Serious Eats: Chicago
First Look: Yusho, New Yakitori-Inspired Joint from Matthias Merges
I was confused from the moment I entered Yusho—but mostly for good reasons. Matthias Merges's brand new yakitori-inspired restaurant in Logan Square is just one of many Japanese-style bars that have opened up in the past few years, but it doesn't look a thing like any of them. Instead of sleek and minimal, it is warm and welcoming, with bright colors, exposed wood, and space to stretch out. And then there is the menu. Instead of multiple pages to look through, there is only one.
Considering Merges is the same guy that served as the Chef de Cuisine at Charlie Trotter's for years, it makes sense that he'd bring his own style to the project. The dishes are artfully presented, but the flavors are clean. He's also using real binchotan (along with gas grill) to cook the many skewered meats. Just about everything we tried came with something on a stick, including the ramen, which featured two crispy pig's tail balls perched on top.
Yusho is open seven days a week, and serves dinner from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., and a slightly condensed menu from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. It also features a full bar, with intriguing sounding cocktails, loads of wine, and a concise beer menu.Take a look at the slideshow to see for yourself.
2853 N Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618 (map)