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Evanston in the Suburbs guide or Dempster on the Purple line

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Sea Ranch

View Map518 Dempster St., Evanston
Tel: (847) 492-8340
Fax: (847) 492-8351
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Editorial Review of Sea Ranch

The two words in Sea Ranch's name invoke entirely different concepts, but oddly give you an inkling of what the restaurant is all about. Half of the place is a sushi restaurant, a quarter is a fresh fish market for commonplace fishies and the remaining quarter is an Oriental market that sells sushi-grade fish. So while Sea Ranch isn't exactly a fish farm, it offers the creature in so many different forms that the name just seems to work.

Sea Ranch's menu consists of more than 65 options, including nearly 20 different kinds of nigiri (with the remainder being maki rolls). The nigiri range from $1 to $2.80 a pop, while the maki rolls also stay reasonable with prices averaging about $4. In addition to usuals like spicy salmon and California, Sea Ranch offers its own line of geographically inspired rolls, with the most popular being the spicy Illinois (white tuna, scallion, cucumber and avocado). Ample vegetarian options also exist, and brown rice is available upon request.

If you love sushi and want to give it a shot at home, the marketplace carries everything you'd need, from rice vinegar to little Japanese plates to sushi-grade fish. If the color and appearance of the sushi-grade fish doesn't prove that it's extremely high quality, the price will: One-third of a pound of yellowtail will put you back $13.50 (that's nearly $37 per pound). The fresh fish section is much more reasonable and consistently stocks fish such as Atlantic salmon and Fijian white tuna.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: Laura Brown

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11 a.m.-7:15 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-6:15 p.m. Sunday

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