Straddling Chicago’s Near North Side and Gold Coast downtown districts, Friends Sushi looks from the outside to be nothing special, but upon walking in, you’ll find yourself in one of the cities trendiest establishments. Once you’re done ogling the fun and fancy atmosphere, you’ll discover a mouth-watering menu of delicacies. This sushi house is also a great nightspot, where sake and Asian martinis flow and people of all kinds come out for a different kind of bar.
The sushi here is absolutely top-notch stuff. The rolls are original ideas with a great mastery of the ingredients. The house special is just called the “Friends” and it’s packed with crispy king crab and cream cheese. Topping the roll is unagi, avocado, tempura crumb, red tobiko and a delicate combination of creamy wasabi sauce, sriracha sauce and unagi glaze. It’s just so good. The ingredients come together to make a roll that is sweet, creamy and crispy all at once. Its ingenious and I would say it’s the number one roll to try on first visit.
There is a less complicated menu of sushi that comes inexpensively, though I would consider this missing out on a chance for the specialty sushis. The simple rolls are excellent. I sampled a fantastic tuna roll topped with eel. They rolls are extremely fresh, and overwhelmingly it’s what brings people out. However, Friends Sushi also has a sizable menu of non-sushi items, including rice dishes, noodles bowls, and other classy items like crab cakes, egg rolls, and the like. Lunch items are much more economically priced, though dinner has a substantially greater selection. The crowd is sizably bigger at dinner too, but in spite of the cramped-feeling interior, I would definitely say dinner is the best way to experience this place. There’s just too much to taste.
The service is great; servers are helpful and generally pretty quick to get food to you and refill water, and so on. They’re not chatty or Midwest-friendly, but this is Chicago, and professionalism is just as important. The sushi chefs are expertly skilled and I’m impressed at how refined they make the dishes. It impresses me a whole lot just how altogether crisp and professional the place is, and how drastically that makes it go from a normal place to an excellent place.
Friends Sushi is about as trendy a place as you can find, and it’s absolutely got substance to match its form. Fantastic place!
- The lunch menu is substantially quicker and cheaper. Dinner has a substantially higher selection of food items. Many restaurants do so, but Friends Sushi has especially different menus.
- You’ll really want to come here if you like sushi, but I wouldn’t say this is a good place to introduce a person to the dish.
- The restaurant is particularly cozy in the crowded downtown Chicago. The smaller your group, the better.