Every Monday evening, Ani offers an izakaya menu. If you're not familiar, an Izakaya is a casual Japanese drinking establishment that typically offers small plates of food to accompany drinks. These are places typically frequented after work. Ani's izakaya menu offers a rotating selection of dishes crafted by sous chef Clayton Weber.
As a welcoming gesture, you're served a glass of house sake which overflows into the box beneath. I had this the last time I was in and loved the unique gesture of prosperity, welcoming, and generosity.
First, was edamame hummus served with salmon skin chips. The chips were an interesting touch, but they provided a nice crunchy contrast to the creamy hummus. The hummus was topped with pickled fresno chilis, fried garlic, and scallion.
I love the Brussels sprouts at Ani, so I'm glad we got them. Ani makes theirs with togarashi (Japanese spice mixture), garlic chips, yuzu, nikiri (sweet soy sauce), and bonito flakes on top. They are ultra crispy and have wonderful flavor.
Continuing with the fried motif, we enjoyed the fried ika (squid) with togarashi, lemon, and mixed greens tossed in a plum wine vinaigrette. It was spicy, crispy, and nicely balanced with the lemon and mixed greens on the side.
|Grilled Sweet Potato|
|Char Siu Bao|
|Charred Sanma Miso Soup|
If you're interested in checking out Ani's izakaya menu, it's offered each Monday evening. The menu is constantly rotating so you're sure to have a unique experience!
Note: my meal at Ani was complimentary; however, all opinions are my own.
3056 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657