Each couple has their ideal date night and ours is a new restaurant with great food, wine and ambiance. My husband and I waited two years to try this spot. He learned of it through a coworker and it has been on our list of (must try) spots since before the pandemic. Kai Zan is the type of restaurant requires a reservation well in advance and we were finally able to dine-in this past weekend. The restaurant is tucked away on a quiet stretch in the Humboldt Park area. From the outer appearance you would never guess the "hidden gem" that is inside!
Walking in this spot is completely charming and cozy. To the left you will find traditional koshitsu's (private space or room) which are perfect for dining with a group. To the right of the restaurant you will find the bar/sushi counter and additional seating for two. The waitstaff was extremely friendly and knowledgeable on the menu items. From the moment we sat down they were attentive and efficient, never exceeding a few seconds of having a straw wrapper or empty plate left on our table before cleaning up.
My husband had a list of favorite menu items we were going to ask for and when we arrived we found that the menu is rotated based on product availability. The staff was kind enough to make us all the (off menu) dishes we asked for which made our dining experience extra special. Some our favorites: dynamite bites, escolar pearls, spicy scallop avocado roll, and the angry crab handroll. We sat across from the sushi bar and it was a treat to watch the chefs make plated sushi look like pieces of art.
We left happy and full! I am not one that usually enjoys the raw fish and every piece we ordered was truly amazing and layered with flavors. You have never seen a couple chew as long as we did but each bite was better and better! You will do yourself a disservice if you even dare dip a roll into soy sauce. In 2014 Kai Zan was listed as a Chicago Michelin Gide Bib Gourmand Restaurants. Perfect for a date night or dining with another couple, you wont be disappointed or leave hungry! This is our HH 10/10 recommendation!!
X0 - Katie