16. Slurping Turtle
116 W. Hubbard St.
- Chef: Takashi Yagihashi
Slurping Turtle is not quite the noodle nirvana that Yagihashi promised—and we all expected—but it's so much better than the rest of the izakaya/bincho competition. The bright and industrial-chic bi-level space, hidden on the bottom floor of a boutiquey River North office suite, overflows with minor treasures like a wonderful octopus salad, a duck-fat-fried chicken with crispy skin that melts right into the meat, and, yes, a substantially good udon of thick noodles in a deep-flavored soy-dashi broth. Awkward service and overcrowding can't ruin fun desserts like a hulking but smooth coconut cream puff or something called Cyndie's Egg Shooter. Instead of a classic, Slurping Turtle qualifies as a pleasant diversion.
¢ … under $20 | $ … $20 to $29 | $$ … $30 to $39 | $$$ … $40 to $49 | $$$$ … $50-plus