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SAVOR REVIEW Sushi By Bou
by Andrew Davis
2024-03-19

This article shared 7756 times since Tue Mar 19, 2024
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Going into a sushi restaurant, I didn't expect to hear a 1920s version of the Carly Rae Jepsen hit "Call Me Maybe" emanating from the speakers.

However, that and other Great Gatsby-like flourishes can be found at Sushi By Bou—at least at its Gold Coast location at The Claridge Hotel, 1244 N. Dearborn Pkwy.

Sushi By Bou is a unique sushi establishment in terms of locations and decor. Housed mostly in hotels in four states and Puerto Rico, the themes of the intimate speakeasies vary. (For example, the West Loop location incorporates decor that harken back to '90s hip-hop.)

As I mentioned, the experience is intimate, with only a few individuals allowed to sit at a bar in a darkened environment while the chef prepares each item of your 12- or 17-course in front of you. (By the way, Sushi By Bou takes this experience very seriously. A 50% per person fee will apply to cancellations and no-shows for reservations made within 24 hours of reservation time—and there's no same-day rescheduling. Also, parties who arrive more than 10 minutes late can't be accommodated—and will be subject to the no-show fee.)

But if you make it on time, be prepared for a very unique experience—and with it being omakase, everything is in the chef's hands, including selections. Some people who are more risk-averse tend to shy away from this—but my dining companion and I were cool with it.

The 12-course experience (which we tried) was pretty amazing, and everything was exquisite—down to the place settings. (Chopsticks were present but were hardly necessary, thankfully. In fact, with omakase experiences, eating with your hands is preferred.) The servings included items such as ikura (salmon roe that burst in the mouth), botan ebi (spotted prawn), hamachi (yellowtail), bincho (albacore) and one of the most interesting/polarizing: wagyuni (a combination of wagyu and sea urchin); I really liked the last one but my friend is not a big fan of the starfish relative.

The cocktails should not be skipped, by the way. The meal comes with a very smooth sake but my friend and I tried such drinks as the Yuzu Honey Bee (with Maker's Mark bourbon, honey syrup yuzu, simple syrup and pink peppercorn) and the Shiso Southsider (with Suntory Haku vodka, shiso leaves, simply syrup and lime juice). However, there are other varieties like the Ginger, Citrus and Classic highballs, the Roku Martini (with Roku gin), the Kyusho Cove (with Cruzan rum, hibiscus syrup, hibiscus tea, lime juice and seltzer) and the Old Fashioned Pearl.

And if you get the chance, the mochi flight—consisting of vanilla-chip, strawberry, mango and passionfruit varieties—is a refreshing way to end the meal. However, you can stay in one of the plush seats away from the bar, chat and eat/sip for an hour or two. You may not want the experience to end.

The 12-course experience is $60 while the 17-course one (called the Bougie Package) is $100. Sushi By Bou's website is sushibybou.com .

Note: This visit was arranged.

Note: No reproduction of this column is permitted under any circumstances without express prior written permission.


This article shared 7756 times since Tue Mar 19, 2024
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