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Cocoro Reviews List

Cocoro

Since 1996,Cocoro East has been one of Chicago's rare Japanese restaurant where fusion takes a back seat to authentic fare. The owner, chefs and even servers are Japanese,so,when in Chicago,the Japanese know where to go for "down home"comfort(and even fancy) food done the exactly correct way. The very experienced, professional staff, however is also quite creative and accommodating. Specialties include sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, ramen and other noodle soups, sushi/sashimi and many other dishes that might otherwise involve a 14-hr plane ride. Gallery folk, other neighbors and annual convention visitors are the regulars for Cocoro's healthy,exotic,delicious food and warm,friendly,relaxed atmosphere. From a full bar to a high-chair or two, Cocoro is ready for your date, group, me-time or special event!
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25 Current Reviews
Summary of Diner Ratings & Reviews
Overall 
3.8 / 5
(Very Good) 3.8 / 5
(25 Reviews)
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Breakdown 25 reviews
5 stars
(8)
4 stars
(10)
3 stars
(3)
2 stars
(2)
1 star
(2)
Food 
4.1 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.1 / 5
Service 
3.5 / 5
(Very Good) 3.5 / 5
Ambiance 
3.5 / 5
(Very Good) 3.5 / 5
Noise Level
2.6 / 3
Energetic
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Diners classify this restaurant as:
  • neighborhood gem(11)
  • fit for foodies(8)
  • good for groups(6)
  • special occasion(3)
  • great for lunch(2)
  • kid-friendly(2)
Cocoro Reviews List
Review 1 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/14/2015
 2015
Dined on 3/14/2015
 2015
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 3/14/2015
 2015
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Review 2 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 11/01/2014
 2009
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Review 3 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5

Terrible

Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"This was one of the worst dining experiences I've had in some time. Even with a reservation and hardly anyone there, it took 20 minutes for us to be asked about our order for dinner. The wait staff were standing around a lot. The male waiter was waving his hands around constantly talking to the female waiter. It was odd and distracting. He also stopped by our table twice rambling on about basically the entire menu with no real information. Everything "was really good." He wasn't even our waiter. He made the experience worse. We ordered grilled eggplant and what we got was smushed, gross looking eggplant. It was maybe the worst thing I've ever eaten at a restaurant in Chicago. The male waiter asked us what we thought about what we had so far. I told him it wasn't good. He kind of shrugged and agreed. Nothing was done by them. The sushi was actually nto that bad. The wait staff was slow and not really useful. There is no ambiance unless you think the way to cover up cracks in the wall is with greeting cards. I'm not joking. I will never go back."
Dined on 3/16/2015
 2007
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Review 4 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Ichiban!

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"I am 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Mexican - first time in Chicago and had a desire for Udon(Japanese noodle soup). This is hard to find in any but traditional Japanese restaurants!
Cocoro is exactly that - small; clean and wonderful, Japanese cuisine.
Good for on the run or a wonderful, special dinner.
Ichiban!
"
Dined on 3/13/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies
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Review 5 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5

Comically bad

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/10/2015
 2008
Dined on 3/10/2015
 2008
Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
"The service was comically bad. Multiple forgotten dishes, incorrect orders, super long wait between various dishes. We think our waiter was actually an alien imposter trying trying to impersonate a waiter. Some of our party genuinely thought we were on some kind of hidden camera show. If you don't really care about service and are OK with bland at best food this could be the place for you."
Dined on 3/10/2015
 2008
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Review 6 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"While the food was good the overall service and experience was a huge disappointment. The server gets our orders wrong but we couldn't tell him that because he simply disappeared from the table. Waited 30minutes before getting our first drinks. 2.5 hours late we were still waiting for 2 last rolls. His response? "Chef has prepared this, it's not what you ordered but would you like it" no thanks - we'd rather be on our way now. I would not return here. There are many better options in that area."
Dined on 3/07/2015
 2008
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Review 7 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Always a great time

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"Very authentic Japanese cuisine! You know when the place is packed with Japanese patrons it must be the real deal. Their noodle soups can be on the spendy side but they're huge and more than enough for 2 people. The takoyaki is always a favorite! The sushi rolls themselves are fine, but I would steer more towards pieces (which are great!) They used to be BYOB, but they have more recently gotten rid of that policy. $5 cocktails are still always on special, and dang are they strong!"
Dined on 2/11/2015
 2012
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Review 8 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Good Food

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"Delicious. ..very good food. would definitely go again. .and sooner than later. Highly recommend."
Dined on 2/14/2015
 2014
Special Features: neighborhood gem
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Review 9 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Great sushi! Frazzled waiter

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 2/06/2015
 2014
Dined on 2/06/2015
 2014
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"The sushi was great! Very original rolls and other options for non shushi eaters. The restaurant was loud enough that we didn't feel disruptive with our large group and still quiet enough to hear each other. We had a group of ten which seemed to be a challenge for our waiter. He took our order in three groups, walking away from the table each time and we kept having to flag him down for the rest of us to order.
The meals all came out approximately together though so in the end it was okay.
I would still recommend checking it out before a night out as it's reasonably priced for this neighborhood.
"
Dined on 2/06/2015
 2014
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies
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Review 10 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Finally, a great Japanese restaurant downtown!

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/27/2014
 2007
Dined on 12/27/2014
 2007
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
"This was our first dining experience at Cocoro. With Ai sushi closing last year, we were in search of a high quality casual sushi place in the downtown area. We like Masaki too but felt that it was a bit pricey for everyday dining. Kamehachi is also an options but all they have is a sushi bar. We were a party of four and we ordered several appetizers: the Manila clams were excellent. Cooker has traditional Japanese appetizers that were overall excellent. We also ordered Maki rolls and sushi al la carte, I especially liked the Aji, the Salmon, and the Unagi (done to perfection). You can tell the sushi was very fresh and not left over. We also tried their soup ramen noodles--that was really good. The soup base was made with real ingredients instead of that instant stuff found in most other restaurants. We finished with green tea ice cream and home made red bean paste. Overall, an excellent dining experience, will definitely go again."
Dined on 12/27/2014
 2007
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
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Review 11 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Great food

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"The sushi was great, but even the appetizers were amazing. Everything is done well here."
Dined on 12/19/2014
 2013
Special Features: neighborhood gem, special occasion
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Review 12 for Cocoro
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Excellent traditional Japanese cuisine downtown!!

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/06/2014
 2005
Dined on 12/06/2014
 2005
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
"We were a party of 9 and ordered too much. If you get some of the large dishes (tempura) ask if it comes with salad and miso soup before ordering those items as appetizers. We ordered family style to try different things, which I'd recommend. You can always order more sushi... Had reservations at 6pm and it was pretty empty. It was packed after 6:30pm.
LOVED that this was traditional Japanese downtown, without being fusion (I can get that throughout the city)! Great neighborhood find.
Street parking (esp on Huron) was easy before 6pm. Much cheaper than the parking lot across the street.
Will definitely be back!"
Dined on 12/06/2014
 2005
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, late-night find
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Ratings-Only Reviews for Cocoro
Based on the average of (13) ratings-only reviews
Overall 
3.9 / 5
(Very Good) 3.9 / 5
9 out of 10 recommend this product
Food 
4.2 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.2 / 5
Service 
3.9 / 5
(Very Good) 3.9 / 5
Ambiance 
3.7 / 5
(Very Good) 3.7 / 5
Noise Level
2.7 / 3
Energetic