AI JAPANESE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE, Chicago, IL
Ai (the Japanese word for love) is where the East meets West. Ai offers authentic Japanese cuisine artfully prepared with an innovative twist. Our Executive Chef, Toyoji Hemmi, creates a menu that features an extensive array of freshly flown in fish, contemporary maki, and modernistic Japanese-influenced entrees that will cater to the connoisseur and the novice alike. The menu features delicious items such as toro tartar, wasabi-rubbed filet mignon, and ice sake whitefish fondue. Ai’s exceptional signature nigiri sushi and sashimi options are available individually or in unique tasting flights.
A glass water fountain wall, complete with a fish tank, welcomes our guests to the main dining room. Guests can enjoy their meals in our intimate dining room with lavish décor, while listening to relaxing jazzy beats. The centerpiece of the room is an octagon-shaped marble counter, featuring Chicago’s only sake bar with a rotating selection of over thirty different premium sakes from several different prefectures in Japan. Large, floor to ceiling wood-trimmed windows look out onto the city lights. Wood floors, exposed brick, semi-private round banquettes, glass-filled cherry cabinetry, and dramatic accents set the tone for a classy yet modern dining experience. Ambient tones and soft lighting are also found in the Ai Lounge, offering a variety of creative signature martinis and cocktails with an izakaya lounge menu. The izakaya menu consists of small share style plates and is offered in the lounge everyday. Ai Lounge is also available for semi-private dining and during the beautiful summer months, guests can dine alfresco in our sidewalk patio.