Enso Sushi & Bar

Enso Sushi & Bar

By Matt Kirouac

This contemporary Bucktown nook, as cavernous and alluring as a ride at Epcot, knows its way around a sushi roll. Maki is a must, available in a myriad of specialty rolls, such as the Milwaukee roll stuffed with escolar, shishito pepper, wasabi mayo, and tobiko. If you have your own ideas about sushi perfection, Enso’s make-a-maki menu enables you to fill out a sheet with your desired rice, filling, accoutrements, and sauce. It’s sort of like Build-A-Bear, only you get to eat your creation when it’s done. The soft-shell steamed buns are just ridiculous, providing the perfect juxtaposition of crunchy fried crab on steamed buns as soft as a Tempur-Pedic mattress. The flash-fried green beans are another stellar share plate, with a nice al dente snap to them, interspersed with bits of bacon, pickled scallions, and cilantro. Finish on a subtle note with Enso’s light-as-fluff azuki bean cream puffs, striated with green tea custard.

... on the side

eye for design
Enso held a contest to come up with the name for the restaurant. Upon seeing the space, with its unique circular construction, the winning entrant came up with “Enso,” which means circle in Japan. It also stands for the moment when the mind frees itself for the body and spirit to become creative. Profound stuff for a sushi bar.

overheard
Enso’s dome shape has a tendency to bounce sound around the space. When the restaurant first opened, guests found they could clearly hear what diners were saying on the opposite side of the room. So Enso implemented a music system to help break that up a bit and minimize unintentional eavesdropping.

decibels
Medium

hours

Sun–Thu 11:30 AM–11 PM; Fri–Sat 11:30 AM–1 AM

price range

$12 (citrus miso tofu) to $25 (chirashi)
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