Sai Cafe has the freshest sushi in Chicago, and I've visited many of the most popular Japanese restaurants! I've been there several times with my gf. The first time was on a cold night, we were in the neighborhood and stumbled upon it, and we just wanted some hot entrees. We were incredibly impressed with their nabeyaki udon and sukiyaki. It was delicious and the price was very reasonable. As we were sitting at the sushi bar, the sushi looked too good and I decided to get a few pieces. It was so good we ended up ordering an entire sashimi combo to share!\r
Since then, we have been back many times and have brought friends, both Chicagoans and out-of-towners. We love to sit at the sushi bar when we have a small party b/c the sushi chefs are very friendly, talkative, and often surprise you by putting samples of food on your plate. I definitely recommend you sit at the sushi bar if you can.. they'll take care of you. The owner is also very friendly. He said that more than 80% of his business is from regulars that love the restaurant and keep coming back... we believe him!\r
The honest truth: the prices for sushi aren't cheap, but not steep either. It's on par with other high-quality Japanese restaurants. This isn't some hole-in-the-wall nasty AYCE sushi, so don't expect those prices. I've never tried their rolls because the fish is just so good, I wouldn't want to taint it with misc sauces. It also gets crowded, esp on weekends because the place is so popular, so make a reservation ahead of time. Parking around the area can be difficult, but I've always found something within 10 minutes at most, so it's not too terrible. Bottom line is once you try this place, you'll be hooked!
Pros: incredibly fresh sushi, great hot entrees as well, friendly chefs/owner, sit at sushi bar!
Cons: make a reservation on weekends, street parking a bit difficult but they offer valet