LINKS TO REVIEWS AND PRESS
2019. 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012
"Come to this bamboo-clad izakaya, with its comfortable sushi bar and soaring skylights, for impressively rendered small plates and specialty cocktails featuring Japanese spirits. The night’s tsukemono can reveal spicy okra, crisp hearts of palm, and sweet burdock root. The nigiri selection might showcase New Zealand King salmon topped with pickled wasabi root. The robata produces grilled maitakes with Japanese sea salt and black garlic purée; and gani korroke, a crunchy-creamy crab croquette, is plated with togarashi-spiked mayonnaise. Don't turn down the all-ice cream dessert menu, which includes enticing flavors like coconut-cinnamon-banana. It comes nestled in granola-like bits of miso-graham cracker crumble for a finish as sweet as it is unique." - Michelin Guide
"Arami is not the destination for fat, gimmicky maki. Instead, fresh seafood spiked with garlic, truffle, and pickled items let flavors sparkle in a more subtle way. Toro tartare comes in a single bite of minced tuna with bonito-soy sauce, Asian pear, and black tobiko; while hamachi sashimi draped over black river rocks shine with pickled mushroom, truffle oil, and sprouts." - Michelin Guide 2015
"On a stretch of gated doors, window displays of dangling bamboo, moss, and river stones offer an inviting, serene retreat at Arami. Inside, a long sushi bar and skylights cut into cathedral-like ceilings enhance the minimalist space framed with soft green walls. Specialty cocktails with Japanese spirits complement an ample inventory of sake, Scotch, sochu, and beers." - Michelin Guide 2014
"The word fresh bears repeating with each plate's presentation--listen to the chef when he politely recommends leaving soy sauce off the rolled coins of maki mono stuffed with hamachi and maguro, then crowned with cooked shrimp, spicy mayo, and Japanese salsa."
- Michelin Guide 2012
Three stars: arami, back after a kitchen fire, is one of chicago's most impressive Japanese restaurants
"Chicago is awash in restaurants one visits strictly for sushi, and then those that handle noodle dishes and other hot items well but where sushi and sashimi are afterthoughts, if they're available at all.
Arami, however, is one of the best-balanced Japanese restaurants in Chicago, a multi-tooled player (...) where the sushi bar and hot kitchen both operate at high levels, helped along by a surprisingly thorough beverage program. I hate when waiters tell me that 'everything's good,' but at Arami, that's pretty much the case and has been for some six years."
phil vettel. Chicago Tribune: dec '16
"The West Town Japanese restaurant impresses with food from chefs Ajay Popli and Nelson Vinansaca. The pair and their team turn out pristine sushi and sashimi, along with noodle bowls like the accomplished, pork belly-laden Arami ramen and other well-composed dishes."
THE 21 BEST SUSHI SPOTS IN AMERICA
" Like many elite places, reserving yourself the omakase is most likely to lead you to a transcendent experience, but going a la carte will still leave you quite pleased with specialty sashimi options like hamachi with mushroom and truffle oil. "
KEVIN ALEXANDER AND LIZ CHILDERS. THRILLIST:JAN'15
BEST RAMEN IN CHICAGO
"Best known for its exceptional sushi, this busy West Town storefront dabbles in everything from traditional yakitori grill favorites to comforting bowls of noodles and rice. Here the house ramen is made with a clear and flavorful beef broth and served with both slow-cooked pork belly and braised beef that falls apart in your bowl. The springy ramen noodles are topped with pickled vegetables, slices of fishcake, strands of delicate enoki mushrooms, and a gently poached egg that breaks sunnily into the broth."
AMY CAVANAUGH & REBECCA SKOCH,
TIME OUT CHICAGO:MAR'15
ARAMI NOODLE NIGHT A MONTHLY DATE WORTH REMEMBERING
DOLINSKY, STEVE DONLINSKY: ALWAYS HUNGRY,
Bon Appétit: the best new sushi restaurants in america
Julia Kramer, Time Out Chicago:SEPT'10.
"Arami is an urban garden paradise of artful sushi and Japanese fare"
Pat Bruno, Chicago Sun Times:JULY'11.
THE 50 BEST RESTAURANTS IN CHICAGO: #10
PEOPLES CHOICE | ZAGAT : JAN15
2014 : "15 Whole Fish Dishes We Love in Chicago" - By Sarah Freeman, MAY 2014.
2014 : "Dealer’s Choice: Ichi No Torii at Arami" - By Sarah Freeman, MAY 2014.
2013 : Best Food in Chicago
"Elegant, artful sushi that shows both restraint and swagger"
"Best New Restaurants in Chicago 2011"
- By Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby. Chicago Magazine, APR 2011.
"Arami in West Town: Not Your Average Japanese Restaurant"
- Penny Pollack, Chicago Magazine, JAN 2011.
"Arami: Subtlety in a flashy sushi world" - Kevin Pang, Chicago Tribune APR 2012.