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Top Sushi Restaurants in Lake County

From sashimi to maki, these Lake County restaurants offer the best sushi.

An+array+of+sushi+at+Kawa.+Photo+by+Paige+Gruber.+
An array of sushi at Kawa. Photo by Paige Gruber.

An array of sushi at Kawa. Photo by Paige Gruber.

An array of sushi at Kawa. Photo by Paige Gruber.

Madison Paddock, Managing Editor

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There’s something about ethnic food that makes it so much more appealing than just a simple burger or french fries. For me, the exotic flavors of sushi are much more enticing than a classic American meal. The struggle with searching for a good sushi restaurant, like the struggle of finding any new restaurant, is balancing a modest cost with a quality roll of sushi. All sushi-lovers tend to have their personal favorite hot spots and these four local establishments should certainly top everyone’s list.

Kawa

Back when I first started to like sushi and was just an amateur at finding great sushi restaurants, I stumbled upon Kawa in Grayslake. Kawa isn’t just the average sushi bar, as it also a Mongolian BBQ–fresh meats, vegetables and noodles–cooked in front of you by chefs on a flat top grill. Although their Mongolian BBQ is incredible, the sushi at Kawa really steals the show.

The Fallen Angel Roll just cannot be competed with, it features spicy crab meat, seaweed salad, avocado, crunch and seared scallop, and is absolutely delicious. The unique environment of Kawa adds a fun touch to the dining experience; there are options to sit in the regular dining room, at the sushi bar or even to dine in one of the private traditional Japanese Tatami dining rooms, where you remove your shoes and dine seated on a pillow on the floor.

Kawa is the perfect pick for a celebration or just a night out.

Check out Kawa here.

Asian Harbor

After a string of failed restaurants and businesses moving in and out of the empty lot in Antioch where Asian Harbor now resides, one might guess that this restaurant would be another flop, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Asian Harbor is not only one of the best restaurants in Antioch, but also one of the best options for sushi in Lake County. Asian Harbor offers classic Chinese, Japanese and Thai food, but its sushi is by far the highlight.

As an Antioch resident, I’ve been to Asian Harbor more times than I can count and each new roll I’ve tried has yet to disappoint. My personal favorite is the Christmas Roll–spicy crab, avocado, white tuna, miso sauce and hot sauce–but the menu has options for every tastebud. From the sweet and fruity Mango Tango Roll to the spicy Mexican Roll, Asian Harbor has it all. As for the atmosphere, the restaurant is upscale and classic whether you are eating in the dining room or at the sushi bar.

Check out Asian Harbor’s menu here. 

SakeZake Sushi

This cozy restaurant is lodged in a strip mall in Grayslake, with a homey yet upscale environment. Its menu ranges from the classic California Roll to the house special, the SakeZake, which combines tuna, cream cheese, asparagus, crab, avocado and shrimp tempura for a blend of unique flavors. The restaurant also offers other Asian-American dishes all for an extremely affordable price.

If you’re looking for a cheap, low-key night out for sushi, SakeZake is the place to be.

Check out SakeZake Sushi here.

Shakou Sushi

When I say that Shakou Sushi in Libertyville makes the best sushi I’ve ever tasted, it’s not exaggeration. And, trust me, I’ve tried a lot of different sushi. On a recent trip to the restaurant for Valentine’s Day dinner, I was more than impressed. The urban decor of the interior is accompanied by a hip upstairs lounge where there are occasional performances by various DJs.

The menu includes unique blends of flavors that you can’t find anywhere else, like the blend of smokey seared salmon and sweet fruit in the Pink Cadillac. The presentation of the sushi is nothing short of beautiful, either. The Volcano Roll is served to you in the shape of a volcano, and Shakou even manages to make the calamari appetizer look almost too good to eat. If you’re really looking to go all out, go for the Sushi Boat, which includes 12 pieces of nigiri, 20 pieces of sashimi, two signature maki and one basic maki.

Although Shakou Sushi is a bit of a splurge compared to the other restaurants on this list, it has my highest recommendation for a sushi restaurant in Lake County.

Check out Shakou Sushi here.

Various maki rolls served at Shakou Sushi. Photo by Paige Gruber.

Various maki rolls served at Shakou Sushi. Photo by Paige Gruber.

Various maki rolls served at Shakou Sushi. Photo by Paige Gruber.

Various maki rolls served at Shakou Sushi. Photo by Paige Gruber.

 

 

 

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Top Sushi Restaurants in Lake County