As the freshest area of prevalent Glenview and Park Ridge’s Blufish sushi bistro, the Vernon Hills eatery has a considerable measure to satisfy – and it succeeds, both in the nature of sustenance and the rich environment. The inside outline is striking, half natural nature-roused and half downtown mixed drink lounge. New hues and crystal fixtures round out the visual experience.
Sushi rules the for the most part Japanese menu, with an auxiliary choice of kitchen courses, noodle dishes, bento box specials for lunch, and a couple riffs on generally Korean dinners, as bibimbop and bulgogi hamburger. The nourishment menu is matched with a broad mixed drink, purpose and wine choice, alongside both transported in and household lagers.
Our appetizers included the bacon scallop and pork belly robatayakis, bulgogi kimchee egg rolls, panko scallops and asparagus beef.
Robatayakis are basically kebabs, two skewers to an order, cooked over an open grill. The bacon scallop version had one gigantic scallop wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon per skewer. Although the bacon could have been slightly crispier, it added a good depth to the well-cooked scallop. The pork belly skewers had four pieces of pork belly each, sitting on a bed of kimchee puree. Cooking pork belly on an open grill is not always easy, but at Blufish, it had a really nice char, albeit a slightly bit chewy. The puree was pretty spicy, so if you like milder foods, ask for it on the side.
The three panko scallops are smaller and breaded, with teriyaki and tomato basil sauce on top of each. These were also exceptionally cooked, and the two-sauce combination is surprisingly sweet and satisfying. We found the beef in the asparagus beef rolls overcooked, but it still had a great charred meat flavor, and worked well with crunchy tempura asparagus.
The bibimbop is a combination of spinach, carrots, mung bean sprouts, nori, shiitake, onion, zucchini and rice with an egg cracked on top. It’s served in a hot stone bowl and has chili sauce on the side that has a satisfying sizzle when you pour it in. Keep in mind that the standard bibimbop doesn’t come with meat; you can add beef for $2.
All of the sushi rolls come in two sizes, short and long. The short rolls come with six pieces each — but they are on the large size, and thankfully the size is because of a lot of fish and not too much rice. All of the fish was incredibly tender and fresh — it didn’t seem like it had ever been frozen. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, the restaurant gives you an option of white rice or the nonstandard black, a nuttier tasting rice with less starch, but still sticky enough to keep the rolls together. It pairs particularly well with the Black Dragon roll.
Aside from the food and atmosphere, the staff at Blufish is top-notch. We were never left wanting for anything, the food was delivered quickly and empty plates cleared just as fast, and our waiter offered insightful ingredient and pairing suggestions.
Going to Blufish was more than just dinner — it was a complete dining experience, paced well and lots of fun. We will definitely be back.