Tag Archives: review

Usagi Ya

Usagi Ya is a sushi restaurant in Noble Square/West Town/whatever name is in vogue that day.

Viola’s Take:

I’m not a fan of seafood.

I had to be bribed to eat it as a child or alternatively absolutely douse it in poppyseed dressing. When I decided to study in Rome I promised myself that I would try anything. It really changed my mind about certain foods but not about fish.  I’ll eat fish to be polite in most cases but its not something I seek out. I have only eaten sushi once before on one of my various terrible dates before meeting Blink and I saw a daily deal on this place and thought to give it a try as Blink loves sushi.

The results: Sushi-2 Viola-2

I have found that I like sushi that really doesn’t seem like sushi in my book. I liked the two deep fried rolls, Miami and Fire, much more than the Spicy Tuna and Green Monster. There was no fish texture in it really and thats normally the part that trips me up. Honestly, the Fire roll that I would eat on a regular basis. It was so spicy and crunchy and everything I didn’t expect from sushi but in a good way. Usagi Ya gets two thumbs way way up from me for those two

deep fried rolls.

Blink’s Take:


This was a great sushi restaurant. I was very pleased in not only the quality of the rolls, but the taste and presentation. It was Viola’s first taste adult attempt of sushi, so keeping this in mind I choose a few rolls… more her speed.


First was the Fire roll. It was a basic tuna, and from the picture above, you can see not the traditional fashion of roll. The fried tempura around the roll would help distract her from the raw fish as well as the spice flirt with her taste buds.

Next was the combination of the Miami roll and the Green Monster. I ordered the

green monster to help Viola get away from the fish and have a break if she needed it. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are a true veggie lover. It was a bit much with the chewing due to the sheer volume of vegetables. The Miami roll was another attempt at tricking Viola, but the joke was on me because it was delicious.

Last was the traditional spicy tuna roll. I wasn’t sure if I should go for the a California, Spider or Philadelphia. It all boiled down to Viola again. I choose the one I thought she would like the most. This roll brought out the flavor of the tuna with a mild but prominent heat. I found it delicious but the tuna texture was a bit much so I finished it by myself… what a tough life I lead.



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Jam and Honey

Jam and Honey is a recently opened restaurant in Lincoln Park.

Viola’s Take:

I had heard that the food was pretty good from my friend Shaz who lives nearby. One day after housesitting for their staycation in a local hotel we decided to BYOB it up.  Oh, what a shame that things weren’t as good as they could have been.

BYOB restaurants are pretty kickass in my opinion. Its super lame though when a restaurant is overcharging for mixers like orange juice. We each got a tiny glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.  I’m not a penny pincher but it just seemed like an unfair price point for the amount we got. I should have heeded the warning of the internet that the service was lackluster as well. Our waitress stopped by 3 times total including order taking. I’m not a high maintainance customer but if I need something (like missing toast, ahem) I need someone to ask. And honestly if the food were good enough I would totally be cool with all of this. Sometimes shit like that is worth it for something that you would slap yo mamma to eat.

That just wasnt true unfortunately. Blink and I make a habit of ordering everything and then just splitting from there (post on the theory of this forthcoming). So we got the Chorizo Potato Hash and the Chicken and Waffles.

Firstly the Chorizo Potato Hash. Womp womp. The dish was full of roasted peppers and a bit of meat but honestly nothing tasted of chorizo. This is especially strange considering the amount of grease that looks distinctly of the paprika infused sausage. So without even the taste of chorizo and all that grease I was disappointed. In addition to that there was a significant execution flaw in my eyes, the potatoes. It’s sort of silly that the potatoes were grey in the hash. Not all of them but there was a greyish hue which indicates that they were probably cut early in the morning and not stored correctly.  Shame. Its a simple thing to cut a potato. Do it a couple times during the day or store your cut potatoes in water so they dont grey. Simple.

The chicken and waffles was average. I rather enjoyed slathering them both with the housemade orange marmalade. That was delicious and should be used more often in the dishes. Oh and the dollop in the center is a great honey vanilla butter. I wish I had more of it. Goodness gracious I would eat that slathered on bread any day of the week.

Blink’s Take:

I’m… gonna keep it short and not so sweet on this place. The location of this restaurant will keep this place limping on for ages. Our two dishes had nothing to set them apart. Whats more is there was a line out the door to eat here. WHY FOOD GOD? WWWWHHHHHYYYYYYY!?!?! The chicken was dry, the chorizo didn’t seem like it had chorizo in it and our waitress ignored us. I hope another more worthy owner moves in and serves some good food to the over entitled students that frequent their site.

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The Magic of Mitsuwa

Blink and I are very fortunate to live close by the most wonderful marketplace maybe ever. Like ever ever. Mitsuwa. It is the most magical asian market. You can get anything you want there, most of the packaging is in a different language but the staff is very willing to help your poor unknowledgeable american ass out.

Viola’s take:

My favorite part though is the mini food court they have. Theres a few different stands there and they all have so many good-looking options that it usually takes me two laps around to make my final decision. Based on this recommendation, I decided to get the Special Toroniku Shio Ramen from Santouka. That would be pork cheek ramen in a soulful bursting with umami broth. The picture looks good but it tastes even better.

On another visit I decided to get Dol Sot from Mama’s House, the korean stand in the food court. I love me some gochujang. Take everything you love about Sriracha and make it fermented and ugh lordy lordy…. its the sort of stuff I would lick off of people. But that’s basically my barometer for a good condiment. Moving on…. I love the little clay pots they serve it in too as I like my food piping hot and it has so much stored up heat energy its hot the WHOLE time you’re eating it. I forgot to take a picture before eating half of it I was so excited but it gives you a good idea.

Blink’s Take:

Ordered some duck lo mein from Jockey Express. I personally like the basic flavors this dish provided. The duck was very tender and juicy that is for sure. I would recommend this as a cheap and delicious meal. The leeks and presentation were far better before we took the picture… but I got excited. This comes with a very sweet and salty sauce to accompany it. I choose to

dip it sparingly as the basic taste was definitely enough to please my palette.

The thing I like most about Mitsuwa is the variety of products I cannot get for any sort of reasonable price. I love frying in my wok and to do it you need a butt load of peanut oil. They sell it here! A gallon for under $10. Take that grocery stores. It seems like its a novelty to have a food court in a store, but they definitely bring their ‘A’ game. There is a burger joint that has some less traditional variations but the real attraction of this place is their pancakes (Unfortunately not on their website). I know, pancakes at a burger joint? I just shuddered at the thought of the cellophane’d flapjacks at McDonalds and their stomach destroying contents. These are something on their own level. Think creme filled donuts, but make them pancakes. The two Viola and I tried were tea flavored and custard. I wasn’t wild about the tea flavored, but custard… I joy-gasmed before I even tasted them. I wasn’t disappointed.

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