Chicago >Food & Dining > Starfish
804 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6060741.884620 -87.647768
Mon-Thu 11:00am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm
Fri 11:00am-2:30pm, 5pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: West Side, Near West Side
Delicious Sushi – I've been to Starfish 3 times. All three visits were great. I've discovered that it's normal for them to be "out" of something I wanted, like sake. But the meal always makes up for it. Last visit I ordered the tekka-don. I was living dangeriously, as I normally look for tekka maki. The menu said this was 10 pcs of tuna on rice, but it came 1/2 and 1/2 tuna & red snapper. I'm glad I was feeling adventuous. The plate was gorgeous, tuna and red snapper with caviar added. Yum. This was the first time I've tried the red snapper. My tuna intake has been seriously curtailed after this experience. I ordered an ice cream dessert. I have no idea what it was called, but it was cappucino ice cream inside some sort of squishy dough. I know, it sounds kind of gross and the texture was a little weird, but it was so delicious!
Worst Experience EVER – I went to Starfish bc it's always looked appealing from the outside. I live 2 blocks away and didn't have any better idea, so figured- sure, give it a shot! Whoops. ick. ugh.
So - starts: we'd like a bottle of sake. They're having a 'special' tomorrow, so many sakes are unavailable tonight. Choice available- 3 of 12 or so.
My friend wants udon. Great- they have nebayaki udon. I like the bento box -great value ($21 for 9 pieces sashimi, 4 nigiri, mixed tempura & salad). So - we order. 10 Min later our waitress returns apologetically- udon isn't available. They don't have the broth for it. So, we get miso, it arrives smelling like fish, tasting like beef. My friend decides on a new meal - Shrimp skewers, Toro nigiri from the menu. No Toro tonight. Ok, Bluefin. No Bluefin. Give us another min. Tuna. Regular Tuna? yes. An order of shrimp skewers and 1 Tuna nigiri.
Bento box arrives. Ooh- nice selection! I pick up what I think is 1 piece of Tuna. It's 2 literally ripped in half- I thought someone already had a bite! Yellowtail - 1 piece split, torn. Salmon nigiri- discolored, almost brown. The shrimp? Half there - like someone took a bite. The Hirame looks like it was sliced with a spoon. Tai is two cubes. Tempura was dripping grease. The zucchini looked like LATKES! Thick and heavy batter, way too much. Salmon sashimi, my fav, was not cut through and has a 'tail' from being torn.
Asked for the manager. 10 min later, the 2nd waiter who had been buzzing around comes over, yes? The fish seems to have cut with a very dull knife, some is discolored, I'm not interested in eating more than I have (I left 2/3 of my dish - minus some tempura, 4 pieces of fish, and salad). Ok, I'm so sorry, let me see what I can do. 15 min. A long time to sit without eating. I ask to leave, he says 1 moment, I'll bring the check. Check arrives- full price for inedible fish.
PLEASE do yourself a favor, go across the street to Izumi.
Way downhill – Not sure if Starfish is under new management or what but it has gone way downhill. This used to be one of my favorite sushi places but I will never return again after last week's dinner. The service was terrible, the place was almost empty, it took forever to get our sushi order and then some of the rolls we ordered were missing key ingredients and had to be re-made. Don't waste your time on Starfish. What used to be a fun, hip, enjoyable place to grab some sushi is now a depressing, uneventful waste of time of money. Go elsewhere!
Dependable & well done. – Twice we have been saved from bad experiences by just coming here. We love Sushi, not training wheel's but real Sushi. There are trendier places that call their dishes Sushi, we call them as we see them... fruit roll-up's with lot's of sauce. We have found more traditional finds on the menu & the occasional surprise fish special, not to mention hard to find black rice (try it, you won't be sorry!). They also do a version of Poke that is pretty good, though Sai Cafe has theirs down to our taste.
The first time our server was really nice. He was very personable & spaced out our courses... which considering how some places push you out the door was a nice change. The second time our server could not have been better. She was filling in for the hostess, seated us outside & a few minutes later was our server. Considering our rough treatment down the road at a Chinese restaurant, she made the difference in our night.
Great atmosphere, original rolls, and great drinks – This restaurant was a great find. First of all, my husband and I didn't have reservations, so we went to the bar to get a drink. The asian pear martini was great- I could tell it was made with the Korean pear juice. We were seated relatively quickly, which was really nice. The rolls were good, and pretty original. Although we were not that hungry, and only ordered 3 rolls, it was a great experience. Our waitress was friendly, the food was good, and the atmosphere hip. Plus, you can check out the hookah bar next door after eating. It was a great experience all around.
Great food! – This is one of the best sushi restaurants in the city, only second to Heat. Great fish quality, and a fun atmosphere.
Hip sushi house serves daring rolls and fresh sashimi to a sophisticated West Loop crowd – The Scene
Dark velvet banquettes, red and lime-green walls and bamboo accents give this lofty space an urban-organic feel. A stylish lounge and bar area is separated by a wall from the well-spaced tables and sushi bar in the main dining room. Lounge-type club music sets a cool mood; service is smart and efficient.
Chef Andy Park has created a daring sushi menu, and his plates taste almost as good as they look. Starters like spicy tuna and salmon tartare and asparagus beef roll in teriyaki sauce are just about perfect. Maki choices are plentiful: Try the Kamakazi (spicy tuna roll topped with tuna nigiri) or the Black Dragon (eel over spicy scallop). If nigiri's your thing, you'll love Starfish's huge portions; favorites among the couple dozen options include fatty tuna, mackerel and tiger shrimp.
Ridiculous... – I've never had such an awful experience at a "nice" restaurant. On a Friday night (not busy at all) it took us 35 minutes to receive our drink order. We were first told the bartender was training, and then that they had run out of martini glasses. We finally received our martinis in wine glasses, one of which was broken. Many other things went wrong, including numerous food problems, which I consider excusable, because the food was very good. We had to actually argue with the MANAGER about taking our first round of drinks off the bill (he wanted to buy us dessert...sorry I don't want dessert, I wanted to not wait the 35 minutes for my drink). I am shocked this is not a new restaurant, you would think after this many years they would have their kinks worked out.
Great fish, bad music – Outstanding, fresh fish on the menu of this trendy sushi joint. We got there early, so we had no problem getting a table, but on the speakers was some strange club-type rap new-world style music. Way too strange for my tastes, and way too loud for dinner. It may have been appropriate for the after 10pm crowd. Anyway, the food was outstanding. We had appetizers of "Jazz" and some flaming thing whose name I forget, but both werer amazing. Great sashimi. Ask for the fresh wasabi. Also, a nice, and reasonably priced sake list.
amazing maki, disappointing service! – By the end of our meal we all agreed that it was some of the best sushi we'd ever eaten! The special maki rolls are inventive and flavorful - Dragon & Alaskan were favorites, while Tataki was extra spicy, but all were great!
Other menu items were disappointing, especially the mini Asparagus Beef roll and the flavorless Fillo Soft Shell Crab.
It's unfortunate, with sushi this good, that we had to seek out a server and menus after being seated for a while, as did the customers next to us!
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