Chicago's Sushi Bros.

Creative new dishes from Macku, Kaze and Hari Chan

The bulk of the menu at the new Macku in Lincoln Park is an exact reincarnation of Kaze, the Chan brothers' Roscoe Village restaurant that closed in September.

But there are two noteworthy additions: The genre-bending composed sashimi plates and the layered nigiri bites–which occasionaly appeared as specials at Kaze–are now permanent fixtures on the menu.

Kaze was known for pristine sashimi (sliced by Kaze), playful maki (rolled by Hari) and Macku's unusual flavor pairings–which shine in the new sashimi and nigiri compositions.

Piquant sautéed banana peppers crown hamachi (yellowtail) nigiri ($4), and barbecued eel lies atop fried basil and chives, topped with a strip of warmed Laughing Cow cheese for extra creaminess ($5). Thick curls of hamachi sashimi rest on wide tiles of red beets, topped by a refreshing, saladlike garnish of radish sprouts, mango and arugula-parsley purée ($15; pictured).

The philosophy, says Macku, is to pair raw with cooked, and East with West, for a greater variety of textures, flavors and satisfaction.

A plate of madai (sea bream) sashimi is dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce and fried shallots, then showered with pine nuts ($15). Wrap the sashimi around the toasted nuts and drag it through the vinaigrette for proof that Macku's got the right idea.

Macku Sushi, 2239 N. Clybourn Ave.; 773-880-8012 or mackusushi.com