Ra Sushi – Chicago

J wanted to get sushi on the next night, so Brent sent us over to the Gold Coast neighborhood to Ra Sushi. This is a hip joint, a place to be seen. You’re not going to get the best quality sushi here. If you’re looking for japanese sushi chefs that took four years to learn how to make sushi rice, this isn’t the place. But it’s fun and they have cool and funky rolls so you can share and have a good time. It’s not traditional in any way. I got a girley drink and it was delicious and large and strong. I very much enjoyed it.

I wanted some soup, but I didn’t want regular miso, and I was intrigued by this spicy version that was on the menu. It was marked as a favorite dish. Ok, why not, I thought. So this miso hot! soup is seriously spicy. When we both tried it, we both immediately started coughing because it was so freakin hot. And for probably about the first five sips, I still coughed. But then my throat got used to it and the coughing subsided. And I was finally able to enjoy this. First off, it’s tons of soup, and it comes in this cauldron. And really, it’s like a cauldron of spice. It’s so spicy, and probably unecessarily spicy, but it is a good soup, with tasty shrimp and veggies in it. But man, it’s hard to eat and hard to get started because of how damn spicy it is. They really should warn you with like ten chili peppers next to it or something on the menu. It’s like the hellmouth in a bowl. But it tastes really good if any of your taste buds aren’t burned off!

The roll on the bottom, the mango lobster roll, was one recommended by Brent. It had lobster mix, avocado, cucumber, was topped with thinly sliced mango, and served with mango-tobiko and kiwi-wasabi sauces.  This was my favorite one. It was a cool contrast of slightly sweet and savory and the two different sauces provided some key variety. The roll on top was the dragon roll, with crab and cucumber on the inside, topped with avocado, eel, and some eel sauce. It was probably my second favorite of the night.

The crazy soft shell crab roll in the front was wrapped with soy paper instead of any kind of nori. It was a bit strange, but hey, whatever works. It held it together just as well as the nori. The funky looking green roll at the top was the crunchy calimari roll, another recommendation from Brent. It had tempura calamari, crab mix, and cream cheese, was topped with spinach tempura bits, and drizzled with sweet eel sauce. I really liked this one as well.

Lastly, we had another dish that Brent recommended, the hot mess. It’s not even really sushi. It is crispy rice balls topped with spicy crab mix, that are baked and finished with jalapeno and cilantro. This was a bit too rich for my taste. And I wasn’t that into these crispy rice balls (or rectangles). They actually served plain crispy rice balls along with the miso hot! soup, which I did like for dipping into the firey broth. But I didn’t really care for these hot messes. We didn’t mean to order this much food, as it was quite too much, but we enjoyed it. The food comes out as it’s ready, so you don’t get courses or anything. Service was fine, but nothing to write home about. This dinner was fun, but it’s really more about the experience and hang-out factor here, and not really the food. It’s definitely non-traditional sushi. So if you’re into that, and if you’re rich and young and like to eat, then it’s a pretty perfect spot for you!

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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