Let's Go

Japanese takeout, Arami-style

You won't find any wan, prerolled maki at Arami Go.

As one would expect from the younger sibling of West Town's Arami, the counter-service restaurant and its savvy chef (Shin Matsuda, formerly of Slurping Turtle) have ambitions far grander than your standard grab-and-go.

Here the build-your-own bento ($10) is king, and most of its contents come fresh from the grill. Pick a centerpiece, like shrimp brushed with sweet miso butter, beef short ribs, or a soy-basted chicken thigh.

The box is rounded out with starch–soba noodles or brown, white or sushi rice–and vegetables, also kissed by flames and anointed with miso butter. Try silky, slippery beech mushrooms, or thick orange slices of kabocha squash. Or sample excellent tofu salad from Edgewater's Phoenix Bean Company, slick with piquant chile oil.

There are raw items to quell sushi cravings, too: a daily sashimi selection ($14 as a bento), and spicy tuna tartare tossed with scallions and Arami's house-made soy sauce. For midday cold-weather comfort, there's chicken-lemongrass ramen ($12)–its broth not yet up to Arami's par, but well on its way.

Don't leave without a box of inari ($3), rice-stuffed tofu packets. We'd snack on them daily if we could.

Arami Go, 203 E. Ohio St.; 312-245-3003 or facebook.com/aramigochicago