“great food and atmosphere”
“Our server had the gall to insist that we order our dessert, or anything else we wanted, before we were even halfway through with our entrees!”
“also, if you want to make a night of dinner and drinks they have a great lounge in the basement that has a patio on the river.”
“The food was decent, but not worth the price.”
“The food is pretty delicious and they have some great drink choices, especially the Lychee Martini.”
“good place for groups or date night.”
“It has a nice trendy feel to it, but I would never return; nor would I suggest the restaurant to anyone else.”
“In the crowded bar, a "gentleman" next to me accused me of "leaning on him" and proceeded to throw his "power" around by "telling on me" to the hostess, who fed his behavior and gave a nasty walkby and sarcastic "hi girls.”
“have sent hotel guests to Japonais many times and have personally dined there five times now and each time I receive canned, lackluster service from the waiters, slightly above average food when and if it arrives, aloof attitudes from the people at the ”
“The service was slow, the tables were cramped-we learned WAY too much about the people next to us, and the food was average.”
I haven't been to Japonais in 6 or 7 years, but it's been getting some hype lately. So I went in for (an expensive) lunch last week and it was delicious. I recommend the lobster spring rolls, crab cake, spicy tuna and any of the rolls.
Don't eat here if your hungry.
OK! THIS PLACE S*KS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I Came here with my wife hungry and ready to eat a meal. What I ordered was a steak but what I got was about five small thin slices of beef and some sissy decorations of sauce and parsley around it. The bill was $185.00 plus tip for a bottle of shiraz a steak and an order of fish for my wife. Ok it was more like a goldfish covered in a few pieces of lettuce. We ended up eating McDonalds afterwards. Bottom line If your hungry then don't eat here. If you want to waist your money or listen to some soft sissy food critic then eat here.
Poor management. Cannot get the orders right. Disappointed. Read on.... I am so sick and tired of the incompetence exhibited by the staff and sushi "chefs" at this place. If I order a salmon and cucumber roll, inside out, and easy on the rice (with emphasis on the last part), I fully expect that my $7.75 roll will come out as ordered. However, on each of the three separate occasions on which I have dined at Japonais, they have been unable to get it right. Instead, that pile the rice on and give very little fish. This is unacceptable for the price. I would much prefer to spend $6.00 per roll at Coast or South Coast where they understand english and care about satisfying their customers. The other day, my wife had to return her salmon roll THREE times, only for them to **** it up each time. It is quite apparent that management at Japonais has no interest in providing quality service and food, but is more concerned with staying "trendy" for the bags that frequent there after hours to drink in the lounge. I will not visit Japonais again.
Missing belongings. Birthday night started off great....it was my first time at Japanois with few of my friends. Food was good, atmosphere pleasant, and serive nice. We decided to have drinks downstairs at the lounge after dinner. The 3 of us sat in the bar area talking and laughing for about 30 min. After a drink we left upstairs to get our car from valet and noticed right away that we didnt have our camera. My friend rushed back downstairs and everything was cleaned off....including the Birthday envelope I had left with money. They claimed that nothing was there and assumed maybe someone walked by in that 2 minutes and took it. The catch was that no one was down there except 2 elderly couples in the corner talking. The bus boys and some manager was standing by us the whole time while we were there. It made no sense that within that time frame both the $300 camera and envelope with money was gone. Bar cleaned off, garbage searched, and items nowhere in sight. We spoke with another manager who instead of taking action she gave us the "We are not responsible for lost or stolen items, here's my card, and we'll call you if it turns up"! The only people near us that whole time were the bus boys who were cleaning near and around us before, during, and after. Im the last person to point fingers and accuse, but that situation made no sense. You couldnt miss the camera and envelope. I would have liked to seen something done at that moment when it was reported. Not treated as if it was our problem and that their employees would have never done such a thing. Very sickened by this experience and will never go back! Just look at the other reviews yourself. Your treated like a child and not a customer who, by the way, spends well over $100 each. I am disgusted and frustrated!
I loved the food at Mirai (Japonais' sister restaurant), and always ordered the tuna tuna salmon and spicy mono. With that said, I have taken my boyfriend to Japonais a few times, however with the lack of quality customer service by the wait/bar staff and management he has grown a strong hatred for this infamous River North sushi spot. Its such a shame because I love Mirai, but I live in the River North, and we cannot even enjoy one single night at Japonais without feeling judged or becoming upset. If anyone is looking for Japonais' sushi, go to Mirai! They offer the same menu (with some additions and exceptions like the rock) without the pretentious atmosphere. Its my favorite sushi restaurant in town and I always take advantage of the upscale dining lounge upstairs.
Don't waste your time, money, and energy investing in a restaurant that does NOT deserve to be open! If there are any good reviews on this site, its probably because the managers posted them or made their staff do it.
Oh, yes and one more thing...they recently got busted a little over a week ago for flies in the kitchen and on the prepped food. YIKES!
Don't beleive the hype.
I've dined at most of my fair city's finest places. I have also been to several real Asian restaurants. I've been to Japonais a couple of times for cocktails but never ate there because everyone I know has told me it is average at best. I had a friend in town. She had read about it in and wanted to try it, so we went.
Lets start with the positive aspects, the decor (It is a beautiful place with atmosphere) and the Host and Server were polite. That's it.
Now, let me share the negatives of my experience.
We started at the bar where I was served a drink in a broken glass the cut my lip. With bloood running down my chin, I brought the issue to the bartender?s attention. She gave me a napkin for my cut, replaced my drink and she may have mumbled "sorry" but she said it and turned and walked away so fast that I couldn?t tell. This was at 5:15 pm . They open for dinner at 5pm, so it wasn't like she was busy. I think she really didn?t care.
My friend was so taken by the atmosphere that she wanted to stay for dinner, so we did. Now lets talk about the food. The potions are ridiculously small. That wouldn?t have been an issue if the food was great, even good, but it was just bad. The Lobster Spring Rolls and Crab Cakes had a nasty freezer burnt taste. The Maki rolls were falling apart, had little meat and were dry. 3 of the 5 the Oysters Gratin seemed to have no oyster in them. The Koby beef tasted like skirt steak. I like skirt steak but the entree cost $75. Similar steak is available down the block, on a bun, with fries and a drink for $8.
Better Asian food can be found throughout the Chicagoland area for half the price.
Don't go to Japonais.
Overall, Simply Average. I really do not understand how this is considered to be one of the better restaurants in Chicago. I here that it is Opera favorite. I have to admit that the food is good. Some of the better sushi I have had, however, the restaurant is just too loud. I wanted and expected to have a great meal instead I was seated at a table that was too small for the party that I was with and I had to strain myself to hear the person next to me. For a place that is supposed to be this nice that is unacceptable. In the end I have to mark in not recommended simply do to the atmosphere. I have never been to a place that has missed the mark by so much.
Extremely bad service for a food that can be found in other places in Chicago.
Food tastes good, but I give them one star. Actually I think they deserve the half of it.
I had a dinner with a big group of friends (22 in total), the food was good, the service was just fine, and at the end of the night we decided to pay. They brought us the bill, and we gave them approximately 10 or 12 credit cards.
There was an average of $120 per person, and of course, nobody was going to pay for 21 people in a Saturday night. So, somebody came back to ask us for 4 credit cards for the total bill. We could not believe that there was no possibility to pay an average of $240 per credit card, so we asked for the manager.
Here comes the most important thing. The manager comes to usand instead of trying to give us options to pay, he started to discuss with some of us. Later on, it was impossible to believe, but he brought two security guys.
The most of us were sitted, and they had our credit cards.. so, the story continues... instead of giving us options to pay (come on, there are even cash machines inside the restaurant) he called the police!!!!
Then the police arrived in the middle of the restaurant. Probably they could see the shortness of mind of the manager, so they were very nice with us. Actually they were smiling and left soon. That was lovely police!!!
So, at the end of the night some of us had to walk away from the restaurant (the cash machine does not give more than 100 dollars plus a fee per transaction) and pay the bill.
Was it necessary to make this big deal for people that:
1. Was going to pay
2. Were nice to him
3. Are customers
4. Were giving a 18% of tip (more than 300$ in the check)
5. Now want to talk this horrible story to all his friends in Chicago.
I dont know. Consider if you really want to go to this place. There are awesome sushi places in Chicago, go to another one. Japonais is pretentious.
Worst "fine dinning" experience ever!!!!!!!!!!!.
- the place is a night club, not a restaurant - crowded, loud music and impossible to get a drink
- almost 2 hours waiting to be seated when we had reservations
- during the endless wait, floor manager kept asking us to "be compact" - what's that suppose to mean?? we were already more close to each other then we wanted because the place was uncomfortably crowded!!!!
- almost 1hour for somebody to finally come and take our order
- before our food even came, they let us know it was the kitchen's last call - how could we possibly know if we would want more food before anything arrived???
- finally, just for a perfect closure for the nightmare evening, they refused to take more than 4 credit cards to pay for the check - we were sixteen people! If that's their stupid policy, they should have let us know before making our reservation! And the annoying manager tried to convince me this was a "system defficiency" - please, don't insult me!!!
Valentine's Day massacre (Abbreviated version of review). If you?re looking for a place to go on a holiday with a special someone avoid going to Japonais. There is a list of restrictions and guarantees that were required of Japonais? customers (i.e. $75 a person minimum, $100 reservation cancellation fee, 2 hour maximum table time), which is somewhat understandable from a 3 star restaurant on Valentine?s Day in Chicago. After arriving 45 mins ahead of our reservation we were corralled into the bar/lounge area to wait for table. Here is where we waited for 2 hours and 15 mins before I went to the host and asked how much longer till we can get a table the host responded ?we have been looking for you, where have you been?? I explained I hadn?t moved from the area in which you instructed me to be in. When we finally were seated we ordered a variety of food including the rock appetizer, 2 rolls of sushi, a chef specialty and a filet mignon. The rock appetizer was tasty. The sushi had an added bonus, a piece of hair in between the pieces of ginger. I ?explained? that we no longer want their ?fresh? sushi. The manager came over to inform us that we were no longer required to spend the minimum of $75 a person. My $68 Kobe Spice Ribeye was rare even though I ordered it medium-well. After sending it back the manager returned again and explained that he was once again sorry and offered to buy us dessert. My girlfriend?s filet mignon was good but she was upset that I had to watch her eat instead of enjoying a meal with her on Valentine?s Day. After the ribeye made its return I was so disgusted with Japonais I only ate 2 bites and asked for the check. They removed the sushi (which we ate 1 piece) and the rock from the bill because of our bad experience which I felt still didn?t rectify the problem, but I was so disappointed I was not about to argue. I would not recommend this restaurant to anybody and would highly suggest going elsewhere for Japanese type cuisine. I would be embarrassed to be the owner or an investor in Japonais.
Best Japanese Food & Atmosphere. This place is AWESOME!!! I took my brother, my wife and my parents out to dinner on a Saturday night. We had 9:00pm reservations and although we had to wait about 20 minutes to be sat for our table we enjoyed the energy in their lounge. The music was good and the people were beautiful. Now i have to admit i too was hesitant about going based on some of these reviews, but honestly i had to check it out for myself and i tell you what...It was worth it. We were told our table was ready and sat by a very attractive and friendly hostess. The server came by a few minutes after we were sat and welcomed us to Japonais. He asked if we had ever been here before and we all said that it was our first time. He went on to explain the difference of the two kitchens and the continuous flow of food. We decided to do a chef tasting since we wanted to try just about everything. The way the food came out was great. It even went from lightest to heaviest...i was very suprised since i didn't think that the server knew what he was doing. All in all the service, atmosphere and energy were right up our alley. I would recommend this place to all my friends and family.
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