Ponzu Sushi

Fri. May 9, 2008 12:00 AM
by Caroline Ahn

Ponzu Sushi is a neighborhood sushi restaurant offering a diverse menu of traditional and innovative Japanese dishes. Located in the heart of Lincoln Park, Ponzu Sushi has quickly developed a positive reputation for their signature rolls in a warm, casual environment.

Atmosphere : Ponzu has done a great job of putting together a space that is casual, comfortable and chic. A long bench is accented with back supporting pillows allowing patrons to sit comfortably while dining. Authentic Asian d├ęcor and dim lighting suggest a relaxing setting that's perfect for a date, small group or dining solo.

Drinks : BYOB with a small selection of American and Japanese beers and sake. No corkage fee.

Eats : Ponzu Sushi features a menu of traditional sushi, sashimi and maki rolls as well as innovative rolls created in-house. A rich and flavorful miso soup is a good palette cleanser and warms the appetite. The Soft Shell Crab with Avocado and Tobiko appetizer is perfectly crunchy on the outside, with a wonderful soft and flavorful crab filling that is well complimented by a soy-based dipping sauce. The Tuna and Asparagus Spring Rolls are a light and delicious appetizer to start the meal. Finally, the Salmon Sashimi appetizer with Wasabi Mayo, Rice Wine Vinegar and Green Onion is a fresh appetizer and a great warm-up for the main course.

Sushi is well proportioned with generous pieces of fresh fish topping a small bed of sushi rice. The super white tuna is rich and fresh, as are the salmon and yellow tail pieces. Ponzu's signature rolls are inventive and fun. The Turtle Roll combines unagi (eel) and panko covered grilled shrimp, wrapped in avocado, and drizzled with sweet unagi sauce. The roll is shaped to look like an actual turtle, a fantastic presentation for the table.

Good and strong wasabi and very fresh ginger--always a sign of a great sushi restaurant.

Service : The staff at Ponzu Sushi is friendly and inviting. They are happy to recommend their favorite items on the menu and cater well to their patrons.

Dress : Casual

Ponzu Sushi; 2407 Clark Street at Fullerton; (773) 549-8890