Continuing on my sushi quest, even though it’s nowhere near my neighborhood, we took the kids to Mikado downtown. This is another example of when a restaurant’s social media is working. I kept seeing posts on Instagram that looked delicious, and particularly since I have been on a quest lately, I chose it for our family night out.
It’s right downtown near St. Elmo and all the chain restaurants. It’s a pretty big place, and has a more upscale interior, although it’s old enough that it is starting to look a little worn. It also wasn’t super busy, but there were a decent amount of people in there.
We started with several appetizers and got slightly less sushi than normal. We ordered tuna tataki ($16), edamame ($6), shrimp tempura ($10) and my son wanted gyoza ($7) for himself because he was having a small entrée. The tuna tataki was great. The tuna was exceptionally tender, and the ponzu sauce on the bottom was some of the most flavorful I have had in recent memory. Hubby even ate all the spiralized radish underneath just because he liked the sauce so much. It wasn’t a huge portion, so each of us only got one or two pieces. I could easily eat this on my own and happily would.
The edamame was also really well done. Lots of chunky salt on the outside to give you a nice salty taste when you sucked out the beans inside. Everyone was quite happy with these. The gyoza (the tiny bite I was allowed) were also tasty—stuffed with pork and then pan-fried. The only disappointment appetizer-wise was the shrimp tempura. It just fell a little flat—it wasn’t quite hot or light enough.
For sushi, my son wanted a simple shrimp tempura roll ($7.50) and hubby and I chose two rolls—the “Fire in the roll” ($15.95) and the “sumo” ($14.25). My son’s shrimp tempura roll was nicely done for a simple roll—they included a little bit of cucumber and some pea shoots to jazz it up a little, as well as just a touch of spicy mayo. The shrimp in his roll was better than the appetizer shrimp.
The “fire in the roll” was made up of spicy tuna and avocado in the middle and was topped with sliced tuna, jalapeno, cilantro and spicy tobiko. This roll had a fair amount of heat for sure. It was well done, and the ingredients were all good. I ended up taking the jalapeno off mine because it was that hot. The “sumo” roll was filled with spicy shrimp and avocado and then topped with sliced salmon. There was a little dash of spicy mayo on the plate, but I would have liked a drizzle of sauce on the rolls themselves. They were both very good and exactly the right size to easily pop into your mouth. The only thing I missed was just a touch of crunch—but then I like a little texture variation in my rolls.
My daughter ordered the nabeyaki udon ($16) for her main dish because lately noodles are her thing. I’m not sure that she was the biggest fan of this version. She isn’t overly familiar with udon and I think she prefers the skinnier noodles like in ramen (as do I). The egg was also much more raw than they usually are in soup dishes, which I think was a bit of a turn off. She liked the tempura that they served on the side to eat with the broth, and strangely, her shrimp tempura was also better than the one we had as an app. Not sure why. I think if we went back though, she would return to one of her classic teriyaki choices. I appreciate that she ventures out though.
Based on the quality and size of the rolls, and most of the apps though, Mikado is a place I would frequent if it were nearer my house for rolls. I might just get those same rolls and ask them to throw a little crunch in. Anyone else been here lately? Is it a big downtown lunch spot?
148 Illinios Street