A high-end sushi experience if ever there was one, Juno is a temple to all things sushi. The à la carte menu is one of the finest you’ll encounter at any sushi restaurant: Appetizers include fluke, lardo, and scallion; an uni shooter with orange zest and cucumber; and mushroom ramen with homemade noodles. Signature nigiri include spicy king crab and tuna, smoked Hamachi with shiitake and sweet corn, and a trio of eel; and the selection of more than 20 raw fish also lists their sources (red snapper from Korea, fatty tuna from Australia, sweet red prawn from Argentina, uni from Santa Barbara, yellowtail from Japan). These all come together to create what’s easily the best omakase in Chicago.
Want the best sushi deal in Chicago? It’s at Juno, where sushi chef BK Park is doing God’s work when it comes to raw fish. The chef’s choice sashimi, perfectly sliced, spread over ice and adorned with shells and orchids, is $42 for 18 pieces of fish (two each of nine different kinds). This is a steal, and while it’s enough for a solo diner, there are more great things to eat, like the smoked hamachi, which arrives under a glass dome with two spoons cradling lightly smoked pieces of fish... Even the spicy tuna roll is elevated, with a thick piece of tuna and scallions, and a trace of sriracha and chili oil.
Raw fish with a side of creativity differentiates Juno from the rest of this city's sushi brethren. The menu offers cool bites like the Juno queen, a special nigiri of salmon topped with spicy scallop and potato crunch; and hot treats like honey-glazed quail. Chef B.K. Park's omakase must be ordered 24-hours in advance, but with cleverly spun morsels like briefly torched prawn with pineapple salsa, pickled garlic oil-drizzled New Zealand King salmon, soy-marinated sea eel dabbed with ground sesame seeds, and spicy octopus temaki, it's a feast well worth the extra effort.
If Chicago doesn’t seem like much of a raw-fish destination, you just haven’t tried the masterful work of Juno sushi chef BK Park yet. He’s the genius behind beautiful pieces of smoked sashimi, delivered to the table on spoons placed underneath a glass dome; King Juno, perfect mouthfuls of tuna nigiri accented with spicy crab; and wonderfully restrained maki rolls that focus on the fish (sushi chefs will also go off menu and craft maki for you). Treat all of these bites as a precursor to the omakase menu or chef’s-choice sashimi, both of which allow Park to take center stage and serve the most pristine raw seafood in Chicago.
Chef BK Park is an artist whose palate is fresh fish and paintbrush is a sharp knife. With them, he creates plates of live scallops, fatty tuna and sake-marinated sea eel. Follow-up a selection of nigiri with the signature tako maguro filled with both spicy tuna and octopus. With 24-hour notice, Park will prepare a multi-course omakase with dishes not seen on the regular menu.
“Creative, colorful” sushi with “spectacular presentation” shines at this “hip” Lincoln Park Japanese that also offers cooked dishes and an omakase menu; with “interesting cocktails” adding to the “fun”, the only downside is it “can get pricey” – but that’s just “because you want to keep ordering.”
It's hard to hate the fresh, velvety cuts of sashimi and artfully plated nigiri of Chef B.K. Park's omakase, but other standouts include Ora Sake (King Salmon nigiri with pickled garlic and micro-wasabi), and ao ebi (Hawaiian blue prawn nigiri with seared spicy aioli and pineapple salsa).