Kabocha’s Shin Thompson Puts Beautiful Food on Full Display

This exquisite 100-seat Japanese spot in the West Loop proves that “brasserie” doesn’t always mean French.

Shin Thompson

Photo: Anna Knott

Shin Thompson at Kabocha.

Seafood towers? Who does seafood towers anymore?

Shin Thompson, chef/partner of Kabocha, presents his raw assortment of oyster, lobster, crab, scallop, prawn, and squid ink “coral” in custom acrylic boxes designed to resemble fish tanks. That’s the kind of playful detail that made Thompson’s Bonsoirée a Logan Square legend.

Now he’s doing his thing on a larger scale with his old Kendall College classmate Ryan O’Donnell (Rustic House, Gemini Bistro) in a 100-seat sea-focused Japanese brasserie in the West Loop. Think shoji screens, woven wood chandeliers from Argentina, and a private kaiseki table for two, featuring a one-way mirror with a front-row view of a different kind of fish tank: Thompson’s kitchen.

952 W. Lake St., 312-666-6214.





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