Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-09-04
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



SAVOR Izakaya Mita
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Welcome to the Japanese gastropub scene.

And what a welcome it is! Izakaya Mita ( 1960 N. Damen Ave.; ) impressively combines a cordial atmosphere with authentic and tasty items. ( Note: According to the restaurant's menu, izakaya are "cozy Japanese public houses" where people gather to eat, drink and socialize. )

The restaurant offers everything from shared plates to full-blown entrees. Our dinner started with a wonderful dish, spinach goma ae ( spinach in sweet black sesame ), and continued with marinated burdock root. After trying those chilled dishes, we dove into what was probably one of my favorite items of the evening: okonomiyaki with butabara ( pancakes with pork belly ). I'm particularly fond of pork belly, but this was expertly done; moreover, the bonito flakes on top were reacting to the heat, giving the impression that the dish was somehow alive. It's an experience I won't soon forget.

Something my dining partner won't soon forget are the shishito peppers. Co-owner Helen Mita warned us that one in 10 is really hot, and you can't tell which one it is: sort of a gustatory Russian roulette. Well, my friend found it—and Mita quickly soothed her palate with a tiny bowl of whipped cream.

Then, we tried items from the bincho-tan grill ( which utilizes charcoal made from oak ). The kebabs were pork belly, chicken skin and dark-meat chicken—with each tasting better than the previous.

A sakana ( rice slider with fried fish and wafu tartar sauce ) provided some tang, and the saba ( a "hearty bite" that's a broiled mackerel filet ) smelled fishy, but was absolutely delicious.

Another highlight was the noodle dish hiyashi chuka, an intoxicating offering consisting of chilled ramen with tamago, wakame, cucumber, negi and sliced chashu pork in a soy dashi vinaigrette. And the meal didn't flag with the banana tempura with pineapple sauce, which was sufficiently light and tasty. Lastly, co-owner Brian Mita ( son of Helen ) "gifted" us with an umeboshi ( pickled plum ); it's an acquired taste and you definitely don't want to take a large bite out of it—but I grew to like it.

As for the "pub" aspect of the gastropub, we tried a flight of wonderful sakes ( Konteki "Tears of the Dawn" Junmai Daiginjo, Narutotai "Drunken Snapper" Ginjo Nama Genshu and Karen "Coy" Junmai ) that ranged in taste from bright to earthy.

Would I recommend Izakaya Maya? The answer is a hearty "yes." From the sake and amazing dishes to the wonderful service ( Thank you, Chottip! ), this is a place to visit ( and revisit ).

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

DINING National Caipirinha Day, Brunch Shake, oyster festival 2019-09-10 - —Friday, Sept. 13, is National Cachaca ( pronounced "kuh CHAA kuh" ) Day or National Caipirinha Day. To mark the occasion, Texas de ...

Gay News

SAVOR Lesbian chef curates 'Play'-ful menu in Gold Coast 2019-09-04 - Located on the Division Street strip in Gold Coast are longtime establishments like The Original Mother's and Butch McGuire's. The typical frat boy-ish ...

Gay News

DINING Passion House Coffee, Etch A Sketch event, Blackbird's menu 2019-09-03 - —Passion House Coffee, a specialty coffee roasting company based in Chicago, has partnered with My State of Mind ( MSOM )—a mental-wellness solution ...

Gay News

Chicago Meal Pack of 9/11 Day 2019-09-03 - The first-ever Chicago Meal Pack of 9/11 Day—co-hosted by Serve Illinois and the Greater Chicago Food Depository—will take place Wed., Sept. 11, 7 ...

Gay News

DINING Chicago Gourmet, free donuts, Labor Day items 2019-08-27 - —Bon Appetit Presents Chicago Gourmet ( with the theme "Lights, Camera, Napkin!" ) will take place Friday-Sunday, Sept. 27-29. Some of the events ...

Gay News

Lips Chicago, new drag-and-dining venue, opens on Michigan Ave. 2019-08-23 - Lips Chicago, the sparkling new drag-and-dining venue at 2229 S. Michigan Ave., opened its doors for a special VIP grand-opening party on Thursday, ...

Gay News

SAVOR Chiya Chai 2019-08-20 - What could beat an iced chai on the riverwalk? Four flavorful kinds of chai on the riverwalk, maybe. All this and more ...

Gay News

DINING Travelle dinner, National Bao Day, Winestyr Fest, ladies' night 2019-08-20 - —On Wed., Aug. 21, Travelle at The Langham Chef Jeff Vucko will collaborate with Granor Farm Chef ( and Ruffage author ) Abra ...

Gay News

SAVOR, GT Fish & Oyster 2019-08-20 - Led by Michelin-starred Giuseppe Tentorri, the River North spot GT Fish & Oyster ( 531 N. Wells St.; ) offers a diverse ...

Gay News

Drag-and-dining venue Lips to open Aug. 22 2019-08-16 - Lips, a drag-and-dining venue, will have a grand opening Thursday, Aug. 22, at 2229 S. Michigan Ave. Just some of the drag performers ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.