A relative newcomer to the Chicago restaurant scene, I learned of this Pan-Asian gem, Republic, through my subscription to the e-zine Daily Candy. On a busy corner of Rush and Ontario, just a block from Michigan Ave, Republic seems a world apart. Dressed in hip new clothes, the space has an uber style. A lotus shaped ceiling tray sits above the busy bar. That's where I sat, with a perfect view of the scene and the Kung-Fu movies projected on the wall.
I started with some sake- Sato No Homare ( Pride of the Village) - this was a Junmai ginjo grade sake, not to be confused with the Dai ginjo cousin which is an upgrade- clearly sake has a language of its own.
After a bowl of edamame in sesame sauce, and a fresh bowl of tom kha ( a citrus coconut broth with straw mushrooms, tomatoes, cilantro and tofu), I opted for maki and one of the house specialties, a Tochigi roll, built with fresh tuna in a spicy sauce, covered in mango and avocado.