Price Point: $3.75 for one ebi mayo slider

When it opened in Bucktown a few months ago, Izakaya Mita (1960 N. Damen Ave., 773-799-8677; immediately set itself apart from the faux Japanese pack by offering a host of dishes that can be rather hard to track down in Chicago. Looking for chawanmushi, a silky smooth egg dish topped with shrimp and mushrooms? Or what about ika shiokara, a deeply funky and jet-black marinated squid? While full of highlights, one section flies against all this. Get ready for rice sliders.

I doubt there is much history to the rice slider, a dish I’d honestly never heard of before visiting. But that doesn’t mean it isn't worth checking out. A circular base of soft steamed rice forms the foundation for a number of different full flavored toppings. Of the ones I sampled, the ebi mayo, or deep-fried shrimp with spicy mayonnaise, is hard to beat. The extra crispy shrimp provides a crunchy contrast to the soft rice, while the creamy and spicy sauce oozes between the cracks of the two. You could debate whether they should even be called sandwiches, considering there is no top, but while you jabber on, I’ll just be ordering another one.