It doesn’t get more DIY than Kitsune. Iliana Regan’s lovable Japanese-influenced BYO makes its own tofu, miso, and soy sauce. Her kitchen, a collaboration with Justin Behlke, relies on Midwestern ingredients for its ramen, which plumbs uncharted depths of flavor with rich pork belly, a perfect soft-boiled egg, a spicy homemade chili sauce, and scallions in a thick tonkotsu broth. Other offerings—whether defiant, like uni with yuzu mist, or accessible, like a doughnut glazed with Japanese whiskey—are also airtight. And charmingly twee touches, such as little ceramic bunny chopstick holders and butter molded into fox shapes, wrap diners in the kind of warm and fuzzy cocoon we need so badly in 2017.
Standout Dish:Tonkotsu Ramen
Even before you mix in and liquefy the egg, the garlicky broth is already absurdly thick. Add rich caramelized pork belly and chewy handmade noodles coated in chili sauce, and even the bubbles are full of flavor.
Read More:East Meets Midwest at Kitsune