June 20, 2012
2045 N. Damen Ave. (Wicker Park/Bucktown)
Dinner: seven days
Open Late: Monday-Saturday till midnight.
Generally humans take the measure of a fish first by sight, then by smell, maybe giving it a poke and if it seems harmless, tasting it. It could be that the perpetually crowded Coast is a lab for a covert sensory experiment: the fanciful maki rolls are served amid a Stygian murk that denies customers the visual test. I suspected something even more sinister at play when a waitress I came to think of as the Sushi Whisperer was drowned out by a young mom at a nearby table bragging about the features on her new double stroller. I really liked the Sunny Side Shiitake appetizer, fried mushrooms bursting with a gooey egg sauce; my companions favorite thing was a mango on a stick, something she could have scored five times over on the sidewalk for the same price. We couldn't much taste the fish any more than we could see it, swaddled as it was with hot sauce, fruit, or whatever other goofy, brightly colored (I think) cake decorations they used to humiliate it. There's sashimi for those who stubbornly remain unimpressed with the clownish signature maki this place sells itself on, and actual grated wasabi-not dyed horseradish-is available for a surcharge, which is a nice touch.
Dark, perpetually crowded BYO sushi place.
Jeff S says... For those of you who loved Sushido, like my wife and I, this place tastes just as good. It is owned by Sushido's old owners. Unfortuantely, as good as the food tasted, the service was equally as bad. The waiters never took our orders for a long time, there was confusion as to who our waiter was, there were long gaps between courses, sushi was brought out one person at a time with the last poerson getting their meal about 10 minutes after the first, and a second order for more sushi was cancelled as it took more than 20 minutes for 2 rolls. That being said, the food was great. The tuna, yellowtail, salmon, crab, shrimp, lobster, and eel were all very fresh and tasty. The volcnao roll (spicy tuna with tempura bits)- which many who rmember Sushido- is not on the menu, but they will make it anyway. The BYOB aspect was excellentas well. Luckily, it is easier to improve service than food, and the restaurant was still only a few weeks old. We will definitely return. ★★★★★
Jaclyn Godic says... the first time i went to coast was shortly after it opened. at that time the place was mostly empty, service was poor, and the sushi was just so-so. what a world of difference. i decided to check it out again after hearing raves from friends. the place was packed--even on a thursday night we had to wait about a half hour for a table for 2. definitely worth the wait. the jalapeno miso was awesome--a really nice twist to the classic presentation. the exotic tempura is great--i really wasn't sure what most of the stuff i was eating was, but it was all good! and the sauce accompanying it was more flavorful than what i usually find accompanying tempura. the edamame was very fresh and plump--served warm and lightly salted, just right. i had veggie rolls: shitakke mushrooms and asparagus. the mushroom one was really good--they were marinated in something yummy. the asparagus was pretty bland. the clear favorite from the seafood rolls we tried was the coast crab maki--so fresh and flavorful! nothing on the dessert menu really sounded great so we passed on that--it was mostly standard japanese fare. overall a really great experience. very glad i gave coast another shot. ★★★★★
Charlotte Tan says... Great sushi... I am absolutely in love with the Coast Crunch. Servers were friendly. Sushi was super fresh and the pieces were generous. Not much rice in the nigri sushi, which made me eat more, but that's the way I prefer it though. This is my new fave sushi restaurant in the city. ★★★★★