Niu Japanese Fusion Lounge

By Samantha Lande

The movie theater may monopolize the majority of Illinois Street, but once you step into Niu Japanese Fusion Lounge, you forget the theater is even there. This dimly lit, sexy spot is perfect for sipping a signature cocktail from the long list of favorites. Before your eyes fatigue, focus on the lychee mimosas, sake mojitos, or ginger martinis. The menu runs equally deep with cuisine from across Asia. Go for the ten-piece signature sushi rolls like the Sexy Mexican, filled with shrimp, spicy crab, and jalapeno, topped with avocado. Don’t bypass the appetizers though, from the adventurous Honeymoon Shooter with oyster, uni, salmon roe, and ponzu, topped with gold flakes; to the more familiar soft-shell crab spring roll—there is something to please even the pickiest patron.

the crowd

Moviegoers looking for a quick bite before or after catching a flick, intermixed with downtown professionals looking to grab cocktails and something more interesting than run-of-the-mill bar food.

... on the side

eye for design
The back wall of the dining room displays a large black-and-white photo of a forest while elements around the restaurant—twisted roots, bamboo plants, rocks—give life to the enchanted nature motif.

Low on weekdays; medium on the weekends.


Sun–Thu 11 AM–11 PM; Fri–Sat 11 AM–midnight

price range

$4 (edamame) to $30 (moriawase)