Come for the Food, Stay for the Personality Test

I love sushi.  Edible artwork I’ve heard it called.  And I agree; the craftsmanship is apparent the moment it’s brought to the table.  Various colors, designs and flavors are put together in a way that is both visually and palatably pleasing.  I love that about it.  But the thing I like best about sushi is that it’s the perfect cuisine come date night, and even more so, the perfect cuisine for a first date.  And not because the restaurants are generally quiet and intimate, although that is a bonus.  Sushi is the perfect cuisine for a first date on a purely psychological level.

A first date is all about seeing if you are compatible with another individual.  And one sushi dinner can tell you just that.  The key is in the ordering.  What someone orders, and the way they order it, gives insight into the type of person they are.  It’s like coming for the fish and getting the personality test for free.  Let me give you some examples.  By ordering a California Roll, the most basic of all sushi creations, a person says that they like to play things safe, not too adventuresome.  Ordering a roll with squid or soft-shell crab, on the other hand, says quite the opposite.  And since sushi is usually à la carte yet shared, the ordering process also gives insight into a person’s willingness to compromise.

As far as which sushi spot to bring that lucky lady or gentleman to on the first date, there are so many great ones in Planned Property neighborhoods that your options are virtually endless.  I live right off of Broadway, at the 515 W. Briar property, and I can see four sushi restaurants at the end of my block alone.  Nonetheless, here are three of my favorites in the area.  They’re each unique in their own way, making them perfect to have in your repertoire for this, and perhaps future, first dates:

Yuki Hana (2920 N. Clark) – Their website leaves something to be desired, but don’t let that be a sign of the quality of the food; this hidden gem in Lakeview is top notch.  What really makes them stand out in terms of cuisine is the creative usage of fruit in many of the maki.  But the best part of Yuki Hana is the super extended happy hour from 12 to 7 pm seven days a week.  Nearly every item on the sushi menu is $3, including specialty rolls.  Head here for delectable lunch or evening dinner date on the cheap.

Diva (3542 N. Halsted) – There aren’t many sushi spots open past midnight.  Diva on the other hand serves fresh sushi until 4am.  Let me repeat that.  Diva serves fresh sushi until 4am.  And, their food is just as fabulous as the name.  Items such as the Red Carpet Roll (Shrimp tempura, cream cheese, and avocado on the inside, then topped with spicy scallops, butter, strawberry creamy aioli, and red tobiko) give even a sushi aficionado something to get excited about.  Head here for a great start to a date night, or, head here to cap off a night of bad decisions.

Macku (2239 N. Clybourn) – If you’re looking for it all – inspired menu, nice atmosphere, a full bar, and off the trodden path just enough to seem hip, Macku is the place for you.  Located on the outskirts of Lincoln Park, Macku uses ingredients not usually found at a sushi spot, such as New Zealand bison, fried bananas, and truffle oil (but not together, thank goodness).  Head here if you’re looking to impress a date with sensational flavors.

I’d love to hear what you have to say.  If you have any of your own insight, questions, or comments feel free to respond to this post.  You can leave a comment below or email me directly at  And lastly, good luck on that first date. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *