Friday, September 21, 2007

Osaka Japanese Restaurant

1452 S. Butterfield Road, Mundelein, IL 60060, (847) 549-9944

So, along with pregnancy also comes cravings. I don't care what some people say about that being a crock. Tell it to my tummy.

Lately, one of the things I've been craving is sushi. Specifically, I really, really want a Tampa roll. Of course, you're not going to find one of those around here (it's fried grouper, onion, mayo, and cucumber slices in a roll). And, according to the doctors and the books, I'm not supposed to be eating any raw fish (what exactly do women in Japan do, eh?).

The no-raw-fish thing makes for an interesting sushi experience, but it is doable. We went on Wednesday to Osaka in Mundelein. We really like Kamehachi, but it is quite a jaunt, so we figured we should try something closer.

Osaka is in a strip mall and it isn't a huge place, but it does have a little sushi bar. The people were all friendly, including the sushi chef, who would randomly smile and go "Hai!"

And -- it was real sushi. Not fake-fancy-schmancy sushi with funky names. It was a pretty extensive menu of classic sushi. I did get the closest thing to a Tampa roll, which turned out to be a Chicago roll (go figure), though it was deep fried. Also got a tempura ebi (shrimp) roll that was quite good. The cooked salmon roll was okay, but better after a good wallop of wasabi. Tony had one thing that was kind of cool -- the inside of the roll had tempura crunchies and the topper was a spicy tuna mix. I tried one of those, just knocked most of the (raw) spicy tuna off.

Oh, and they give you a little bowl of miso soup and a salad to start with. The miso had a nice flavor. The salad was in a nice dressing, but the lettuce was a wee bit sad.

Tony had an American made saki that he liked a lot and I stuck to green tee and water. All in all, I got my sushi craving satisfied. We'll have to try some more local places and see how they are. That is one thing we miss about Florida. There was some really good sushi there.

And another nice thing abou Osaka -- we got the leftover remains of some rolls to go. The waitress had noticed that I was going through the ginger (love the stuff, pink dye notwithstanding) and had the sushi chef give me another big dollop of it. They also added more wasabi and even a little container of soy sauce. A nice touch, though we didn't actually need any of it...we've actually got soy sauce, wasabi, and even the ginger at home. But most people probably don't have all three.

A home without soy sauce isn't a home at all. But maybe that's just the Chinese in me talking.

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