Though Kuro Bistro has only been open for a few months, word has gotten around. When we arrived for a very early dinner shortly after they opened on a Friday night, the tables were rapidly populating and the bar was already working on a steady rhythm of cocktails and cosmos. The atmosphere is all dark woods and clean, contemporary lines. The extensive menu was refined over years in the business and several iterations, originating in the heart of downtown Chicago before migrating to the North Shore. We’re very glad that their delicious menu is now available without the commute.
Kuro Bistro is located at 950 N. Western Avenue in Lake Forest, 224-706-6090, kurolakeforest.com.
A pitch-perfect twist on contemporary cuisine’s obsession with tacos. This Sushi Bar Starter uses a crisp wonton shell to hold a chopped sushi salad of tuna, masago, mango, jicama, red onion, and cilantro, sprinkled with white and black sesame seeds and served with honey wasabi, citron marinade, and unagi sauce. The fresh ingredients deliver fantastic sushi flavors and a chill that masks a delightful building spiciness that lasts on the lips for several minutes. A highlight of our night.
CRAZY SALMON SIGNATURE MAKI
We tried several delicious sushi mainstays during our visit, but our favorite was the Crazy Salmon Signature Maki—spicy salmon and avocado rolled in rice topped with a slice of seared salmon, sesame oil, vibrant pink salmon roe, and chopped scallions on top of a balsamic reduction. It’s a lux, creamy roll with a diversity of flavor and texture, light on the palate but nicely filling, perfectly complemented by fresh wasabi and ginger. If, however, you prefer nigiri to maki, we really enjoyed sampling the trio of tuna offerings—Bluefin, Chu-Toro, and O-Toro—experiencing the textural journey from fatty to lean.
CHILEAN SEA BASS
The magic of this dish comes from a pistachio crust that teases out a deep nuttiness in the sea bass combined with a lovely tanginess and element of heat from a slaw of fennel, celery, and onion in brown butter. A side of black rice in red wine sauce is almost fruity, acting as a wonderful counter agent to the spice in the slaw and balancing the richness of the fish beautifully while also providing a welcome element of visual contrast to the plate. Even though the sea bass is served on top of the rice, these two flavors shine brightest side by side rather than combined into one bite. All in all, an elegant and scrumptious centerpiece to a meal.