Ginza Restaurant - Terrific!

July 31 2012 - 12:00 PM

Everyone complains that there’s no good ethnic food downtown. RIght on Ohio, just off of Michigan, amidst Uno’s, new concept restaurants and chains-chains-chains there are a couple gems. Every now and then I come across a place that surprises me. I went to Ginza for lunch Monday and loved it but I loved it so much that I had to go back. I mean, chicken katsu and gomae… with miso and green tea… under $10? I’ll give it another shot to see if it was really that good.

It is. Shame on my ignorance of Ginza Fish.

Located next to the Tokyo Hotel on Ohio I’ve never really registered that it was worth trying. From the outside it looks unimpressive. The hotel looks like it’s for Japanese businessmen on the cheap and while that may be the case, just inside is a fantastic, authentic Japanese meal waiting for you. It’s a pretty small restaurant with maybe four tables in the front and eight to ten seats at the sushi bar. The back offers a few more tables. Their bathrooms are nowhere near the pinnacle of perfection.

For comparison, on the north side is a great place called Sunshine Cafe. It’s not swanky either and doesn’t serve sushi but the comfort food is great. The difference here is that we’re smack in the middle of downtown Chicago, they do have sushi, and the comfort food is terrific.

What’s so good about chicken katsu? It’s just breaded chicken. But it was tasty, obviously, and the combo of light meat and dark meat was appreciated. The sweet sauce with the hot paste to mix in was very tasty and there was even some mayo hiding next to the cabbage. The miso was very good. You get a similar miso everywhere and while this one didn’t deviate from what was expected, it had its own flavor. The gomae was awfully good, not as good as Sunshine’s but not the potential horror show I had at Indie Cafe.

My second visit afforded me the curry rice, a Japanese take on an Indian dish. Think sweet and stewey and then hot rather than hot, stewey and sweet. It was really good and easy to eat. In Japanese it’s just called kari (curry- the English brought it over from India, hence the phonetics) and whatever you get it with… Kari Udon (noodles), Kari pan (bread) but it’s mostly served with rice…

The sushi that I’ve been staring at for two meals got the better  of me and I sprung for some fatty tuna. At $8.50, it cost more than the $7.95 lunch special but you get two pieces, they’re fairly large and man, very tasty. I’ll be back after work for some sushi and saki… Otsukaresama!

Ginza Fish
19 E. Ohio St.