Overpriced! I expected sushi to be better here. I agree with the review about "lots of rice and not much fish." When a restaurant is around a while,why does the quality/portion go downhill? Why not feed paying customers quality food that matches th price? We were hungry after our meal and that is just frustrating. Trendy and nice atmosphere - but isn't this a restaurant where the focus should be on food? Next time head to Catch 35 in Naperville - FRESH fish and you will be satisfied.
I absolutely LOVE Japonais. The atmosphere is upscale and fun. The lounge downstairs on weekends has a DJ and a more exciting decor with an open patio when the weather is warm. The sushi is always good, I recommend trying their specialty rolls especially the Kani Nigiri.
This is my favorite sushi place in the city!! It's actually the first place I went where I tried sushi and liked it--and now I'm hooked! The downstairs lounge is great to go just to have drinks/appetizers--cool music and atmosphere.
The upstairs for dinner is great--good service and even better sushi! We've seen Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan on two separate occassions...so if you're into celebrity spotting, this is the place!
OK! THIS PLACE S*KS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I Came here with my wife hungry and ready to eat a meal. What I ordered was a steak but what I got was about five small thin slices of beef and some sissy decorations of sauce and parsley around it. The bill was $185.00 plus tip for a bottle of shiraz a steak and an order of fish for my wife. Ok it was more like a goldfish covered in a few pieces of lettuce. We ended up eating McDonalds afterwards. Bottom line If your hungry then don't eat here. If you want to waist your money or listen to some soft sissy food critic then eat here.
I am so sick and tired of the incompetence exhibited by the staff and sushi "chefs" at this place. If I order a salmon and cucumber roll, inside out, and easy on the rice (with emphasis on the last part), I fully expect that my $7.75 roll will come out as ordered. However, on each of the three separate occasions on which I have dined at Japonais, they have been unable to get it right. Instead, that pile the rice on and give very little fish. This is unacceptable for the price. I would much prefer to spend $6.00 per roll at Coast or South Coast where they understand english and care about satisfying their customers. The other day, my wife had to return her salmon roll THREE times, only for them to **** it up each time. It is quite apparent that management at Japonais has no interest in providing quality service and food, but is more concerned with staying "trendy" for the bags that frequent there after hours to drink in the lounge. I will not visit Japonais again.
Cons: Very little fish to rice ratio. Poor management.
Birthday night started off great....it was my first time at Japanois with few of my friends. Food was good, atmosphere pleasant, and serive nice. We decided to have drinks downstairs at the lounge after dinner. The 3 of us sat in the bar area talking and laughing for about 30 min. After a drink we left upstairs to get our car from valet and noticed right away that we didnt have our camera. My friend rushed back downstairs and everything was cleaned off....including the Birthday envelope I had left with money. They claimed that nothing was there and assumed maybe someone walked by in that 2 minutes and took it. The catch was that no one was down there except 2 elderly couples in the corner talking. The bus boys and some manager was standing by us the whole time while we were there. It made no sense that within that time frame both the $300 camera and envelope with money was gone. Bar cleaned off, garbage searched, and items nowhere in sight. We spoke with another manager who instead of taking action she gave us the "We are not responsible for lost or stolen items, here's my card, and we'll call you if it turns up"! The only people near us that whole time were the bus boys who were cleaning near and around us before, during, and after. Im the last person to point fingers and accuse, but that situation made no sense. You couldnt miss the camera and envelope. I would have liked to seen something done at that moment when it was reported. Not treated as if it was our problem and that their employees would have never done such a thing. Very sickened by this experience and will never go back! Just look at the other reviews yourself. Your treated like a child and not a customer who, by the way, spends well over $100 each. I am disgusted and frustrated!
I loved the food at Mirai (Japonais' sister restaurant), and always ordered the tuna tuna salmon and spicy mono. With that said, I have taken my boyfriend to Japonais a few times, however with the lack of quality customer service by the wait/bar staff and management he has grown a strong hatred for this infamous River North sushi spot. Its such a shame because I love Mirai, but I live in the River North, and we cannot even enjoy one single night at Japonais without feeling judged or becoming upset. If anyone is looking for Japonais' sushi, go to Mirai! They offer the same menu (with some additions and exceptions like the rock) without the pretentious atmosphere. Its my favorite sushi restaurant in town and I always take advantage of the upscale dining lounge upstairs.
Don't waste your time, money, and energy investing in a restaurant that does NOT deserve to be open! If there are any good reviews on this site, its probably because the managers posted them or made their staff do it.
Oh, yes and one more thing...they recently got busted a little over a week ago for flies in the kitchen and on the prepped food. YIKES!
Pros: tuna tuna salmon, spicy mono, kani nigiri
Cons: everything else
I've dined at most of my fair city's finest places. I have also been to several real Asian restaurants. I've been to Japonais a couple of times for cocktails but never ate there because everyone I know has told me it is average at best. I had a friend in town. She had read about it in and wanted to try it, so we went.
Lets start with the positive aspects, the decor (It is a beautiful place with atmosphere) and the Host and Server were polite. That's it.
Now, let me share the negatives of my experience.
We started at the bar where I was served a drink in a broken glass the cut my lip. With bloood running down my chin, I brought the issue to the bartender?s attention. She gave me a napkin for my cut, replaced my drink and she may have mumbled "sorry" but she said it and turned and walked away so fast that I couldn?t tell. This was at 5:15 pm . They open for dinner at 5pm, so it wasn't like she was busy. I think she really didn?t care.
My friend was so taken by the atmosphere that she wanted to stay for dinner, so we did. Now lets talk about the food. The potions are ridiculously small. That wouldn?t have been an issue if the food was great, even good, but it was just bad. The Lobster Spring Rolls and Crab Cakes had a nasty freezer burnt taste. The Maki rolls were falling apart, had little meat and were dry. 3 of the 5 the Oysters Gratin seemed to have no oyster in them. The Koby beef tasted like skirt steak. I like skirt steak but the entree cost $75. Similar steak is available down the block, on a bun, with fries and a drink for $8.
Better Asian food can be found throughout the Chicagoland area for half the price.
Don't go to Japonais.
Pros: Place looks great
Cons: Just bad food, and I love Asian food
I really do not understand how this is considered to be one of the better restaurants in Chicago. I here that it is Opera favorite. I have to admit that the food is good. Some of the better sushi I have had, however, the restaurant is just too loud. I wanted and expected to have a great meal instead I was seated at a table that was too small for the party that I was with and I had to strain myself to hear the person next to me. For a place that is supposed to be this nice that is unacceptable. In the end I have to mark in not recommended simply do to the atmosphere. I have never been to a place that has missed the mark by so much.
Pros: Good food and you get to say that you dinned at Japonais.
Cons: The atmosphere and thus, the price. Just as loud as the Cheesecake Factory but 8x more money.
Food tastes good, but I give them one star. Actually I think they deserve the half of it.
I had a dinner with a big group of friends (22 in total), the food was good, the service was just fine, and at the end of the night we decided to pay. They brought us the bill, and we gave them approximately 10 or 12 credit cards.
There was an average of $120 per person, and of course, nobody was going to pay for 21 people in a Saturday night. So, somebody came back to ask us for 4 credit cards for the total bill. We could not believe that there was no possibility to pay an average of $240 per credit card, so we asked for the manager.
Here comes the most important thing. The manager comes to usand instead of trying to give us options to pay, he started to discuss with some of us. Later on, it was impossible to believe, but he brought two security guys.
The most of us were sitted, and they had our credit cards.. so, the story continues... instead of giving us options to pay (come on, there are even cash machines inside the restaurant) he called the police!!!!
Then the police arrived in the middle of the restaurant. Probably they could see the shortness of mind of the manager, so they were very nice with us. Actually they were smiling and left soon. That was lovely police!!!
So, at the end of the night some of us had to walk away from the restaurant (the cash machine does not give more than 100 dollars plus a fee per transaction) and pay the bill.
Was it necessary to make this big deal for people that:
1. Was going to pay
2. Were nice to him
3. Are customers
4. Were giving a 18% of tip (more than 300$ in the check)
5. Now want to talk this horrible story to all his friends in Chicago.
I dont know. Consider if you really want to go to this place. There are awesome sushi places in Chicago, go to another one. Japonais is pretentious.
- the place is a night club, not a restaurant - crowded, loud music and impossible to get a drink
- almost 2 hours waiting to be seated when we had reservations
- during the endless wait, floor manager kept asking us to "be compact" - what's that suppose to mean?? we were already more close to each other then we wanted because the place was uncomfortably crowded!!!!
- almost 1hour for somebody to finally come and take our order
- before our food even came, they let us know it was the kitchen's last call - how could we possibly know if we would want more food before anything arrived???
- finally, just for a perfect closure for the nightmare evening, they refused to take more than 4 credit cards to pay for the check - we were sixteen people! If that's their stupid policy, they should have let us know before making our reservation! And the annoying manager tried to convince me this was a "system defficiency" - please, don't insult me!!!
Pros: The food was ok I guess
Cons: bad service, extremelly crowded, very very long wait
If you?re looking for a place to go on a holiday with a special someone avoid going to Japonais. There is a list of restrictions and guarantees that were required of Japonais? customers (i.e. $75 a person minimum, $100 reservation cancellation fee, 2 hour maximum table time), which is somewhat understandable from a 3 star restaurant on Valentine?s Day in Chicago. After arriving 45 mins ahead of our reservation we were corralled into the bar/lounge area to wait for table. Here is where we waited for 2 hours and 15 mins before I went to the host and asked how much longer till we can get a table the host responded ?we have been looking for you, where have you been?? I explained I hadn?t moved from the area in which you instructed me to be in. When we finally were seated we ordered a variety of food including the rock appetizer, 2 rolls of sushi, a chef specialty and a filet mignon. The rock appetizer was tasty. The sushi had an added bonus, a piece of hair in between the pieces of ginger. I ?explained? that we no longer want their ?fresh? sushi. The manager came over to inform us that we were no longer required to spend the minimum of $75 a person. My $68 Kobe Spice Ribeye was rare even though I ordered it medium-well. After sending it back the manager returned again and explained that he was once again sorry and offered to buy us dessert. My girlfriend?s filet mignon was good but she was upset that I had to watch her eat instead of enjoying a meal with her on Valentine?s Day. After the ribeye made its return I was so disgusted with Japonais I only ate 2 bites and asked for the check. They removed the sushi (which we ate 1 piece) and the rock from the bill because of our bad experience which I felt still didn?t rectify the problem, but I was so disappointed I was not about to argue. I would not recommend this restaurant to anybody and would highly suggest going elsewhere for Japanese type cuisine. I would be embarrassed to be the owner or an investor in Japonais.
Pros: Vast food Selection; Nothing Else
Cons: Wait time, Service, Food Quality, Price
This place is AWESOME!!! I took my brother, my wife and my parents out to dinner on a Saturday night. We had 9:00pm reservations and although we had to wait about 20 minutes to be sat for our table we enjoyed the energy in their lounge. The music was good and the people were beautiful. Now i have to admit i too was hesitant about going based on some of these reviews, but honestly i had to check it out for myself and i tell you what...It was worth it. We were told our table was ready and sat by a very attractive and friendly hostess. The server came by a few minutes after we were sat and welcomed us to Japonais. He asked if we had ever been here before and we all said that it was our first time. He went on to explain the difference of the two kitchens and the continuous flow of food. We decided to do a chef tasting since we wanted to try just about everything. The way the food came out was great. It even went from lightest to heaviest...i was very suprised since i didn't think that the server knew what he was doing. All in all the service, atmosphere and energy were right up our alley. I would recommend this place to all my friends and family.
Pros: Selection of food, Atmoshphere, Service
Cons: You gotta understand a continuous flow of food otherwise it'll throw you off...do a chef tasting
I have had my last dinner at Japonais and I like the place. It is a shame. I went there for dinner with two people from out of town who had never been. I talked the place up all week. The experience ended up being horrible. I should have learned my lesson during my last bad visit, but I decided to give it a second chance. There won't be a third.
Making a reservation at this restaurant is a joke. I was seated exactly one hour after the time of my reservation, with no explanation or apology from the staff. I suspect this is by design so that you will be forced to pass the time in their downstairs lounge drinking their $11 cocktails for an hour.
We finally got our table and ordered. The server did not bring what one of us thought she ordered. When she asked for an explanation, she was called a liar by the server.
We ordered the rock appetizer, which used to involve really cool presentation, where you cooked your food on a polished big round rock. Now it has been reduced to a square marble block laying on a dish. It was disappointing.
When the bill came, we asked for explanation of how it was billed. We determined that the server made a substitution from what was ordered from the menu and had not explained it to us. This led to multiple itemized items being on our bill that were not expected. The server then asked if we "needed a calculator" to add up our bill, in a tone that was meant to imply we were too poor to be eating at the restaurant.
I stopped the guy and explained my extreme displeasure with our entire experience thus far. He stated he was a "top server" at the restaurant and normally doesn't hear these types of complaints. I informed him that I have been to top restaurants all over the world and know what top service is. I was embarassed for him at that point. I requested that our drinks be comped by the restaurant, which they were.
Bottom line, you will overpay to be treated like you are lucky to be eating here.
Pros: Ambience, People Watching
Cons: Deplorable treatment
When thinking about where to take my friend from Miami, Japonais came to mind. The reputation and the experience were two very different things. We were treated like two kids emptying out our piggy banks. When I asked our waiter a question about the menu, he said it was "normal sushi." Can't they at least coat the description with fancy words if they're going to snow you on price? The waiter pulled a Houdini, never to be seen again. We got an arm workout trying to flag down ANYONE to order more bar drinks and food, with staff breezing past us at every turn. When it finally came time for dessert, we simply gave up and went elsewhere. It was surprisingly easy to get the check though. The icing on the cake was when our waiter briskly walked back to loudly announce, ?We don?t take Discover.? Would you like Visa, MasterCard or Amex, you ninny? I will never go back. And I'm spreading the word ? don't waste your money on their self-proclaimed "normal sushi."
Pros: It perks up Cabrini Green.
Cons: You'll get better service at McDonald's.
UGH UGH... What a TOTAL disappointment. We were there at 5:30 on a Saturday the place was almost empty yet they went to seat us RIGHT next to almost on top of another couple then acted shocked we didn't want to sit there. We ordered 2 sushi appetizers and they were good HOWEVER that is the highlight of the night. They brought out the wrong main course to my husband and then we waited while they went and figured it out as my dish got cold. FINALLY they came over and explained there was a problem DUH and brought over a crab appetizer , my husband is allergic to crab so.......... I finally had to eat alone while he waited, when his dish finally came it was cold and I was done eating. A fruit fly crawling on my plate was the final straw of the evening. Save your money there are to many good restaurants in Chicago to waste it here. Our server never came even after he knew we had a problem and were talking to the manager nor did he say anything when he left the bill. Decor can't save this place . Also the womens bathrooms were messy (this was at 6 on a Saturday night) and as chef friend once told me "if the bathrooms are dirty, worry about the kitchen as it is A LOT easier to clean a bathroom then a kitchen".
We went to Japonais while visiting Chicago on Tuesday (10/16), we were a little skeptical after reading some of the reviews, but we received great service, we even got seated about 10 mins early, the food was excellent, one of the best filet mignons I've had in a long time (cooked to perfection), and the atmosphere was very nice. They play good music in the dining area. It is a very trendy feeling place, kind of reminds me of Geisha House in LA. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting to go out for an upscale dinner, be prepared with drinks to spend about $100 per person...they also have a cool lounge area downstairs.
We have been going here since the opening. They had a rough start, but they have really gotten their act together. The Toro is a must have. The lounge downstairs is a noce option for a less formal night out.
Pros: Toro Toro Toro
Cons: No Patron in the House
We'd hoped the scathing reviews were isolated experiences and that ours would be different. Our experience at Japonais was different in new disappointing ways.
Upon arrival, the snobbish hosts couldn't find our reservation. Funny, Japonais had called the day before to confirm it. They didn't yell at us, call us liars, or demand some form, but they put us far away, outside at a table overlooking the street and next to a concrete plant divider that was partially covered by umbrellas, on a hot, humid night that threatened rain. We sat in stunned silence and wondered if we weren't trendy/rich/good-looking/implanted enough to actually sit in the restaurant. The waiter was nice enough to bring us in and the hosts, without a word of apology, allowed us to sit inside. Thanks.
The inside was much louder than the isolated parking/dining area outside and it was hard to have a conversation. Fortunately, we could hear everything our closely packed in neighbors were saying. The women next to us were mid-thirties trixies who got drunker and louder ("oi! oi!") and there was even some girl on girl implant grabbing. I'm all for that, but not at dinner. The party of 20 behind us seemed to be having a good time but they wouldn't shut up. More "oi! oi!" Who still says that?
Lastly, the food, since it became an afterthought to the egos and surgical enhancements on display and the indifference of the staff. $14 for a watery drink, $14/glass sake, $16 sushi roll with cooked(!) salmon. My wife's soy sauce dish was dirty. The $14 salad was overdressed (unlike the women next to us). Some of the food was tasty, but service and ambiance don't justify the price or attitude. Japonais is no Morimoto or Kaze Sushi. To be fair, the food runners and our waiter were nice. But the best service we saw all evening was from the EMTs who came in to carry out an elderly patron on a stretcher.
Japonais: Dining theater of the absurd, for the absurd.
Pros: Eagerly accomodates your wishes to be treatly poorly
Cons: Costs a lot to be treated poorly
Oh, Japonais! How you exemplify my new hatred of "trendy" spots. And really, all Japonais is is a spot where you throw money into the void and hope that "Hey, I can be cool, too!" Naturally, I'm middle class. Not like Olive Garden is high-class sort of middle-class, but trust when I say that Japonais is ridic.
I love sushi and trying new spots. During my downtown tour-du-jour, I decided to put Japonais on my list. And you'll want to put your name on Japonais' list. I still waited 45 minutes for my party's table after my reservation time, as the hostesses kept playing the "Oh, just five more minutes!" game. Because I really believe that. It's usually 5+5+5+5+5+5+5 minutes and by that point it's too late to go anywhere else in the hood. Besides, Japonaise is pretty inside. Low lighting makes you look hot and all that.
So we were welcome to wait in the lounge. Cool bar, crowded as all get out. So I decided to wait outside and look at Cabrini-Green in the distance. Oh, Cabrini.
The place is packed. But this led to many interesting observations about others.
I mean, the other diners just made our evening. Sitting like 6 inches away from me at the next table was a blond, Lincoln Park trixie and her sugar daddy. Now homegirl had about 5 martinis too many because she was pulling a Tara Reid all up in my face and going on and on about her best friend Becky or whatever as Mr. Sugar looked at her with this creepy lustful gaze.
Then my new best girlfriend's chopsticks were all sticking into her cleavage. I nearly died. When she realized what's up she yelled "OMG CHOPSTICKS IN MY B00BS AHAHAHA!" and he was laughing at her crazy self and finally decided to leave. Dude's lingo was hilarious.
Then he tried to say his wine was corked when they drank the whole bottle. Poor waitor.
Food? Meh. Nothing memorable. $250 gone. But the pretentiousness about you is hilarious. Not recommended for dinner, but for hilarity.
Go to Sushi Toro in Lincoln Park instead.
Pros: Hilarious Clientele. You'll love yourself afterward.
Cons: Prices. Crowd. Location (It's far! Don't walk there from the Brown Line!).
This restaurant is not worth the money you will spend dining there, considering how many other great places there are to eat in Chicago. The food was decent and presented nicely, but not exceptional. The service was quite bad. Two side dishes we ordered never came. The waiter walked off with 1/4 of the bottle of sake we ordered. When we finished what he had poured in the decanter, I asked him if we could have what was left of the bottle. He told us that we had finished the bottle and offered to charge us per glass. It was pretty hard to miss, all four of us saw him pour our bottle. The manager condescendingly told us that the bottle had in fact been empty, but that as a favor to us they would give us two glasses on the house. All in all, the experience was rather disappointing.
Pros: Decent food, interesting presentation
Cons: Too loud, inadequate service
We had reservations to entertain guests from LA. Japonais was supposed to send an e-mail to get the credit card number and confirm the reservation. Well no e-mail came. When we called the Tuesday before the reservation ( the reservation was for Saturday), the lady said that they had all the info so don't worry. When we got there the hostess yelled at us and said we lied. That no one would have told us we could come in without filling out the e-mail form. We could not be seated without the form. After being completely rude by yelling at us and calling us liars, we found out that there is a form there which we could have easily have filled out or they could have filled out since they had all the information they needed right there. We decided to walk out and go for a very nice dinner in one of the thousand or so other excellent restaurants in Chicago. I don't care how good the food is or how much it costs, no one has the right to be so rude. I can't imagine any one putting up with this type of behavior. I think Chicagoans are far too sophisticated and saavy to put up with this. After reading the other reviews, it seems this attitude is from the top down. This place will not last long unless the staff at Japonais gets serious help with their mental short comings and overall lack of common decency.
Cons: The poor and very rude service far out ways any pros
How many reviews does one need to read in order to get it? You can read them, too: stay away, avoid this place, etc. BUT no! We still went. Not my first time to Japonais but certainly the worst. It was ended with insults by the owner herself. Can you imagine dropping $700 and getting crapped on by the owner? The food was generally good. Well prepared steak, good and bad sushi, fries arrived cold. Our waiter was an IDIOT, but OK, things happen. However, when the owner shifts her weight around to make some kind of a point of how "powerful" she is, that's where one should draw the line. Listen to the reviews! A million places have equal AND better food to offer, run, don't walk somewhere else. And to the owner: how shameful! You should be ashamed.
Cons: Service, staff, attitude, owner.
The most heartless, rudest maitre'd (Alex) I've ever met! I've been coming to Japonais ever since it has opened. We've brought many many people here and spent thousands of dollars. Every time we have come back the attitude seems to rise and the service seems to diminish. The maitre'd almost left me in tears with rudeness the last time we were there. I was there with family so I didn't want to make a fuss because I had picked the restaurant but I will never go back because Japonais has left me with the most sour taste in my mouth. Not that it matters but our bill alone just for that evening was $2000. I know that there are plenty of people who spend alot of money at Japonais and I'm not saying that I'm special but I'm merely pointing out the fact that no matter how much or how little you spend, they don't seem to care either way. They feel that they can treat diners any which way just because it's a hot spot. No amount of high quality food can justify the rudeness and lack of service. It should be an honor to serve your guests not the other way around!
you can't really judge a place by going there once , i will come back and hope for a better experience
I went to Japonais recently with my husband. We were both really impressed with the ambiance, music and service at first. But as the night wore on, our waiter rarely ever came by to check on us, we waited a very long time for our entrees and never received (after asking kindly twice) the side dish we ordered. The quality of food was just OK, and we have eaten out a lot in Chicago and based on the Gayot rating and reviews this restaurant had received, we expected much better. Our waiter was arrogant and completely uninterested in the fact that we were unhappy. This restaurant has some nice things going for it, but overall it was very disappointing and we will not come back.
Pros: Nice ambiance and music
Cons: Terrible service
All in all we enjoy Japonais each time we go. The food is pretty delicious and they have some great drink choices, especially the Lychee Martini. The scene is upbeat and the decor is fun. Last night I was a bit put off during our dinner because the appetizer we ordered came to us not completely cooked. It was a house speciality - seabass steamed in a bag and topped with a tomato sauce at your table. The waiter apologized, took it back and a few minutes later another waiter returned with our app. It was the same piece of fish we had tried to cut into previously, I had taken a bite of the veggies and it was topped with the tomatoes so we new it was the same thing we had sent back. I thought this was unacceptable for a place like this with the prices they charge. $14 for the app. I feel a completely new piece of fish should have been prepared and presented to us. It still tasted good so we didn't make a fuss but I was disappointed in them. It was a real turn off. Dinner was good and the dessert was awesome - Dark Choc Marscapone Cake - which it should be for $12. Maybe next time I will stick to Lychee Martinis and Marcapone Cake!
Pros: Great Exotic Drinks, Good sushi and Awesome Chocolate Cake
Cons: Too pricy for what you get, seats uncomfortable
I live downtown in River North and have finally found my new favorite sushi place. The food and ambiance are amazing. SO, SO GOOD! Trust me and go and have dinner there...it is worth the price tag!
The bar is also a good scene if you are single and looking to meet other nice single people.
Pros: food, ambiance
Cons: a little pricey
Even during the week there was plenty of people watching. Service was great. The food was excellent with only a few minor woes. The filet, at $36, was a poor cut of meat. Last I checked, filets shouldn?t have a ring of fat running through it. The only other thing was that the potatoes were a bit runny. No other complaints. Will definitely visit again the next time I?m in Chicago.
Pros: Service, Atmosphere
Cons: A bit more detail to food is needed
Yes, the sushi is pricey but the rolls are tasty and innovative. Service is extremely attentive and it was a great overall experience. Seated promptly right at the front (but it is tight seating). Not a "regular" restaurant but will return again. The lounge area is also romantic and a nice atmosphere to enjoy drinks.
This place is very trendy but the sushi is over priced. You dont get a lot and what you do isnt very impressive. Nice to try once but will not be back.
We were seated right away at the time of our reservation, which was a good signal for more good service to come. The waiter was very knowledgable about all the food and drinks. The specials were delicious and the presentation was one of a kind. For a starter I would suggest The Rock, where you cook your own meat on a heated rock. The sushi was some of the best I have had. Two rolls that are worth tasting are the Tuna Tuna Salmon Roll, and the Unagi Trio. We took the suggestion of our waiter and got the special Mackeral sashimi, which was excellent.
Japonais has great decor and ambience. The sushi is top rate with fish that melts in your mouth. We've always found the service to be excellent.
The prices are up there, and often you have to wait, even for a reservation time, but it's all part of the "hip place-to-be" aspect.
Pros: superb sushi and dishes
Cons: expensive and trendy
Even at 65 degrees in Sept. this is a very cool patio. ( see the web site for photos ) We tried several Sushi that the waiter recommended that were fairly exotic for us .... octopus, that sort of flavor, and all were wonderful. Entrees were served with style and the flavors were wonderful. I enjoyed the Surf & Turf, a miran lobster and a tenderloin with a very nice sauce, on a bed of different vegatables. An absolute plethora of delecatable flavors. As others in our group had great, various deserts, I had a nice Port and tasted theirs. ALL wonderful. Food Snob recommends this spot if youre a visitor to Chi Town AND you dont need a steak fix. I always do steak houses and this time thought I'd be adventurous. I was glad I did !
Pros: The waterfront patio
This is the best sushi i have had in chicago!! i eat sushi like 4 times a week and this is by far the best. also, if you want to make a night of dinner and drinks they have a great lounge in the basement that has a patio on the river. it is a little pricey but worth every penny!!
Pros: Amazing in every way possible
Cons: A little expensive
What happened to this once lovely restaurant! We have visited this place many times and each time it got worse and worse. I should have taken it as a sign that this would be a bad experience since I received nothing but an unprofessional attitude on phone when making a reservation . Against my better judgment we went in and the drama began . An hour wait for a table despite reservations . Inattentive and snobby wait staff . Incorrect food order brought to our table . No apology when we spoke to the host about our unsatisfying experience . I am certain never to visit or recommend this restaurant that has gone downhill .
Pros: the food
Cons: management, wait staff, pretentious
We rarely saw our waitress, we never received half of our appetizers, or the birthday cake we ordered. We talked to the management who INSISTED we stay for cake.
At the end of this evening we received the bill, billing us for the food we never received and the cake, and a 15% gratuity. The lousy service received a $55.00 tip. The management was rude, snapped at us and said he'd made up for lousy service by not charging us for the food we never received or the cake we no longer wanted! we pointed out that wasn't much of a gesture since we shouldn't have been charged for food. He then said we did not pay for anything we didn't get to which I pointed out that we did, we paid $55.00 for service that was nonexistent. I will never return or recommend this restaurant.
Hip scene and wonderful dishes!! Tried the sushi and appetizers, and every bite was spectacular! Kobe Carpaccio, Chutoro, and Crab Cakes were super tasty. Waitress was professional, knowledgeable and prompt with service. Only complaint is that the lighting is much too dim!! But otherwise, fantastic.
Pros: yummy food, great service
Cons: dim lights
The experience didn't stack up to the rumors. The food was overpriced, although good. And the scene aspired to be more than it was, although again solid. Overall, I wouldn't recommend unless on the expense account with clients interested in the trendy places.
Beware of reservations at Japonais - we arrived promptly for our reservation on a saturday night and still had to wait an hour to be seated. granted, they made up for it a little by sending us two free appetizers as soon as we sat down (try "the rock" - really good), but we had a 7:30 reservation and it wasn't until almost 9:30 when we got our main courses. from reading other reviews and seeing the restaurant in action, it appears that this is more the norm than the exception.
Pros: sashimi, room
Cons: waiting to be seated
simply unparalleled service for simply incredible food for unbelievable decor with a scene thats ahead of its time. We loved japonais. easy parking too
Pros: ambience, service
The best sushi in Chicago. Selecting the chef's "tasting menu" option - where the chef selects several courses. From the Kobe Carpaccio, Tuna Tuna Salmon and the Surf and Turf - were all 10's! The waiter provided excellent recommendations in our wine selection.
If you are a sushi fan, you will be amazed at the quality, freshness and creativeness of Japonais.
Pros: Wine List, Scene, Food
The food here speaks for itself and the service barely speaks. We had a group of 7 and the restaurant is so crowded and busy it was hard to communicate. The service was abundant, but not efficient. Simple things - we got our high quality sushi very fast, but they didn't bring soy sauce and wasabi right away. Awesome array of flavors and choices, but not the perfect all-around meal. If you consider yourself a sushi connoisseur this is great Americanized sushi for the person looking to get in and out feeling rushed.
Pros: Quality, Sake Menu
Cons: Service, Staff
i mean really people i went to japonais with my two best friends. we had an apetizer some plates of sushi wine and dessert. the service was bad it took us nearly 3 hours to eat!! and every body was snotty! if thats not enough our food was 600$ s !!!!!!!!!
Pros: sheek crowd
Rotten service with a big attitude! No food is worth being treated poorly. This place should go belly up very on.
Cons: rude bartender, ruder wait staff, the worst host
My friend recommended this restaurant during a recent visit to Chicago. It has a nice trendy feel to it, but I would never return; nor would I suggest the restaurant to anyone else. In a nutshell, we were rushed out even though dining hours were not yet over. Our server had the gall to insist that we order our dessert, or anything else we wanted, before we were even halfway through with our entrees! He explained that the manager was making him do it. Insofar as we arrived for our reservation on time, this type of treatment is completely unacceptable. I tried calling several times to complain but was told that I would have to speak to the director of operations. I guess this was not an important incident to her because she never returned my calls. The service was shameful.
Despite having a reservation, which was not honored, that was the least of why I will never recommend Japonais. The host and manager were extremely rude; their demeaning attitude was shocking. Our waiter was not attentive. The food was terribly disapointing. And to top off the evening, 3 people out of 7 got very sick from the food. The owner, management and staff should remember that Chicagoans have a choice of where they eat, treat your customers with respect and bad reviews put restaurants out of business.
Cons: Poor service, Food under par, Overpriced