The space was pretty big -- the entrance leads to a room with sushi bar on one side, and tables on the left (completely empty on a Saturday night). The hostess/waitress lead us to another room where 5-6 out of 12 or so tables were filled. When she lead us to the 2-top tables by the windows, I asked if we can be seated in the half-booths (away from the windows) instead. She said they needed to save those tables for groups of 4. It was 8:30pm, I really doubt all of these empty tables would suddently get filled. Plus, I saw groups of 2 guests seated at those tables (which is why I even asked in the first place). But I didn't want to throw a fit.
Our waiter came around (nice guy) to take our orders. Their main dishes are a list of grilled skewers & sushi rolls, but they also had apps & a "specials" menu. In opposite order:
chicken soft bones skewers -- chewy, crunchy, delicious
grilled whole squid - probably a little too much for us by this time, but it was good.
from "specials" - toro (fatty tuna belly) and fatty salmon belly. $6/piece and $10/piece. Kinda pricy, but we really wanted to try the fatty salmon, since I don't think we've ever had it. Both were soft, fatty, creamy, delicious. It was a big slice of fish on top of a small ball of rice (just the way we liked it).
We always get gyutongue (beef tongue) if we see it on the menu. This was a bit more tender, less chewy. Reminds me more of a lean slice of steak than tongue. A little on the saltier side but good.
We ordered duck & japanese negi (green onions/leeks), dark chicken, chicken skin, chicken gizzard. They serve the skewers with 3 dipping sauces (if you want to use it) -- ponzu, tare, mustard. They also offer homemade soy sauce.
As much as I wanted to use the sauce, I was quite satisfied with eating these skewers as is. They've already been seasoned with salt & we like the squeeze of lemon.
"specials" - giant sea scallops in a buttery lemon sauce. We actually liked the little chewier muscles of the clam on the side, rather than the actual scallop, but it was good.
Thought we'd try the alcohol-free Kirin beer (I believe this is the first time I saw it offered at a restaurant in states). It actually tasted pretty good. I like having beer (or in this case, "pretend-beer") with yakitori. For some weird reason, I started to feel like I'm slightly buzzed after I finished this beer, even though I obviously shouldn't...
hirame (flounder) carpaccio was pretty good. Thick slices of sashimi.
We're excited that the Bobcat found this place, and will definitely be back!
Mizu Yakitori Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge
315 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614