The choice: Stay upstairs and watch the superb bartending craft, or venture downstairs to watch a talented chef in action?
The answer should be obvious — both.
Read Phil Vettel’s three star review of Kumiko and Kikkō here!
Why it won: A cocktail omakase or a tear in the space-time continuum? We may never know.
Kumiko is the sophomore project from 2017 Best New Chef Noah Sandoval (Oriole), who takes a half-step back here so that his collaborators—Cara Sandoval, Julia Momose, and Mariya Russell—can shine. Kumiko is more high-concept bar than fully fledged restaurant. Beverage director Momose has created a cocktail omakase as precise as any tasting menu, rooted in the brewing and distilling traditions of Japan but stretching from Okinawan awamori to sotol from Chihuahua, Mexico, in a few graceful leaps.
One of Julia’s highballs, the Tequila Sonic featured on the cover of Modern Luxury’s Men’s Book. Click through to see the feature!
Kikko, a basement restaurant below Japanese-style cocktail bar Kumiko, opening next week
Kikko will make its debut May 22. Reservations are available now via OpenTable.
Julia Momose, on her upcoming Japanese-style cocktail bar, Kumiko
Momose, named one of the America's best mixologists by Food & Wine magazine and formerly of GreenRiver and The Office at Aviary, has partnered with Noah Sandoval, chef at Oriole, and Cara Sandoval, general manager of Oriole to bring the omakase experience to cocktailing.
Just Opened: Highly anticipated Kumiko bar brings Japanese tradition to the bar
Kumiko is a partnership between Momose and Cara and Noah Sandoval, general manager and chef of Oriole. Momose’s husband, Sammy Faze, will join her behind the bar, and she’s brought on Mariya Russell, formerly at Oriole, as chef de cuisine, who will run the kitchen with Noah Sandoval, executive chef. Russell’s husband, Garrett, will also help with the bites, five of which are paired with the cocktails during the omakase experience.
A Sneak Peek at Kumiko, the Upcoming Chicago Bar From Julia Momose
The star bartender, now currently at Oriole in Chicago, gives up the details on her Japanese-inspired bar opening next spring—and where to get a taste of what will be on the menu.
Kumiko Opens In Chicago
Over a year in the making, one of the most anticipated bars to open in Chicago—Kumiko—has finally swung open its doors for business in the West Loop. Spearheaded by Julia Momose (you know her as the bar manager of two-Michelin-starred Oriole), and backed by Oriole’s Noah and Cara Sandoval, the eight-seat bar and formal dining room is completely driven by cocktails with food to match.
KUMIKO: These are the 3 drinks that define Chicago’s most anticipated new bar in years
Last year, Momose and her Oriole partners leased a building around the corner and, after an eternity of buildup, opened Kumiko on New Year’s Eve.
In the midst of what was arguably the biggest week of her career, Momose paused to speak to the three drinks that define Kumiko, her first bar of record.
Kumiko, Chicago’s Most Anticipated Bar of 2018, is Now Open in West Loop
One of Chicago’s biggest openings of 2018 quietly happened after Christmas in the West Loop. Kumiko is the Japanese-inspired bar and restaurant with drinks from acclaimed bartender Julia Momose (GreenRiver, Aviary) and food from Noah Sandoval (Oriole). It debuted on Wednesday and reservations are available via Resy.