Photo courtesy of @yuzuchicago on Instagram

Sushi is, in its simplest form, an aesthetically pleasing food: precisely-cut fish stacked with vegetables wrapped snugly in a blanket of rice and seaweed offer a small, neat bite. Yuzu, however, takes it up a notch by adding sauce art to their sushi. The result is something you would deem almost too pretty to eat.

Photo courtesy of @yuzuchicago on Instagram

When you walk into Yuzu, you’re immediately struck by the interior. The floor, bar and tables are wooden, complimented by nostalgic plastic stools or modern metallic chairs. On one wall, there are black and white prints of popular Japanese manga comics; on the other, there’s a bar where sushi chefs are preparing your meal. The atmosphere is hip, but not in an intimidating way.

The menu offers a variety of typical Japanese offerings including maki, nigiri, sashimi, ramen, and robata grilled skewers. There are also some nontraditional dishes such as Brussels sprouts with garlic aioli and golden raisins and sushi burritos for lunch.

Photo courtesy of @yuzuchicago on Instagram

While I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never tried any of the robata grilled skewers, I’m definitely well-versed in Yuzu’s sushi rolls. What makes them special compared to other sushi places in Chicago is that they come with colorful sauce designs that consist of a combination of unagi sauce, spicy mayo and other sauces.  My recommendation is not to go for any of the smaller rolls because they’re not as unique as the larger rolls. Plus, the larger rolls have prettier sauce designs (!!!) and more exciting flavor combinations.

Dragon Roll – Photo courtesy of @_sweettoof_ on Instagram

My favorite roll that I’ve tried so far is the Dragon Roll, which usually includes unagi, avocado and shrimp tempura. While it’s a roll you can find in many other sushi restaurants, Yuzu does it particularly well. The unagi sauce and spicy mayo are perfectly balanced, and there are a variety of textures: crunch from the shrimp tempura and cucumber, creaminess from the avocado, and silkiness from the unagi (eel).

Other rolls I recommend include the Monster Spider roll (the lightly fried soft shell crab is fresh and makes the roll gigantic) and the Over The Rainbow roll (if you want a variety of fish).

Monster Spider roll and Over The Rainbow roll – Photo courtesy of @_sweettoof_ on Instagram

I was a bit iffy on the Pier 69 roll because it was too indulgent for me personally; with soft shell crab, coconut, unagi, avocado, cream cheese and spicy mayo, it was too rich, especially for sushi. Otherwise, I would recommend every other roll on the menu.

Wagyu Ramen – Photo courtesy of @yuzuchicago on Instagram

Every experience I’ve had at Yuzu has been excellent: the quality of the food is consistent, and the dishes come out lightning quick. The fact that the food is also super photogenic is another plus, especially for my fellow Foodstagrammers.