WEST LOOP — Diners can eat seafood right out of a fish tank at Kabocha, a Japanese brassiere that opened Friday.
The restaurant, at 952 W. Lake, serves a dish called the Shellfish Aquarium, $85 worth of seafood, including lobster, king crab, oysters and edible squid ink “corral” all served in a Plexiglas tank — but without the water.
Kabocha comes from a partnership between Ryan O’Donnell (Gemini Bistro, Rustic House) and Chef Shin Thompson, who earned a Michelin Star for his restaurant Bonsoiree, which closed last year.
Thompson said Kabocha’s close proximity to the Morgan Street “L” line and the West Loop nightlife can only aid in drawing the crowds.
“It’s becoming kind of a food destination,” Thompson said of the West Loop. “There are good restaurants coming in and we want to be associated with good restaurants.”
Sushi you will not find. Instead, dishes like “Psychedelic” Salad — laughing bird shrimp, edamame, pickled daikon — and Kombu Cured Lamb Loin with black garlic lamb sausage and cherry jus dominate Kabocha’s menu.
For a heightened experience at Kabocha, diners can reserve the Kaiseki table for two which comes with a one-way mirror overlooking the kitchen. The Kaiseki menu is $110 per person and includes a 10-course tasting menu catered to the tastes of the diners.