Chicago has thousands of sushi restaurants. In my neighborhood alone, I can think of about 15 different sushi places that are within a 3 block radius of each other.
I can also admit that I have tried almost every single one of them. But, I always come back to the same one.
Kabuki is easily the place in Chicago that I have frequented most often in the past 6 years. I can’t exactly put my finger on why it is my favorite. It could be because I have always lived relatively close to it, and I can be pretty lazy about venturing out of my neighborhood. I tend to think it is because the prices are reasonable, the portions are huge, and they always give us free stuff when we come.
It has also always been BYOB (bring your own bottle). My friends and I would file in from the cold, sit at the same long table in the back, crack open bottle after bottle of chardonnay, while being as loud and obnoxious as we wanted to be. It was the only place we felt comfortable enough to do that.
Last week, Al and I decided to treat ourselves to a delicious sushi dinner. Whenever one of us mentions the idea of getting Kabuki, we both get instantly giddy, picturing ourselves surrounded by endless rolls of goodness. So, we went.
And when we arrived, we saw this:
Needless to say, we were devastated. This was a game changer. We can no longer justify spending money on both sushi AND wine, when there are so many other sushi places offering BYOB just a stones throw away, thus making them more affordable than Kabuki.
And so, I am dealing with this pain in the only way I know how. Also, I decided to write this to help me get from 4pm-5pm at work today. It’s Monday. Don’t judge me.
An Ode to Kabuki
this is my ode to a special place
where I often did go to stuff my face
birthdays, celebrations, it was always a good time
made even better since we could bring our own wine
we’d walk up to her doors, then we’d gaze at her beauty
the red neon lights signaling we’ve arrived at Kabuki
one by one we’d choose our favorite roll
then shamelessly devour them without self control
dragon, california, spider, all served on a boat
seconds they’d last ’til they were shoved down my throat
we’d pour the saki and drink our wine
thankful for our favorite place to dine
until that fateful day when I arrived
and read a sign that pained my eyes
I still can’t believe they’d do this to me
and remove the joys of BYOB
So one last time we paid our respects
Christie, Dan, Al, Nina, Zach, me and Bex
In person and in spirit we all said goodbye
to the greatest sushi place we ever did try.
P.S., I feel like I should probably mention that the real reason I won’t be returning to Kabuki is because I have ( painfully and reluctantly) given up eating fish, which also means giving up my all time favorite food (sushi), but sometimes it’s easier to blame someone other than yourself. A post for a different time.