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  Izakaya Mita in Bucktown
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  • Izakaya Mita in Bucktown

    Post #1 - February 5th, 2016, 1:45 pm
    Post #1 - February 5th, 2016, 1:45 pm Post #1 - February 5th, 2016, 1:45 pm

    Izakaya Mita is a great spot at the corner of Damen and Armitage. I've been a bad person because even though I've eaten there a number of times -- and enjoyed it immensely -- I've neglected to post about it. In spite of that, it's clearly got some fans here. Comments on the main Mita thread have been favorable and enthusiastic. And like with so many of our favorite GNRs, the folks who run the restaurant have participated in the discussion. But at the end of the day, GNR-worthiness is mostly about the food and Izakaya Mita checks that box emphatically.

    I've had items from all the sections of their menu and the highlights are many. Mita's takoyaki, okonomiyaki, age dashi tofu and chawanmushi are all delightful renditions that should not be missed. And those are just a few of our faves from the Warm Favorites section of the menu. Just about every item I've had from the Bincho Tan section of the menu has been fantastic, including chicken skin, gizzards and meatballs, as well as pork belly, shishitos and mushrooms of various varieties. Hearty Bites favorites include the tender hamachi collar, which has been consistenly excellent across multiple visits, as well as the ika sugatayaki and tonkatsu.

    In addition to all the fine fare, the staff is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and friendly. I was completely impressed at my most recent visit by the depth of knowledge displayed by our server. It was a delight to have her cheerfully sharing great information with us about the menu and the sake selections. Even on the rare occasion when things go wrong, they're made right. At a recent visit, some chicken livers were a bit overcooked (server asked, so we told her) and they were taken off the bill even though we never even asked for that.

    Here are just few comments from other LTHers about Izakaya Mita . . .

    PigEars wrote:I visited about a month ago, on a Sunday night, and found everything exactly as it should be. The takoyaki, gobo salad, and bincho items stood out. In addition to the solid quality of the food, Brian and his mother were gracious hosts. Early on a Sunday evening, the place was packed with families, and has clear charms for adults, but the food can also appeal to kids without being dumbed down.

    annak wrote:We have become weekly regulars at Izakaya Mita and are super grateful for it as a gem of the neighborhood. Friendly staff, delicious and varied offerings.

    gastro gnome wrote:Ditto on my enjoyment of the cold ramen and the pickles. I enjoyed my meal there a couple weeks back. I will return.

    rgl201 wrote:They offered a $26 pairing of 6 sakes, which seemed expensive at the outset but turned out also to be an excellent value in light of the quality of the sakes they served. This was our first time at a relatively new (and for us, relatively distantly located) restaurant, but we definitely want to go back.

    And last but certainly not least:

    gnarchief wrote:Just had a fantastic dinner here with the girlfriend. I've been meaning to go since they opened and now I feel like a jackass for waiting this long!
    When GNR nominations come up this year, Izakaya Mita will be right at the top of my list. It is exactly what a neighborhood restaurant should be and I'm already looking forward to my next visit and planning who I will invite to introduce them to the place.

    With all of this, especially gnarchief's comments, I could not agree more. So with this, I'd like to officially nominate Izakaya Mita for 2016 GNR consideration.


    Izakaya Mita (website)
    1960 N Damen Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    (773) 799-8677

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  • Post #2 - February 5th, 2016, 3:33 pm
    Post #2 - February 5th, 2016, 3:33 pm Post #2 - February 5th, 2016, 3:33 pm
    What a great choice. I live right up the street and Mita has considerably brightened the neighborhood food landscape, both with the quality and diversity of their menu (LOVE those funky squid) and the warmth and enthusiasm of the service. Ronnie, I was there once this summer when you were also dining - recognized you from some LTH photos. Sorry I didn't say hi. But I totally support this nomination.
  • Post #3 - February 5th, 2016, 9:18 pm
    Post #3 - February 5th, 2016, 9:18 pm Post #3 - February 5th, 2016, 9:18 pm
    oh my goodness, yes! you beat me to composing the nomination. we are completely devoted to Izakaya Mita - the classics are delicious, the specials are inventive, the seasonality (cold ramen, relevant produce) and special events (sake tasting dinners) are destination-worthy, and the staff is just incredibly warm. time after time we enjoy ourselves here in spirit and in palate; our chats with other diners confirm the same great experiences. we feel like we can drop in here spur of the moment, but also that it is a treat with which we can reward friends who visit us from other neighborhoods and other cities. our family wholeheartedly supports Izakaya Mita for GNR.
  • Post #4 - February 7th, 2016, 11:12 am
    Post #4 - February 7th, 2016, 11:12 am Post #4 - February 7th, 2016, 11:12 am
    Yes definitely! In addition to being a good restaurant, they are good neighbors. Brian is an active and valued participant in the Bucktown neighborhood Facebook group.

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  • Post #5 - February 7th, 2016, 9:27 pm
    Post #5 - February 7th, 2016, 9:27 pm Post #5 - February 7th, 2016, 9:27 pm
    Hell yes. I cannot support this nomination enough as evidenced by my quote up top.
  • Post #6 - February 12th, 2016, 3:04 pm
    Post #6 - February 12th, 2016, 3:04 pm Post #6 - February 12th, 2016, 3:04 pm
    We have only been once, but really can't wait to go back! An excellent choice.