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a surprise at Midori Japanese retaurant

a surprise at Midori Japanese retaurant
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  • a surprise at Midori Japanese retaurant

    Post #1 - March 22nd, 2005, 12:13 pm
    Post #1 - March 22nd, 2005, 12:13 pm Post #1 - March 22nd, 2005, 12:13 pm
    Last week I dined for the first time at Midori. Overall, this was a very pleasant experience that included fresh fish served in a pleasant ambience by an attentive staff. Nothing exotic on the menu, though simple items like the Super White Tuna and the unagi were, in my opinion, as good as I've had at Bob San and Mirai.

    The surprise, and most definitely the highlight of the evening: Midori serves the best margaritas I've had in Chicago outside of Frontera Grill. Margaritas? Sounds crazy but yes, this Japanese gem had freshly squeezed lime, an ample list of nice tequilas to choose from, and just the right amount of orange liqueur. Perfection in itself, and if you ask me a near perfect tart/acidic match to fresh fish.

    Robert, the clearly non-Japanese sushi chef, mixed the drinks himself. He's been at Midori for 18 years! Now how many japanese restaurants have a chef with that kind of tenure? He clearly loves what he does, and his enthusiasm shows.

    3310 W Bryn Mar
    Chicago, Il
  • Post #2 - March 22nd, 2005, 6:11 pm
    Post #2 - March 22nd, 2005, 6:11 pm Post #2 - March 22nd, 2005, 6:11 pm

    I love Midori for, I think, the same reasons you enjoyed yourself. The sushi chef, Robert(o) is a fantastic host. That, coupled with the fact that they have fresh fish is reason enough to try it out. I would say that Midori is not for someone looking to enjoy a highly refined Japanese experience--it's a little more rock and roll (in spirit) than that.

    I enjoy the Korean pickle trays they bring out before each meal, which include green beans and mushrooms with house made Korean style chili sauce, oshinko and white cabbage kimchee. I can vouch for the ample supply of tequila behind the sushi bar. And if next time you go, you find yourself having margaritas again--ask Roberto to make you his jalapeno tago roll. They go great together.

    More pluses about Midori--

    1. Off the beaten path-- so unless you go at 7:30 on a Saturday night, you can almost always find a seat at the sushi bar. And plenty of parking.

    2. Reasonably priced--the best value I've seen in the city for sushi.

    3. Generous portions--now, this can be a turn on for some, and a turn off for others...but, trust me, if you order a hand roll--when it is served to you it looks like a sushi cornucopia, overflowing with thick slabs of fish.

    4. Private tatami rooms for larger parties--makes your dining experience feel a little more special--

    5. Anything goes. :twisted: That's what I feel like when I go there. If I feel like sitting at the end of the sushi bar and reading a book in peace, it's no problem. And if I feel like hanging out after my meal and doing tequila shots until way past close - it's no problem.

    **A note about Robert(o)--I think that he cut his teeth at the Nikko Hotel, back when it was still the Nikko.
  • Post #3 - March 22nd, 2005, 9:07 pm
    Post #3 - March 22nd, 2005, 9:07 pm Post #3 - March 22nd, 2005, 9:07 pm
    Just want to add my endorsement of Midori. I have a group of friends who get together there with some regularity. We always get a tatami room (no extra charge) and it always is a very pleasant experience. (Except for the laugh everyone gets at me getting my girth onto and back up from the floor.) One of my friends has a gluten allergy and brings her own gluten-free soy sauce. On one visit, she forget to take it and left the bottle on the table, unintentionally. The next time we came in, they produced her bottle of gluten-free soy sauce for her. That's service!

    I recommend the dragon roll.

    Also, you will know that you have ordered a boatload of sushi when they bring it to the table ... in a boat.
  • Post #4 - July 22nd, 2005, 1:38 pm
    Post #4 - July 22nd, 2005, 1:38 pm Post #4 - July 22nd, 2005, 1:38 pm
    Looking for somewhere different to try for sushi (after saying, in that sushi for beginners thread, that I was tired myself of always saying the same few names), I poked around and found this thread. 30 minutes later, a friend and I were at Midori.

    And it was? Okay. Okay enough to be satisfied, I'd be happy to have a place like it near me for convenience, but not sure I need to trek that far ever again when Tampopo and Do Won are closer. On the plus side, maguro and mackerel were both excellent, as was a spider roll-- light and flaky and warm inside.

    On the minus side, salmon was nothing to be wowed by, if I had sat at the bar and examined its relative stripelessness, I would have passed; the white tuna "special" was definitely off, not in freshness but in a watery texture that suggested freezing; and an enormous dragon roll, though amusingly tricked out, was just too damn sweet, even generous amounts of eel overwhelmed by fillers like cucumber and avocado, just didn't have the tightly Zen focus you want from a roll. Pricewise it was all reasonable, even subtract out the ones I didn't care for and it was still a decent price, but too much variability in the quality of what I got. My reigning suggestions still stand.

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  • Post #5 - July 22nd, 2005, 2:41 pm
    Post #5 - July 22nd, 2005, 2:41 pm Post #5 - July 22nd, 2005, 2:41 pm
    Mike G wrote:Image

    Dragon roll? It looks more like a chicken roll, judging by its beak. :lol:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - July 24th, 2005, 1:51 pm
    Post #6 - July 24th, 2005, 1:51 pm Post #6 - July 24th, 2005, 1:51 pm
    Yea, regretfully I have to agree you MikeG--this used to be our neighborhood, low-impact sushi place. And I don't know if it's changed, or if I've changed (probably both). There was a long period of time where we were in denial about it too. The only reason why we go anymore is for the company and conversation, which is always great. The sushi, eh, not so much.


  • Post #7 - August 27th, 2007, 1:05 pm
    Post #7 - August 27th, 2007, 1:05 pm Post #7 - August 27th, 2007, 1:05 pm
    Anyone have a recent review of Midori? My cousin is coming into town and her husband has heard the food was good a Midori. I, myself, like Tampopo.

    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #8 - August 27th, 2007, 1:51 pm
    Post #8 - August 27th, 2007, 1:51 pm Post #8 - August 27th, 2007, 1:51 pm
    I'm a weekly Midori diner, and I still think the food is very good, and the ambience outstanding. There is some inconsistency, but it can be easily avoided by:

    - not going on a Tuesday (Roberto's day off)
    - sitting at the sushi bar, where you can be sure Roberto will be doing the slicing and preparing, as opposed to the young apprentice who stands on the left side of the bar and handles some of the table orders. He's just not as good. Alternatively, I suppose you could just ask them to make sure Roberto - not the apprentice - prepares your stuff, but I've not been bold enough to do that.
    - having a potent and delicious Roberto-prepared margarita, which may make any quality inconsistencies unnoticeable.
  • Post #9 - August 27th, 2007, 1:56 pm
    Post #9 - August 27th, 2007, 1:56 pm Post #9 - August 27th, 2007, 1:56 pm
    Sit at the sushi bar and have Roberto make you the very un-sushi-like "Pollo Maki" - grilled chicken with spicy mayo, cilantro and jalapeno. It's really great and we get some everytime we go along with the nice spider maki.
  • Post #10 - September 18th, 2007, 12:53 pm
    Post #10 - September 18th, 2007, 12:53 pm Post #10 - September 18th, 2007, 12:53 pm
    Went to Midori Sushi this past Thursday night for my maiden voyage and had a great time and some wonderful Sushi.

    I sat at the Sushi Bar in the last seat available - pretty crowded on a Thursday after 8 p.m. Met a wonderful couple of poeple at the Sushi Bar who are regulars and informed me that Thursdays are a big, big night for the regulars to visit. I'll be among that group in short order.

    About 2 minutes after I sat down the upthread aforementioned Roberto handed me a plate of a single eel maki to try as he did for a few others at the Sushi Bar - what a nice welcome!

    I felt really "at home" and welcomed in this place - an auspicious start.

    I ordered the Popular Maki roll which, if memory serves, was tuna, salmon, spicy mayo and cucumber? Anyway, it was outstanding and very cheap. About 7-8 huge pieces of maki with large cuts of sushi and I think it cost $11. I know the quality of Midori's sushi has been questioned on here - not this night. Very fresh, large portions. My favorite sushi place in the City was Matsuya over near Wrigley Field, but that's so far away for me now and there's a new champ in town!

    I tried something I can't remember having before - White Tuna. This was thinly sliced about two inches wide and three inches long and you take a piece of drired seaweed, lather it up with spicay mayo, slap on the white tuna and roll - WOW!

    I liked it so much I got a side of White Tuna shashimi which was very good. I also ordered a coupld of scallop and octupus sashimis which were large-portioned and fresh and tasty.

    In addition, MS offers a number (3 or 4?) of free and sizeable appetizers as well -

    a green bean and mushroom dish with chili sauce - beans were very good

    A nice Japanese salad - very good

    Miso Soup - solid

    One other I cannot describe.

    Good hot green tea.

    What a wonderful, fresh, flavorful, large amount of Sushi for less than $30 including tax and tip.

    I'll be back and you should too.

  • Post #11 - October 18th, 2010, 4:26 am
    Post #11 - October 18th, 2010, 4:26 am Post #11 - October 18th, 2010, 4:26 am

    Four of us trundled off to Tampopo for an early Sunday dinner only to find vacation until the 19th, no harm no foul, off to Midori we went. Midori, like Tampopo, is Korean owned, meals start off with a small assortment of panchan, crunchy green beans, chili spiked tofu, fresh sliced mushroom w/spicy sesame sauce and mild kimchee. Add in agedashi dofu and a a couple of California rolls, no tobiko, we had a no raw fish/no fish egg person at the table, we were set for starters. While tasty Midori's agedashi dofu runs a distant second to Tampopo, tofu denser more commercial, broth and tofu bland and there are no straw mushrooms, which my bride loves.

    Combination A, chicken teriaki and mixed tempura, was enjoyed, I did not taste, but the tempura appeared well cooked crisp and greasless, sukiaki seemed a classic rendition and Roberto's special maki, a meal size 'fashion' roll named after long time itamae Roberto Pina, crab/shrimp tempura and chile de arbol sauce was surprisingly spicy, pushing the comfort limit of my buddy's heat level.

    After a weekend of BBQ light healthy Korean style chirash the perfect antidote, generous assortment of fish, daikon sprouts, crunchy lettuce resting on rice with spicy sauce (gochujang). I prefer Korean style chirash (Hyedupbap) to Japanese I like the textural contrast of the veg and use of plain rice, the vinegar in sushi rice tends to build and overpower my palate.

    Chirash Korean style (Hyedupbap) at Midori

    crappy cell phone pic

    Service subtle, efficient, prices reasonable and we were well pleased with our meal. Midori won't replace Tampopo in my regular restaurant rotation, but it made a fine Sunday alternative.

    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow