As soon as men invented fire, women learned to play with it. Going off of a similar philosophy, welcome Union Sushi & Barbeque Bar, a playfully refreshing twist on the ever-growing Japanese hautes in downtown Chicago. Started by the ever-sassy food blogging duo Mike and Chao, Kushiyaki is the formal Japanese term for grilled meat, poultry, offal, vegetables and fish. Yakitori is the common term for grilled meat – but it actually only refers to grilled chicken. Kushiyaki is the broad term that encompasses all ingredients grilled on a stick – and it is the very heart and soul of Union.
Featuring a four-foot Robata Grill next to the sushi bar that serves as an anchor to the restaurant’s signature kushiyaki offerings. Robata, translated as “around the fireplace,” is a traditional Japanese grilling technique that takes place over hot coals that are painstakingly maintained at 600°. The flavor combinations have no limits, dream of it on a stick and Chao is throwing it on the grill and brushing it with a perfectly complimentary glaze or sauce. Think chicken thighs, meatballs, beef filet, lamb chops and the occasional pig trotter.
230 W. Erie. 312.662.4888. http://eatatunion.com