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Union Sushi and Barbeque Bar, Chicago

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, May 18 07:00 AM

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You've had South Carolina barbecue, Texas barbecue, even Korean-style. But just when you thought the BBQ trend was growing cold, Chicago's new Union Sushi and Barbeque Bar throws some coals on the fire.

The River North restaurant is set to get Americans all hot and bothered about Japanese-style BBQ. Chefs maintain their kushiyaki robata grill at a blistering 600°F to sear chicken thighs with Japanese curry, prosciutto-wrapped scallops with wasabi-avocado puree and sweet plum sauce, and fish cakes with Wisconsin pepper jack and togarashi.

For those who prefer to keep it cool, there's an assortment of inventive sushi rolls (spicy tuna, seared salmon, and ponzu with cilantro and okra, wrapped in collard greens). And the dining room's spray-painted murals evoke 1980s street art and anime flicks, making it the kind of space that invites you to kick back a few cold ones and eat your fill. Go ahead--with everything priced under $20, you won't get burned.

Photo: Courtesy of Union Sushi and Barbeque Bar

Aburiya Toranoko, Los Angeles

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, January 20 11:42 AM

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Here are two words for those of you who are guilty of ordering the same old dish at the same old restaurant month after month: Aburiya Toranoko. Go there, order the shiokara-marinated intestines, and open your palate to a whole new set of sensations. Good ones, we hasten to add.

Aburiya Toranoko, opening tomorrow in downtown L.A.'s Little Tokyo, is the latest offering from Michael Cardenas, who also owns the Lazy Ox Canteen next door. Alongside those intestines, you might also like the miso-marinated beef tongue. But don't worry, there are plenty of play-it-safe dishes on the menu, too, from sumiyaki to sushi--all expertly created by former Nobu Matsuhisa chefs.

As you'd expect from an izakaya cocktail bar, the menu includes an extensive sake selection as well as plum wine, Japanese beers, and cocktails with an Asian twist-- surefire ways to guarantee you won't chicken out.

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Daniels

 

JapaCurry, San Francisco

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, November 17 11:44 AM

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Spicy food in the open air. It's the perfect combo. So when we heard that JapaCurry, a new food truck selling (no surprise) Japanese curry, is rolling out in San Francisco on Friday, we had to point you in the right direction.

Jay Hamada's journey to food truck owner came by way of Silicon Valley (he lost his IT job) and Japan (where he learned the art of making ramen). But after spotting a long line outside a local Japanese curry restaurant, he decided that was the right dish to take on the road. While curries (beef, pork katsu, chicken katsu, and vegetable) will dominate the menu, Hamada also plans to add some lesser-known Japanese dishes, too.

It seems San Fran's food truck scene is hotter than ever.

Track down JapaCurry in San Francisco on Twitter

Photo: Courtesy of JapaCurry

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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