Whenever I get into a "food funk" on the road, I've found that sushi usually pulls me out of it. One evening in the northern Chicago suburbs, I wasn't certain what I wanted for dinner. I didn't want pizza since I knew I was going to go out for pizza the next evening. A burger was out of the question. I thought about Thai food or a steak, but those ideas just didn't trip my trigger. I did a quick Urbanspoon search to see what was in the area and found a place called Nobori Sushi on Waukegan Ave. in Glenview. (see map) I set my GPS and took off for Nobori Sushi.
Noburu Nakamura is the man behind Nobori Sushi. He grew up in the Kanto region of Japan and immigrated to the U.S. over 30 years ago to work in a sushi restaurant in New York City. There are dozens of sushi restaurants in Greenwich Village and Noburu found work at one such restaurant. About 25 years ago, he moved to Chicago and began to work in a number of sushi places around the area.
In 2010, Noburu decided to open his own sushi restaurant suburban Glenview in a strip mall along busy Waukegan Ave. The name "Nobori" means "sun rising in the morning" and Nakamura believed the restaurant would also rise to greatness.
It was around 7:30 when I entered Nobori Sushi. The place was half full of patrons, so seating was no problem. I looked to sit at the sushi bar as I'm want to do when I eat sushi by myself, but there were curiously no chairs in front of the small sushi case. I was ushered toward the back of the restaurant and given a menu by, I believe, Mr. Noburu Nakamura himself.
The restaurant is not large and has your typical contemporary Japanese restaurant decor. A number of tables and chairs hug the wall and it has a number of can lights that helped keep the ambiance to the restaurant warm and inviting.
I was there for the sushi even though Nobori Sushi has a number of teriyaki entrees including chicken teriyaki, beef and asparagus teriyaki, and tuna or salmon teriyaki. They also had a number of noodle-based dishes to choose from on the menu including ramen noodles and yakisoba with chicken, vegetables and noodles.
When Noburu came back to ask me what I wanted to drink I asked for an Asahi beer, then told him that I was ready to order up some sushi. I ordered a spicy tuna roll, some smoked salmon sushi, as well as tuna, yellowtail and shrimp sushi. He said he'd have it right out.
And less than 10 minutes later he came over with the sushi platter. The spicy tuna rolls were wrapped with seaweed and weren't exactly the largest spicy tuna rolls I've ever had. But they were very good and had a nice kick to the flavor. The smoked salmon sushi was also very good with a nice forward smoke flavor to the bite. I liked the shrimp sushi, as well. It had a nice sweet taste and the shrimp meat was firm, not soggy. While the tuna was also pretty good, I'll have to say the yellowtail was a little mushy and had a hint of a fishy taste to it. It was probably at the end of its cycle in the sushi case, but it was far from bad.
Noburu came over after I finished and asked if I wanted another Asahi or more sushi. I contemplated getting a couple more pieces of either the tuna or the smoked salmon, but decided I'd had enough. I was full enough from what I had just eaten.
Nobori Sushi was fine - a pleasant find of a good sushi meal. The service was fine, the food was above average and the place was comfortable. Not being able to sit at the sushi bar to watch the chefs prepare the meal was a little disheartening, but I was comfortable at the table. There's a number of good to great sushi places in the Glenview/Northbrook area and Nobori Sushi can be added to that list.