Atmosphere: Mitsuwa is a HUGE, huge building just off I-90 and Arlington Heights Road. It is the largest Japanese Market in the United States, with just about everything Japanese you could ever hope to find in a grocery store outside of Japan. At the back corner of the building there is a Food Court with at least 5 Japanese Restaurants. Each of them offers counter-service where they give you a number and call it when your order is ready. You need not know Japanese to eat or order, because all of the menus include a photo of the food item.
My companions and I ate at this one with the blue-tiled roof, where they sold various rice and noodle bowls.
I ordered the Pork Cutlet, which was breaded and fried and served atop a bowl of white rice, with a steamed egg on top. It also came with a cup of Miso Soup. Very simple yet filling dish. I loved the combo of tastes and textures.
My companion ordered Shrimp Tempura, which came with Tempura-battered veggies and shrimp, served over a bowl of white rice with a cup of miso soup. Very good!
Another companion tried the Chicken Katsu, which is a chicken breast breaded with panko and then deep fried. It was served with a dark sauce for dipping. The chicken came atop a bed of cabbage with a small scoop of a “mashed” potato salad on the side, as well as a small serving of miso soup.
We also tried the Soba Noodles with Beef. The beef was thinly sliced (like sukiyaki beef) and tasted great, but I wasn’t a big fan of the noodles or the broth, both were kind of boring.
I also bought some sushi from the large selection of pre-packaged sushi in the sushi-case at Mitsuwa.
I tried spicy tuna and spicy salmon rolls. Both very good!
Overall Impression: If you enjoy Japanese cooking or dining, Mitsuwa is like a dream-come-true. The Chicago location is very impressive and bound to offer you whatever Japanese market items you are looking for. Stop by the next time you’re near Chicago!