Shiroi Hana: Ur doin sooshi rite

Shove all that dead sea life in my mouth RIGHT NOW.

3242 N. Clark


Comrades, Japan is a good country. Not only do you get fed there, but you get fed raw fish that actually tastes good. That’s the equivalent of an American taking a rusty truck spring and incorporating it into a cheeseburger and it tastes amazing. It’s just magic because nobody else can do it right, and that’s the magic that is truckburgers sushi.

But America is not Japan, and there are a lot of sushi places. So which one do you trust to deliver the best sushi in Chicago? The answer: go to Clark and Belmont, take a northbound turn on the west side of the street, ignore the screaming bums, if you park your car in the Dunkin’ Donuts lot get your best screaming voice ready for the douchebag who puts the boot on your wheel, and you’ll find a place decorated by wall rocks that calls itself Shiroi Hana. In Japanese, that means “white flower,” but the literal translation means “shut up and feed me you amazing and wonderful nitwit.”

Just kidding, the good people at Shiroi Hana are probably smart enough to question the existence of my head and make it explode in the process, if they’re as good at thinkin’ as they are with sushi.

How do you judge such a unique food? Easy: have some lesser-quality sushi from somewhere else. It’s a total crapshoot in this city, because any old Thai food place can say “oh yeah, we do sushi too,” but do they get shipments of fresh fish from a frozen truck every day like Shiroi Hana? I live behind them on Wilton, I would know; if I wake up early enough I always hear the truck.

"Oh crap. Dave's doin' a sushi review. I guess I'd better just swim into a blender to go out quickly and painlessly. I leave all of my possessions except for my plutonium stash to my girlfriend, all the plutonium can go to Al-Qaeda."

That was probably the most ridiculous caption I’ve ever put on this blog. But it’s near midnight and I’m tired as hell, throw me a bone, comrades.

The only two real drawbacks with Shiroi Hana are the decor (the place looks cheaper than it tastes; the chairs look like they were made in 1977 as part of a study by some Swedish experimental furniture designer on Neo-Dadaism, where the artwork slowly destroys itself as time progresses) and the wonky hours (open for lunch, open for dinner, closed in-between). But these are issues you can swerve around by 1. ordering takeout and 2. not having sushi at 9:00 A.M. like a total douchebag.

The service is nice, but they usually seem a little stressed out. Understandably so – the place is packed at night. One calming thing about the service is that there’s almost always one particular old man, I have no idea what his name is, making the sushi in plain sight – and he does a damn good job. I grow fearful of the words “under” “new” and “management” when used in the same sentence in this restaurant.

This is the best sushi in Chicago. Go there. This is not a choice.