Being in real estate, I run into a lot of people. South Florida draws from the east coast and many people take some summer trips to Chicago. When they ask me where to go to eat, I always recommend my personal favorite, Ron of Japan. That is, of course, after I give them the hot dog and deep dish pizza scoops!
On a recent visit to my hometown of Chicago, we went to my Ron of Japan. I think I celebrated something like 25 birthdays at “Ron-O” starting from age 7. Ron of Japan is by far the best Japanese Steakhouse I’ve ever experienced. You must get the Crown dinner. The Crown is served with a chicken-based soup with small onion chives. Very tasty. Then comes a salad with absolutely the best dressing I’ve ever had. It’s kind of a combination of thick 1000 Island but not as acidic and heavier in texture. It’s delish. You must order two or hope your child doesn’t like salad so you can take theirs.
The highlight comes early. The oil is spread. The shrimp are placed down in a perfect circular crown (just like the Ron-O logo) and the yolk sauce is laid down on each individual prawn. According to our chef, the yolk sauce, or as we call it, “the cholesterol sauce”, is a combination of yolk and a boatload of oil. It’s bright yellow and thick in texture. It’s addictive and OH SO GOOD! Anyhow, the chef lights the fire and Wham! Kids go scurrying for cover and everyone’s heart drops as the shrimp are set ablaze. Our chef, who will remain nameless, put on a pyromaniacal show. This cook wasn’t going to do a lame volcano. No, this was the “Chicago Fire”. And he went on and on lighting fires. No need to go for an eyebrow wax if you sit too close. The shrimp just melts in your mouth. Dip the shrimp in the secret combination soy-teriyaki sauce. It just melts in your mouth, “like butter”. I recommend ordering an extra one. Perhaps with your meal to spread out the joy.
Next comes the Teppan Vegetables. Mixtures of onions, carrots, zucchini and mushrooms are grilled to perfection. Take some leftover yolk sauce and dunk it in the sauce. Mmm. Bean Sprouts follow and are a real sleeper.
Optional is the fried rice. You have to be nuts not to order it. Chopped up eggs, and all sorts of veggies and meat goodies are in there. Also, with a little fire. It’s served in a separate bowl. At this point you need to loosen the belt and slow down a bit. Your entre is coming. Get the Filet Mignon! I’ve tried the chicken, shrimp, sirloin, lobster, crab. Hey – they are all great, but the filet is out of this world and that’s what Ron of Japan does best. It’s great. Dip it in the sauce and savor it. It’s just a delight.
Desert finally comes. Choices of ice cream or pineapple. It it’s your birthday, everyone comes and sings to you while clapping their hands. I’ve heard the birthday song more in Japanese than in English. Still don’t know the words, but I’m so full and happy that I don’t care.
Your clothes will smell like Ron of Japan when you go. Yes, they have big exhausts, but it’s inevitable. You will also gain 3 pounds, but who cares. The experience is worth it. Choose from Northbrook at 633 Skokie Boulevard at (847) 564-5900 or downtown Chicago at 230 East Ontario Street. The phone number for Ron of Japan is (312) 644-6500.