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Kai Zan

/ Restaurant
#1 of 14778 restaurants in Chicago
#1 of 20968 places to eat in Chicago
Closed now
$$$$ Average price: $25-49
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2557 W Chicago Ave, 60622
Chicago, Illinois, USA
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Japanese food is worth a try here. The truth is that you will really like mouthwatering nigiri, king crab and oysters. Cooks at this restaurant do their best to provide guests with good green tea ice cream, apple pie and cream cakes. Order delicious wine, beer and martinis. Great iced green tea, ice tea and matcha are waiting for you at Kai Zan.

The cosy atmosphere of this place makes visitors feel relaxed and have a nice time. Many reviewers consider the staff cute. People say that the service is enjoyable here. A lot of reviewers mark that the decor is divine. This spot received the Bib Gourmand award for tasty meals at fair prices.

Visitors' opinions

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The food here has always been good. I've been here three times now. The prices are reasonable for the quality. It's by no means cheap to eat here, but it's definitely worth it for the quality you get. The servers are always friendly too. So, why just three stars? Well, it's because of the time restriction. We had an early reservation at 5:15 pm on a Thursday. We had exactly 90 minutes to finish our meal. From the start of the reservation, the clock starts ticking. We took a little while to decide what to order, but our food came super fast once we ordered. Since we were seated at the bar, we had to eat super fast to make room for the next dish. We felt super rushed. I really like their food, but the time restraint really dampens the experience. When we left it was 6:48 pm, and the sun was still out. I understand that it's a small place, but if your business is doing so well, then maybe it's time to expand. It's better than losing your customers.
What a great find here! Came here for an early dinner with my husband and the restaurant became packed really fast so make sure to make a reservation. It's a cozy atmosphere. Service got a little wacky at times cuz our server would disappear or get held up at another table but no big deal because in the end the taste of the food trumped everything. Out of our drinks the yuzu salt beer was memorable. Refreshing and taste just like it says. My husband and ordered the premium omakase which was such a great experience. We got to first enjoy the food with our eyes cuz the food is so colorful and plated so nicely. But tasting the food was amazing. My husband got a couple extra dishes from the main menu which tasted fine but we highly recommend the premium omakase. The components of each dish went really well together and it never felt like they tried too hard or too much.  It all just tasted perfect. We will miss this place when we go back to NYC.
Been wanting to come here for quite awhile and finally did on a Friday evening to treat ourselves. To note, this place books fast - I was looking close to two months prior and the earliest res I got for Friday was 8:45 pm. We arrived maybe 10 minutes earlier, and given their strict 1.5 hr allotments, we were seated close to our scheduled time. It is a little intense having to scarf down your omakase in that amount of time, often with dishes coming out on top of one another, if not at the same time, but to be fair, they at least are transparent about the timing at the forefront, so I guess that should be expected. I personally didn't mind as much, as it was an efficient use of my time. I really enjoyed the space - on the small side, but not too much. There were nice nooks of seating. We were seated at the chef's bar, which I enjoy, but the separate booths certainly are more intimate. Boo and I opted for a regular and premium omakase. Service overall was fantastic. We were regularly checked on and given a run down prior to each dish. All the staff were very friendly, waters were refilled and plates were consistently cleared. It was fun seeing the chefs in actions, and they certainly were very well organized and devoted to their work. It was nice that one of the brothers even asked how we were doing at one point. I thoroughly enjoyed both omakases. I do have to say while the premium is more creative with higher quality ingredients (A5 wagyu and the fattier cuts of fish), the overall value wasn't quite there and was only marginally better for me. The dishes could have been more memorable. I found for both, that similar notes were often used for various dishes - e.g. I thought the basil lemon microgreens enhanced one dish while not the other and I don't know if the consistent use of edible flowers were necessary, except for a nice IG shot. There was a deep fried prawn, noted to be completely edible with the shell, except that I found it not as easy to go down as the more common, soft shell crab. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the dishes, as they were tasty. We had two soups, and both the broths were clean and tasty. I also enjoyed the scallop dish and all the quality sashimi. Overall, I definitely enjoyed Kai Zan and would come back. Don't expect an authentic experience, as yes, you are on a time limit and the omakase is essentially pre-set (although they will cater to your needs). You def can be relieved that you at least won't have slow service here. Also, the chefs do fuse modern and traditional flavors here, so expect that and overall, good quality food. The chef's choice omakase certainly is a good value and the premium is nice to mix things up.
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Address
2557 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60622
Opening hours
SundaySun Closed
MondayMon Closed
TuesdayTue 17:00-22:00
WednesdayWed 17:00-22:00
ThursdayThu 17:00-22:00
FridayFri 17:00-23:00
SaturdaySat 16:30-23:30

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