Mafia Mondays – Taiyo One on!

This review is by  Ms. FoodMafia herself!  Stacy Johnson.  I have been eyeing Sushi Taiyo for months, since I am usually spotted at David Burke’s Primehouse and The James. What I did not know – was that it was owned by the same group as Rise up on Southport and Shine.  The creative sushi at Rise is crave worthy – and so are the dishes at Sushi Taiyo, as Stacy and we experienced before going to see Magic Mike. ;)

“I have always liked Rise sushi, especially their scallop tempura roll, so it is great to have a downtown option by the owners of both Rise and Shine.

The salmon sashimi was great and I have always enjoyed the tuna tartar. The tuna tartar reminds me of a tuna poke dish with a creamy sesame sauce. This was the first time I tried the ginzo roll and the great thing about it is that for a specialty roll, it is very light, and it is made with steamed lobster!!”

“They also do delivery!” (TheFoodarazzi is really interested in that!)

Mouth Watering Salmon Sashimi

Tuna Tartar - fresh ahi tuna tossed with a light sesame cream dressing served with rice crisps.

Ginza Roll – steamed lobster, spicy mayo, cucumber, jalapeno topped with tobiko and wasabi tobiko.

“Executive Chef Ming San, brings his extraordinary knowledge of Asian cuisine to Sushi Taiyo, with his expertly crafted dishes that have paired simple yet complex flavors, to provide its guests with classic while innovative Asian cuisine. Sushi Taiyo is owned by long-time Chicago restaurateurs, Jeff Zhang and Sandy Yu, who also brought Rise Sushi & Sake Lounge and Shine Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar to Chicago.”

Every Monday TheFoodarazzi features some of their favorite food shots and reviews from FoodMafia.


On Watch312 we recently checked out some fun sushi spots.  Midori, up on Bryn Mawr, has been serving sushi and other Japanese dishes since the 80s.  Chef Roberto is the main attraction – rocking the sushi bar.


The Dynamite Shrimp is one of the most popular and best selling dishes.  It has spice to it – but is also fresh with shrimp flavor.


Gorgeous sushi rolls made by Chef Roberto.  My Favorite is the Green Line Maki (center) with eel shrimp, cucumber tempuraki rice, spicy sauce with hot wasabi tobiko.

ARAMI, again … & again

Arami was recently named one of the best new sushi spots in the US by Bon Appetit. Chef BK Park never disappoints with his selections of the freshest ingredients and playful pplating, all in a simple neighborhood setting where the food really pops.


The Toro Tartar Bite is precisely minced fatty tuna with scallions and asian pear for crunch.


Spicy Maguro roll with a secret sauce. Why are secret sauces always so intriguing and addictive?


Beautiful presentations with fresh floral and decor that BK swiped from one of the arrangements at the restaurant.

We also dished IT! on

*GUEST RAZZI – Stacy Johnson –

I miss my friend Stacy, now she is living out in San Francisco.  But she is a great friend – she sends me food photos!  We both love sushi, and these are some great images from her visit to Sushi Ran in Sausalito.

Here is her review on the foodie go-to site she founded –

“Went to Sushi Ran for dinner, it was truly exceptional. Definitely one to book in advance even if you are going on a week night. We sat at the sushi bar and I highly recommend it. Garth was our sushi chef and he was fantastic. We met Yoshi the owner and he could not be nicer! He was clearly well known and well liked since most of the diners in the room knew him by name. We talked about his philosophy of great food and great service and everything lived up to what he told us.

The service all around was amazing. Sushi Ran is this great mix of being upscale yet casual with a true neighborhood feel. We were told they have a lot of people that eat there over 100 times a year and I can totally see why!

The Crunch Roll is the most popular at the restaurant and is a must. The creamy scallop roll was incredible. The sashimi and dessert were also amazing.

The menu changes based on the best fish they can get that day. Friday’s and Saturday’s are best and we were told to go back for the omakase at the sushi bar. We made reservations for that before we even walked out the door, I can’t wait to go back and try it!

Recommended Dishes:

Anything, Crunch Roll is the most popular, their selection of fish is great so you can’t go wrong.” – Stacy Johnson, Food Mafia

Blue Fin Toro Sashimi.

Creamy Scallop Roll with miso aioli, umami tobiko & avocado.


Crunch with eel, avocado, aonori powder, tempura flakes, spicy crab & shrimp.

Dessert sampler.

Salmon and Blue Fin Toro Sashimi.

Unfiltered Sake.

Can’t wait until she invites me to visit!

Midori – Means Green in Japanese

Finding a great new sushi place in any town is a fun discovery, and this one is so 80s in a good way.  Friends of mine have been coming to Midori since then, where the Chef is Mexican and the owners are Korean, and the food is delicious Japanese. 


Sliced mushroom and string beans served with a spicy chili sauce.  The sauce is made with Korean Chili Flakes – which are coarser and have a sweet and smokey flavor.  This type of chili is one of the main ingredients in kimchi, and it makes your mouth water.

They gave me some to take home.

This dish must be ordered in multiples, Dynamite Shrimp.  The shrimp is tempura fried, diced and mixed with their “special sauce” and then broiled.

Beautiful fresh sushi.

My friend Liza made me love Sweet Shrimp, the first time I had with her was at Arami.

Chef Roberto rocks, it was great sitting at the sushi bar and getting to know him.  Thanks for a great night!


The most beautiful sushi I have ever seen, this night was long anticipated, and I can’t wait to go back.  Thanks for a great night TK. We closed the place down!!

Luscious oysters.

Toro Tartar Bite = the best bite of anything you ever had.

Special spring roll with crab.

Special grilled prawns.  These guys were good.

17 and I drank this, preparing for overeating at Chicago Gourmet’s Hamburger Hop the next night.

This was especially gorgeously presented – a whole filleted mackerel.

Akami Anikimo – tuna with monkfish foie gras, one of my all time favorite dishes I first tried at Nobu in NYC when it first opened.

Sake Garlic – salmon with garlic and vinegar.

Secret Hamachi – yellow tail with mushroom and truffle oil.

Botan Ebi – sweet shrimp.

These are just a few snapshots of what we ordered. The sake mussels were a great spin in the mussle dish, and the ramen all sounded delicious.  I can’t wait to go back.

These pics are good – but they don’t do the presentations justice – so you have to go see for yourself.

See you all at Chicago Gourmet later.