Tuesday, November 3, 2009

RA - Chicago, IL

TheDoctor and HB had planned a trip to Chicago so TheDoctor could get Bill Simmons to sign a book just published about basketball – in fact, it ended up being multiple people sending TheDoctor to Chicago to get their books signed as well. Being gainfully unemployed, I decided to tag along with and go hang with some friends in Chicago as well.

HB used to work at RA Sushi in Arizona when they both lived there and ended up training a lot of the managers at the Chicago location, so the plan was to hang at RA during happy hour (since 2009 is the Year of Happy Hour), and then TheDoctor and HB could go to the book signing. Callous-un would meet up with us at the end of happy hour and we’d go hang while the others went to the book signing.

I always get nervous around sushi places, since I don’t eat any seafood. But generally, most places have enough appetizer-y things that I can find something to eat. And if all else fails, it was happy hour – I could just pound drinks for a couple of hours, right?

Happy Hour starts at 3 at RA, which just happens to be when we got there. There’s a pretty decent happy hour menu which includes both drinks and appetizers. I felt drawn to the Pineapple Cream Cheese Wontons, which would be washed down with what’s known as Tokyo Tea. I made sure it didn’t have any actual tea in it, since I can’t stand dirty water, and when she told me it had sake, lemon and lime juice, and a bunch of other girly stuff, I gave her the thumbs up. The drink was good, but… thin… like there wasn’t enough syrupy goodness in it. Either way, it was delicious.

The Pineapple Cream Cheese Wontons came out after a short bit and were really good. They were served on some sort asian cabbage and carrot slaw which was also delicious. The wontons were cooked perfectly, and although they had a faint hint of pineapple in them, I could have used a bit more on the fruity side. As they were, they tasted like slightly sweeter wontons than normal.

I got hungry again and decided to go with the Pork Gyoza. These are dumpling-like rice paper raviolis of pork, lightly fried to seal in the wonderfulness. They were served with some sort of salty sweet dipping sauce and were amazingly tasty. They were much better hot – by the time I got to the last one, it was a bit rubbery, but thankfully, all of the previous 5 were perfect. So really, no complaints at all.

I ended up getting another girly drink when Callous-un arrived, but I can’t remember what I got. I know it was girly and had sake and ginger in it. Maybe a Rising Sun or something like that. It was good, but I drank it too fast and forgot to take a photo. Sorry about that.

The sushi everyone else got looked amazing. They ordered a ton of different stuff, some of which looked like tiny fishes, and some of which looked like tiny sailboats with fried lotus petal sails. Everyone raved about the sushi, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say the sushi is probably what you should get here.

I will go back to RA at some point, I am sure. HB is trying to talk the managers into opening a store in Minneapolis, so it might be sooner rather than later. We will see.

Top 5 things about RA
1. Pork Gyoza
2. All of the sushi – just going based on recommendations
3. Pineapple Cream Cheese Wontons
4. Tokyo Tea (If only I could have tuned it in better…)
5. The staff there is easy on the eyes

Bottom 5 things
1. The happy hour menu didn’t have any sort of descriptions for drinks or food
2. The bathroom walls are frosted glass, so it’s a little stage-fright-y trying to utilize the facilities
3. Eating cabbage and carrot slaw with chopsticks is a chore – I still did it, since it was awesome, but it’s still a chore
4. I really wished I ate sushi
5. The Year of Happy Hour is almost over


No comments: