Just the night when the Cubs played for the World Series*, my girlfriend took me to Juno in Chicago, IL. (*For my non-American readers, it’s about Baseball and a team that didn’t qualify for 108 years to make it to the “national finale”)
So what’s the deal with Juno?
Zagat calls it “one of the hottest Sushi restaurants across the US”.
Eater says it’s one of Chicago’s top 10 Sushi restaurant.
Business Insider calls it “The Most Pristine Raw Seafood in Chicago”.
It should suffice to say that this is a spot worth checking out, not only after our opinion. Since we went on the Cubs game night, we had the restaurant almost to ourselves. In our seats right at the counter, we had the privilege to be served directly by chef and mastermind BK Park.
Let’s see what we got:
First course: Oyster, Ika Ume and Poached Quail Egg
Second course: Sashimi
Third course: Scallop
Fourth course: Nigiri
Hotate with citrus
Golden eye snapper
Fluke with truffle
Aji with ginger juice
Sake with soy
King crab with melted Wagyu butter
Prawn with pineapple Salsa
Fifth course: Short rib
Sixth course: Temaki
Seventh course: Tamago
Eighth course: sweet ending
Juno is named after BK Park’s son. Doesn’t that give the whole experience a very personal touch? You bet! After giving BK a little time to focus on the preparation of the Sushi, we got into a very warm conversation. He’s a very cool guy and invited us to come back at any time.
He’s originally from Korea (opposed to my poor guess: Japan). During the conversation, we talked about how he grew up close to the beach and dived to catch oysters as a kid. That taught him the appreciation for seafood. BK is a huge oyster fan. He said that the ones from the West coast are creamier than the East coast ones, probably because of the water temperature.
Just that conversation made our experience so much better and more personal.
The restaurant itself is located in Lincoln Park, in a line of bars and other restaurants. Finding a parking spot isn’t easy, but the search is worth it. If you want to experience the Omakase, you should make a 48 reservation in advance.