Two years ago, Anshul Mangal quit his “lonely” job as an attorney and opened Takito Kitchen, a feel-good taco-and-tequila magnet on Division Street. Mangal has plenty of friends now and a (sort of) new idea: Bar Takito, a feel-good spot for Latin-inspired shared plates, cocktails, and craft beers. 201 N. Morgan St., 312-888-9485
It’s been months since the oh-so-creative guys at One Off Hospitality (Avec, Big Star, et al.) opened a restaurant: Nico Osteria in December 2013. Never fear, the group’s current brainstorm—a 40-seat Mexican soul food joint—is bound to be a late-summer sensation. 1545 N. Damen Ave.
The broad acceptance of umami as the fifth basic taste sensation came about a century after its discovery in Japan in 1908. The mysterious flavor shows up on a few menus around town (Sunda, for one), and soon California’s burger heartthrob (since 2009) will spread its savory joy in Wicker Park. 1480 N. Milwaukee Ave.