The Kamehachi on Wells, in Old Town, is supposed to be a Chicago institution, and bills itself as Chicago's original sushi bar since 1967. I don't understand why it doesn't carry itself better, because if it did the place would be packed all the time. The sushi here is great, the service not so much and I have experienced a lot of bad service over the years. While some of the other locations do require waiting, I have never had to wait at this location. The first floor is generally filled with casual diners, but there is a dining room upstairs that is a little more comfy and traditional. The first couple of dining experiences I had I dined downstairs and the service was great, with very good sushi. The two times I dined upstairs I had to be getting up to get refills, retrieve dishes and find out where our waitress went. Drinks we ordered never came and even had I wanted to get something else after dinner, we were never given the option. As for the food, it is definitely not the best sushi I have had, but its very good. Everything always tastes and looks fresh, the options are good and everything is pretty traditional so you know what you are getting. I love sushi and the location is convenient when I am in the area. I do wish the service was better though because bad service just ruins the meal. Because of the casual atmosphere it is a great place to take someone that you want to get to know better, both upstairs and down. Its also a great place to just pop in with a friend when you haven't made reservations anywhere or need a break from shopping. Oh, bonus at this location, they sometimes will have a guy there to valet your car.
My family of four went here for dinner last night. My husband called ahead to ask if it was a family-friendly kinda place. They assured us that our kiddos were absolutely welcome, but unfortunately they didn't have highchairs or boosters. (He asked if we could bring our own travel booster- or if that would be obnoxious. Regardless of what they *thought,* they said it'd be a-ok.) They had reserved a nice table for us and proceeded to make us feel extremely welcome. (Not always the case while dining out with a pre-schooler and an infant in tow!) The gals split the veggie tempura, edamame, and gyozas. (Not one bite was left.) My husband and I ordered a bunch of their special makis; the spider, the honey (sweetened tempura around super white tuna), and the sakura- a glorious mix of tuna, mango, pink rice paper, and magic. The portions were generous (we agreed that the sakura especially ate like a meal) and the food was prompt. I officially love this place.
Came there last night with my wife and two young children (5 & 7 yrl old). We requested to use the private room and were informed it would cost an extra twenty bucks if our tab is less than $100. We agreed with the arrangement and were very glad to make that choice. My children really enjoyed the experience and we all enjoyed our food. I ordered the Salmon Teriyake and my wife ordered the steak with garlic sauce, both turned out excellent. My children split a teriyake chicken plate and that also turned it great. We also ordered their popular sashimi and that was also great. Yes, the chef their is Mexican but this guy has been making sushi and Japanese food for over 20 years. I've lived in the neighborhood for 17 years and this chef had been working there since. Be ready to shell out some cash to really enjoy their food.