Mirai Sushi Gold Coast is located on Mies Van Der Rohe Way, a four block stretch behind the John Hancock building, and that tells you a lot of what you need to know about the place. It's fancy - this little pocket (yes, it's where Oprah lived) is more like the Upper East Side of Manhattan than it is Chicago, and it's also hidden away such that you might forget about it. But when you remember, you'll be glad.
The neighborhood's ritzy feeling carries into Mirai, which is located at the bottom of the Hilton Hotel. Fortunately, it's not a stuffy hotel restaurant - instead, think casual meal for sophisticated people, which means pretend like you don't still eat cereal out of the box while in your underwear and you'll be just fine. The whole place only has 24 seats, split between the sushi bar and quieter tables.
And the sushi? It's excellent. On another level compared to most other sushi spots in town. Don't plan on ordering deep fried rolls with cream cheese, because they aren't an option. Go heavy on the basics and mix in a big, avocado mousse-topped chef's specialty roll that adds just enough spunk without losing integrity.
Sushi in general isn't cheap, but Mirai isn't any more expensive than its lesser competition around. You might be poor compared to the people who live in the buildings nearby, but you can still eat great sushi amongst them.
A beautifully plated dish with three different styles of sashimi. Fatty tuna topped with fresh wasabi and scalion. Soy marinated salmon. And fresh salmon with soy garlic and onion. A great starter.
Three different kinds of tuna (lean, medium fatty, and fatty), two cuts of white fish, and salmon. Six pieces of quality nigiri for $22 is a great deal, or splurge on the sashimi for $44.
Poached salmon on the inside topped with raw tuna, avocado mousse, and a creamy wasabi sauce. A heavy roll and our favorite of the chef's specials if you want to get something a little different and more substantial.
Spicy octopus roll topped with spicy tuna tartare and sweet unagi sauce. Listen to the sushi chef - no soy sauce here.
Ponzu beef tenderloin over celery root purée, pickled root vegetables, and a spicy ponzu. Great flavored and perfectly cooked beef with a bit of smokiness. You don't need to go outside of sushi here, but feel free to do it because the cooked dishes are just as good.
Don't hold back. All of the sashimi and nigiri are top notch. Our favorites are tuna, uni (sea urchin), and ikura (salmon roe).