Yesterday's Brunch: Gen Japanese Restaurant
While the husband was off pondering over baseball players for the first of his many fantasy drafts, I met up with the CLC and Jimmy-John for some Japanese brunch at Gen. I first noticed this place because their logo is similiar to the Korean word for Hong and because I don't think I ever saw it open. Also, it sticks out on a relatively unattractive stretch of Prospect Heights, flanked by wholesale liquor stores and hiddeous new construction. The CLC had recently tried their newish brunch with her mom and was all raves. I know some people might be turned off by the idea of brunch at a Japanese restaurant, but mostly folks are just probably misinformed and scared.
You can order Japanese dishes and sushi a la carte or go with the prix-fix brunch, which is what I did. At $13, it's quite a deal. To drink, you can pick from a selection of teas or Cafe Du Monde coffee. On top of that you get a choice of juice (orange, cranberry or tomato) or cocktail (sake mimosa or cranberry sake spritzer type beverage). I went with coffee and the spritzer, the CLC barley tea and cranberry juice and Jim, who did not go with the special brunch ordered a ginger ale with a splash of cranberry.
All the brunch bentos begin with the soup of the day. On Sunday it was a savory chicken vegetable (potato chunks, napa cabbage ribbons and lima beans!) Not terribly Japanese, but tasty nonetheless.
To accompany your main course, you also get the following: a piece of green tea pancake with a dollop of sweetened red beans, mini-chirashi and a mini-omelet with king crab, parmasaen, tomato and onion. The mini-chirashi was built with a mound of seasoned wild rice as its foundation. Pieces of whitefish, salmon and smoked salmon sashimi were draped over it and then topped with salmon roe and green tobiko.
I had a tough time picking my main but ultimately went with the salad with tuna two ways. I know Sunday isn't the best day to order fish, but I took a chance and it worked out fine. The salad was composed of pieces of fresh tuna and pressed, deep fried tuna and avocado slices over a bed of lettuces, tomato, red cabbage and carrot strands. Served on the side was a salty and tart yuzu caper dressing. At first I dipped my salad into my dressing, but then wound up just pouring it over everything which worked out just fine, thank you.
I ate it all, although I did share some of my pancake with Jim. It was delicious and such a nice alternative to full sized omelets and home fries. I liked getting a little bit of sweet to go with my savory. I liked the lack of bread, which I eat way too much of anyway. The only non-plus was the service. It wasn't a minus since she was quite attentive (there was only one other table eating), but she was kind of strange. Jim had finished eating his oyako-don but there was still a little bit of food left. When the waitress came to clear his plate, she seemed a little annoyed that he hadn't eaten everything. Also, she seemed to be having a contentious conversation with one of the sushi chefs about the way the menu was written out. Although they had nothing to do with each other, it didn't help matters when Beth loudly complained about girls with schmatas on their heads since our waitress was wearing a headwrap herself!
I hope some of this appeals to DMR since I plan on eating brunch here EVERY WEEKEND. Just kidding, we can alternate with Bonitas.
I also thought that I was picking up menu #2 for the new apartment (The Smoke Joint being menu #1), but turns out we'll be 2 blocks too North for their delivery range.