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Tampopo

View Map5665 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 561-2277
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Editorial Review of Tampopo

The dominant sushi myth goes something like this: Mediocrity rules, and a full belly of quality fare involves dropping major bank. Tampopo sets the record straight with its generous portions of Japanese and Korean deliciousness. It's a family affair: While his mom works in the kitchen, sole sushi chef Daniel serves up amazingly fresh fish with a side of fun, easygoing conversation. The maki, sushi and sashimi menu features old favorites done right, like a great spicy tuna roll, and specialty maki like Red Dragon and Godzilla.

And there's still a big fat menu to be explored: Appetizers include koroke, a yummy ball of potato, corn and beef, and two very different takes on tofu, hiya-yakko and age dashi tofu. There are tons of bento boxes and udon, soba and ramen dishes. My absolute favorite is the sashimi with rice, an elegant mess of sashimi served up on a bed of veggies and rice: It's filling, healthy and tastes like it should cost way more than its $11.95 price tag. Wash everything down with Japanese or Korean beer or sake. If there's room, enjoy a scoop of green tea, red bean or mango ice cream. The honest truth, I've never made it to dessert, but a girl can dream.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: Roni Shapira

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Hours

lunch: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; dinner: 5-10:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday; 1-9 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday

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