEN DIRTY WITH GREASE, FOOD SPLATTER. MUST CLEAN. MUST INSTALL PROPER WALLS AND CEILING TO BE CLEANABLE IN BASEMENT FOOD PREP AREA. 38. VENTILATION: ROOMS AND EQUIPMENT VENTED AS REQUIRED: PLUMBING: INSTALLED AND MAINTAINED Comments: MUST INSTALL EXPOSED HAND SINK IN BASEMENT AREA BEING USED TO PREP/SLICE FOODS OR REMOVE SLICER, PREP TABLE, ALL PREP UTENSIL'S, GARBAGE CONTAINER WITH FOOD DEBRIS INSIDE, ETC.
  • Post #131 - January 5th, 2012, 12:01 pm
    Post #131 - January 5th, 2012, 12:01 pm Post #131 - January 5th, 2012, 12:01 pm
    The Department of Health site says they passed an inspection on 12/28 but I'm not sure if that means they can reopen or if that only covered some of the violations. Details at http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/health ... ection.jsp
  • Post #132 - January 5th, 2012, 3:07 pm
    Post #132 - January 5th, 2012, 3:07 pm Post #132 - January 5th, 2012, 3:07 pm
    I just took a chance and called, and Dan answered the phone. He said they are re-opening as of today 1/5 and will maintain the regular hours going forward. YAY!!! :D
    "Life is a combination of magic and pasta." -- Federico Fellini

    "You're not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in from the lake. And there's practically no opera season at all--and the Lord only knows whether they've ever heard of lobster Newburg." --Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
  • Post #133 - January 5th, 2012, 5:29 pm
    Post #133 - January 5th, 2012, 5:29 pm Post #133 - January 5th, 2012, 5:29 pm
    tarte tatin wrote:I just took a chance and called, and Dan answered the phone. He said they are re-opening as of today 1/5 and will maintain the regular hours going forward. YAY!!! :D

    Excellent news! I've been cravin' some Sunshine and was sad to find it closed the last two times I went by.
  • Post #134 - January 9th, 2012, 4:41 pm
    Post #134 - January 9th, 2012, 4:41 pm Post #134 - January 9th, 2012, 4:41 pm
    I went last night (1/8/12) and it was the cleanest I've ever seen it. Excellent saba and calamari legs, tenpura was a tad greasy.
  • Post #135 - January 9th, 2012, 4:48 pm
    Post #135 - January 9th, 2012, 4:48 pm Post #135 - January 9th, 2012, 4:48 pm
    We also were there last night in a crowded restaurant. Hot vegetable soba hit the spot.
    -Mary
  • Post #136 - January 22nd, 2012, 10:19 pm
    Post #136 - January 22nd, 2012, 10:19 pm Post #136 - January 22nd, 2012, 10:19 pm
    Tasty, comforting meal tonight. Classic shumai and seaweed salad, tempura udon and the favorite oyako don - done with such care: any other place, you could imagine the sauce too salty or too sweet, the chicken overcooked - but this was just right, especially on a rainy night.
  • Post #137 - January 9th, 2013, 10:06 am
    Post #137 - January 9th, 2013, 10:06 am Post #137 - January 9th, 2013, 10:06 am
    Sunshine is such a regular in our rotation that I don't post on it much. Whenever I'm not feeling well, one of my first thoughts is a bowl of vegetable udon from Sunshine. Mr. X loves the katsu don. Although it didn't ward off my recent cold, the udon still hit the spot. We always feel welcomed, whether dining in or carrying out. The helps warm the soul too.
    -Mary
  • Post #138 - May 8th, 2014, 5:28 pm
    Post #138 - May 8th, 2014, 5:28 pm Post #138 - May 8th, 2014, 5:28 pm
    I recently enjoyed a most perfect order of ten zaru soba at I-Naba in Las Vegas, which I wrote about and posted pictures in this post. Last night I had the opportunity to revisit Sunshine's ten zaru soba. No, it didn't come close to stacking up, but really, it was still good. Sunshine is at an immediate disadvantage given that it does not make the soba noodles in house. And there's no soba-yu to finish the meal.

    Still, a tasty plate of noodles, topped with plenty of shredded nori. And the tempura, though slightly greasier than normal, was still delicious and pretty well cooked. When shrimp offer that wonderful, sea-briny flavor, I get a smile on my face.

    But the sukiyaki was really everything I could hope for. It's one of those dishes that Sunshine just excels at. A wonderfully flavorful broth, great ingredients, nice chunks of tofu. Sunshine Cafe's sukiyaki is really one of the best noodle/soup-type dishes our great city has to offer.

    And don't overlook the tsukemono here. No, not all of the fancy vegetables you'll find at some of the more modern Japanese restaurants in town. But well pickled, delicious vegetables that add an interesting textural and flavor element to your dinner.

    Continuing with the good news, I've been happy to find Sunshine pretty crowded on both of my last visits (both weeknights). And I guess that makes sense to me. It remains one of the more unique restaurants in Chicago given the dearth of quality Japanese cooking in Chicago.
  • Post #139 - September 26th, 2014, 8:44 am
    Post #139 - September 26th, 2014, 8:44 am Post #139 - September 26th, 2014, 8:44 am
    Sunshine Cafe continues to hit the spot for us when we crave comfort food. Sounding like a broken record as I posted a similar comment above: Katsu Don is Mr. X's go-to; I am a fan of the hot veggie udon. This is another restaurant I would mourn if it closed.
    -Mary
  • Post #140 - July 27th, 2015, 10:41 am
    Post #140 - July 27th, 2015, 10:41 am Post #140 - July 27th, 2015, 10:41 am
    I finally made it back to Sunshine Cafe after a long absence and had a terrific sukiyaki. Others enjoyed the eel special, broiled mackerel, and nanban yaki. I'm very much looking forward to getting Sunshine back in my regular rotation.
  • Post #141 - August 21st, 2015, 7:48 pm
    Post #141 - August 21st, 2015, 7:48 pm Post #141 - August 21st, 2015, 7:48 pm
    Had a great meal over the weekend, and a very nice tableside "hello" from Paul- who many of you know,
    as the friendliest "waiter"/host in ANY JAPANESE restaurant...(OK from my ltd. sample :wink: )

    I ordered the Don Buri-Katsu, a bowl- with breaded pork chop, and for some reason- I felt, it needed a fried egg atop!
    No-Problemo!
    ImageDonburi- Katsu don....(add an xtra Fried egg atop please!?!)Sunshine Cafe on N.Clark by R. Kramer, on Flickr

    ImageGrilled Mackerel @ Sunshine Cafe on North Clark Street- Chicago by R. Kramer, on Flickr

    My better half claims that everytime she eats the Grilled Mackerel at Sunshine Cafe- subsequently-
    her skin will GLOW (she claims from the Omega3-Essential Oils in the fish)

    On a very sad note- Paul shared w/ me the owners (Joni) health has taken a turn for the worse.
    Pancreatic Cancer has been diagnosed - with a very short-time-frame- forecast. :( :(

    Paul is mostly in the back- cooking-
    doing dishes- running the back of the house- and hopefully- will be handed
    the helm- to keep Sunshine Cafe- open and, flourishing hopefully. :?:
    Any businesses' succession plan is best not left to the critical "2-minute-warning"...
    Please give Paul your support!
    He deserves it- so much of his life is here- with his customers!
  • Post #142 - August 21st, 2015, 11:05 pm
    Post #142 - August 21st, 2015, 11:05 pm Post #142 - August 21st, 2015, 11:05 pm
    Haven't been in awhile. Will fix that next wk.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #143 - September 7th, 2015, 9:06 pm
    Post #143 - September 7th, 2015, 9:06 pm Post #143 - September 7th, 2015, 9:06 pm
    Saw a reference to this on Twitter, found the post on EB. Not a spot I frequent but I know it has a lot of fans on here.

    Sunshine Cafe closing?
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #144 - September 12th, 2015, 12:37 am
    Post #144 - September 12th, 2015, 12:37 am Post #144 - September 12th, 2015, 12:37 am
    Another report: http://m.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/arch ... go-history
  • Post #145 - September 12th, 2015, 12:13 pm
    Post #145 - September 12th, 2015, 12:13 pm Post #145 - September 12th, 2015, 12:13 pm


    For those wanting details like Joni's name and background:

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/re ... oid=901482
  • Post #146 - October 17th, 2015, 7:13 am
    Post #146 - October 17th, 2015, 7:13 am Post #146 - October 17th, 2015, 7:13 am
    Joni Ishida, ran Japanese restaurant in Chicago, dies at 84

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-j ... story.html
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny

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