The food was delicious and staff was very kind. Excited to go back!
Nice change of pace for a middle-aged couple celebrating their anniversary! 6pm reservation on a Sat (6pm is when the kitchen actually starts). That said, attentive service, helpful with menu suggestions and cocktails. Food came promptly--suggest getting there before 7pm. Place was pretty crowded by the time we left around 8pm. Most of the crowd was probably half our age.
While the food was very good, I wouldn't say anything knocked our socks off, but each dish was focused on the main item which is typical of the Japanese style (do one thing really well, and make that the focus). Example dishes: goma ae made with broccoli rabe instead of the usual cold spinach and very good; spicy king crab salad with just enough bite to call mild; chili tuna maki was tasty (for a 3rd gen Japanese-American who's not into raw fish); WASHUGYU which is basically skewered steak but marinated really nicely, grilled and extremely tender. For the cocktail, I had the CHICHIBU REBELLION. I'd describe it as a Manhattan-like drink but made with gin instead of bourbon. By the way, the staff were nice enough to provide us each with a glass of a complimentary sparkling wine because of our anniversary. Nice touch.
Overall, I think this is meant as upscale bar food, which for that is really good. That said, our mainstays are in the north suburbs, and I'm talking both Japanese and other ethnic cuisines. Once you factor in the drive and cost for that (parking, time)--we took Uber in this case--that really tips the scale on the overall cost for the evening. Glad we went, but it's not someplace where we'll necessarily return ourselves but would recommend if you want to try someplace new.
Food was great, service is the best in the city.
Having seen it was called “Izakaya”, I was expecting a traditional izakaya experience. However, it turned out that this was nothing but a typical bar with loud music and a Japanese theme to it. It’s what you would expect if an American who spent their life in bars in the US decided they wanted to open a Japanese bar. The service was great despite what you would expect from the atmosphere. Also the sake and shochu list were fantastic. If you’re looking for a traditional izakaya experience, this is not the place for you. If you’re looking for an obnoxiously loud, American-style bar with a Japanese theme to it, I couldn’t recommend a better place.
Very authentic atmosphere - felt like I was in Tokyo. One of the characteristics that I associate with izakaya is an extensive menu. The menu at Izakaya at Momotaro is quite limited. On the other hand, the dishes that we ordered were quite good.
Great great place. I felt cool just entering.
Excellent food and ambiance. Smaller than upstairs, which is nice.
Prices a bit expensive. Would go back, knowing better what to order.
We loved it. Our waitress was really nice! The sake was really smooth and easy down the hatch. ;)
So great! Server was excellent and personable - food was fantastic. Overall great time out on the town!
I don’t typically like the lighting this dim but everything else was great. Service was excellent and faster than I expected for a Friday night. I could see myself coming back once a week or every other week.
Great bar. Super friendly staff!
Restaurant week menu was awful. Couldn’t finish any of the courses including dessert.
We went for restaurant week - food and service (Amy) were wonderful! Amy had perfect suggestions, and I rarely feel that way😃 I will definitely return!
Amazing dishes, there were four of us and we all ordered something different, so we had ten different items to sample. Each was delicious!
The food here was AMAZING. It is officially my favorite restaurant in Chicago! My favorite dish was the Unagi Don, it was so flavorful and nicely sized. The matcha vodka drink was amazing as well. It’s definitely a little expensive so save this for something fun!
The setting was great. Dark, japanese hipster vibe perfect for a fun date.
Liked it but just didn’t love it like I do the upstairs restaurant - did the Restaurant Week offering. Some of it was outstanding- some of it a bit ho hum. Great drinks & extremely great server made it s good night but go
Upstairs - it is Amazing !!!!
Sampled this downstairs venue during restaurant week and we were very impressed by the options, quality and service.
We went for Chicago Restaurant Week so our menu was limited. It was the first place where they pretty much restricted us to just the Restaurant Week menu as well as a few other items from the Momotaro menu. That was disappointing. Other restaurants let you order off the regular menu as well. In spite of that, the food was very good. The prawns were fabulous and so was the vegan chocolate sorbet. I was disappointed in the drinks. I expected more from a bar-like scene. It was also too loud for us and in spite of a reservation, we still had to wait 15 mins. for table.
We were delighted by our meal at the izakaya. Everything was delicious and no complaints. I especially like the ice cream sandwiches. Service was great too. Will go back to try the main restaurant some other time.
Awesome staff, good, and ambiance. 10/10
Great food, wait staff was ok - didn’t know who got which food and since it all had different names we all got the wrong food. Very expensive.
Went here on a date. Got seated at one of the tables and found it a little tight for me, even though I'm pretty small. We moved to the bar. Waitress was friendly, but occupied with all the patrons. It took a while to get some attention. But when we did, we ordered the goma ae, a rice bowl with some avocado and tuna, and a maki roll. I also asked for a pisco sour, but they didn't have one of the ingredients so he made something similar that tasted just as good.
I like this place. It's dimly lit, located downstairs that give it a speakeasy feel, nicely decorated and the food was great. I would definitely go back....on a date.
Great experience! Can’t recommend enough
Happy hour is 100%
The food, drinks, and service were amazing! I would definitely recommend.
Went for Chef Gene Kato’s pop up dinner. Amazing! Please do again!!!!
A little pricey for what is supposed to be a a Japanese pub grub tapas sort of thing but everything was tasty and we had a good time.
We were seated and ate downstairs. Ambience decent except table was far too short forcing both my guest and me to splay our legs to sit there.
Maitre De and wait staff were very good. Food was tasty and well prepared.
Enjoyed the experience.
We were celebrating just getting engaged and they totally went out of their way to make us feel special. It’s one of our favorite spots and this solidified them as an even more special place for us!
Very cool vibe,chic setting..the Izakaya in the basement was more casual lounging area. The dishes were excelllent: grilled soft shell shrimp was perfectly cooked, hamachi kama ( tuna collar grilled) was the best we have had anywhere!, the un and squi spaghetti will leave you asking for more!!..will try the main dinning room on our next visit to Chicago.
Their happy hour specials are an amazing deal - $25 for appetizer, entree, dessert and cocktail. But it's only a few nights a week, and they won't give you the happy hour menu - you have to know to ask! The food and service are outstanding.
It was a quiet evening and we had a low seating corner to ourselves. The saki and food were both interesting (in good way) and memorable. We've been there when the noise level was uncomfortable, so this was a pleasant surprise. Waiter was prompt and knowledgeable.
Delicious food and excellent service
Went to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary at this gem. From the time we arrived it was on. Greetings at the door, our server(Lindsey) and of course the food and drink. They even got us a special order of Kohada (a tiny Shad) from upstairs which is one of our favorites. My wife has gluten and dairy allergies and made sure she had selections to choose from with her own highlighted menu. Great Job all around
Perhaps I was expecting too much but the food was good, not great. Only good thing is I purchased the happy hour special so the value was good.
We dined here for a quick meal after a show downtown. The food was very good, and delivered promptly — so promptly, in fact, that they started bringing dishes before they had even brought the wine that we had ordered. We had to wait quite a long time for the drinks. Food good — service not so good.
Delicious small plates of innovative Japanese comfort food...loved the tomato salad, uni pasta and creative maki rolls. Fun intimate atmosphere downstairs.
Second time here and we still like it. The food is adventurous and we haven't had one bad plate of food. Small meal style eating. The large bar is at the center of the room with short tables and bar tables on either side. I would prefer the bar tables - more privacy and less traffic.
A little disappointing, given how awesome Momotaro is. Food wasn't amazing, didn't feel like we got good value for the expensive bill and left hungry.