If you’ve strolled past Mana Food Bar lately, you’ve seen the first signs of Anaba Handroll Bar (1742 W. Division St., Wicker Park), the 15-seater that’s about to set up shop in the front section of Mana’s dining room.
Mana (which is open during renovations) will continue its meatless business as usual, and Anaba—a two-sided bar in the middle of the room—will get rolling in mid-October.
The project is a collaboration between Mana owners Jill Barron and Susan Thompson and Soon Park, who owns Chef Soon in Woodbridge. Soon’s menu at Anaba, predictably, will comprise hand rolls—roughly a dozen—packed with sustainable seafood such as salmon, crab, and hamachi, plus veggie handrolls by Jill Barron. Warm rice will accompany the fillings, and toasted nori will hold things together. An array of sauces with varying spice levels will be yours for the dipping. Rolls will be priced from $4 to $8 apiece, or sold in predetermined groupings of three or five. A daily nigiri or two rounds out the food offerings, and drinks will include tap sake, tap beer, and cocktails.
Thompson says hand roll aficionados should prepare to be dazzled. “Ours will be especially delicious because the nori will be toasted, nice and crunchy and crisp. The rice will be warm and the fish cold. It’s the perfect combination,” she says.