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“Not authentic at all!”
Review of Itto Sushi

Itto Sushi
Ranked #3,333 of 9,544 Restaurants in Chicago
Price range: $21 - $30
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not authentic at all!”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

As a Japanese, I've been searching for a decent sushi place (hopefully by a Japanese owner) in Chicago. Since my mother was visiting from Japan, we were really excited to dine at Itto Sushi since so many reviews mention how authentic this restaurant is. We were absolutely disappointed not because the food was mediocre but both food and service were absolutely awful. So awful that I'd feel really sad to read anyone calling this place authentic. Sushi rice was old, stale, and dry, possibly from the previous day, and it crumbled, and it was coated with so much wasabi. Okay I'd take the fact that this is in Chicago and fish is not really fresh and too expensive for its qualify. After all, we don't live in California or NY. But shari, the foundation of sushi, this sushi rice made by a Japanese chef, is simply unacceptable. I'd enjoy sushi in my neighborhood (Hyde Park) made by non-Japanese chefs a lot more. My mother and I had to speak up to the waitress, who brought the owner's wife. She admitted that the chef used the old rice because they did not want to waste it and every sushi chef does it-- I am sorry, but I've worked as waitress at a few sushi restaurants in California, and that is unheard of. She continued to say that the American customers won't know the difference anyway so she did not think it was a big deal (we were speaking in Japanese). Our jaws just dropped and we were speechless. What a disappointment and embarrassment to see a Japanese-run restaurant in a posh neighborhood getting away with such poor quality sushi! By the way, I am not some kind of sushi-snob. I am just a simple Japanese sushi lover who occasionally likes to eat good nigiri (I don't really eat fancy rolls).

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Hikari H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    5
    4
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
64 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Excellent Food”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

My husband and I were in the neighborhood and decided to stop here for dinner prior to going to a blues club down the street. Even though it was later in the evening, there were quite a few local customers in the restaurant, which we took as a sign of good food. Our waitress came right away with hot towels, which was a nice treat since we had been out sightseeing all day. Next she came to take our drink and food orders.

Food came quickly and it was both fresh and delicious. My husband ordered the udon noodles and I ordered the Japanese curry with Chicken Katsu. Both were prepared well and flavorful. We didn't try the sushi this time because we didn't feel like it, but the table next to us ordered several different types of sushi and it all seemed fresh and properly prepared and we heard no complaints from them, only compliments!

This was a great value for a decent meal. Will definitely come back if we're in the area!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HoustonWahine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guam, Mariana Islands
Level Contributor
185 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 284 helpful votes
“FINALLY! - A CHICAGO SUSHI BAR WITH SKILLED STAFF WHO UNDERSTAND SUSHI”
Reviewed September 14, 2013

I'm now spending a lot more time in Chicago. If I'm going to survive, I need another regular Friday night sushi haunt. When I lived in Los Angeles, I followed the same sushi chef for 17 years. My hunt in Chicago has been problematic as up until I found Itto Sushi, the sushi restaurants have been run by Koreans, Taiwanese, and Chinese. Sadly, this doesn't work. A key to any ethnic food - is anyone from that ethnicity working in the restaurant?

But I stumbled across a recommendation that seemed to indicate this place was actually Japanese. This was obvious from the moment I walked in. Including the first hot towel I've been proffered in a sushi bar in Chicago -EVER.

I ordered the mixed sashimi. Everything was über-fresh, and served creatively. I sat at the sushi bar and could see that the head chef had clearly apprenticed properly, and in Japan. I then began to try other items that haven't even been available elsewhere. Sweet shrimp. Two varieties, and served with the heads tempura-ed. They had shiso (a Japanese mint) and uzura (quail eggs). . . both a sushi bar requirement.

I was able to see the items leaving the kitchen, and clearly this restaurant is a first rate establishment. Over 31 years in the same Lincoln Park-area location is a testament to the quality here.

And the surprise at the end was the reasonable price.

I rarely give fiver stars. For Itto Sushi, I wish I could give six!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JimmyMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Authentic Japanese Cusine”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I have been a loyal customer of Itto Sushi for over 20 years. The food is always fresh and beautifully prepared. Anyplace that offers Natto Maki on the menu has a special place in my heart. Always ask about the specials; they are written in Japanese and located against the wall. My favorite appetizer special is anything that comes with their Ponzu sauce!

As if the food wasn't reason enough to visit, they also offer free valet parking.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PsychoAiko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Level Contributor
803 reviews
373 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 333 helpful votes
“Solid Value in Neighborhood Fixture”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

my lunch companion and i each had a box lunch at an excellent price point.
the salmon teriyaki was especially delicious
japanese beers gently priced.

have been eating here for over 20 years - never lets me down for solid value meals.

free parking in back tho a bit tight.

have never been there when valet was there.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jfadds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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