Juno Sushi – Bridging Modern and Traditional Japanese Fare

juno king

Juno King – Photo courtesy of @junosushichicago – https://instagram.com/junosushichicago/

Hi Dense Joyous Modern readers!  I am the new MALS and IDS graduate assistant, Josh Cook.  When I moved from Los Angeles to Chicago for graduate school I didn’t look back.  LA drove me crazy with the traffic, horrible hours at a corporate gig I couldn’t stand and everything being more expensive than the Midwest I grew up in.  I mean eight bucks for a PBR?  C’mon.  There were just two things I missed about LA (not counting the weather).  The first were my friends, obviously but the second was the sushi.  Everything seemed so fresh there and living near Little Tokyo what had been a meal I enjoyed became a staple of my diet.  I was hopeful I could find something similar in Chicago.  It took a while, but I finally did.

Bear with me for a quick disclaimer; I’m not saying the other sushi places I went to here weren’t good but LA had turned me into a sushi snob.  I often went with Hiroshi, a co-worker who was Japanese.  His uncle was a sushi chef…in Japan.  To quote many a failed relationships, it was me, not Chicago sushi…until recently.

Juno Sushi has a sleek, glass store front flanked by a realtor and chiropractor on the ground floor of an apartment building.  The whole structure is next to fun bar, Racine Plumbing.  In general the 2600 block of N. Lincoln Ave isn’t screaming out foodie nirvana, yet there you find Juno.

The front of Juno has a nice bar area, a good place to wait if your friend is running late.  The beer menu is both limited and expensive.  The Tokyo Black and the Wednesday Cat are two really good beers I have not seen elsewhere but at around $8, this can make your meal more expensive than it has to be.

A wall divides the bar and the dining area and once back to the seating area it is filled with light.  There are sky lights and the walls are painted white.  What could quickly turn into the decor of an operating room is made into a sleek, modern restaurant by utilizing accents of black.  Once seated, the outstanding wait staff takes care of you.  The first time I ate at Juno, the manager told us about their menu and explained what they were trying to do at Juno.  I think she does this for anyone’s first visit.

Okay, enough of the fluff portion and let’s get down to the nitty gritty – how good is the food?  Well, amazing doesn’t really do it justice.  I call my mom’s Thanksgiving stuffing amazing.  I would say Juno is Los Angeles-esque.  It could be in the heart of Little Tokyo and still make a killing.  My favorite piece anywhere is the Unagi (eel).  This is one of the few sushi items served warm and has its own sauce.  I know somewhere in So Cal Hiroshi is steaming right now because he told me eel isn’t very popular in Japan.  Whatever.  The Unagi at Juno melts in your mouth.  It is also barely warm, which is a good thing.  Sometimes I have had Unagi be so warm and rubbery that I’m convinced it has been quickly nuked.

Another highlight for me is Tako (Octopus).  I have a love-hate relationship with Tako because it can quickly turn into a chewy fight.  Even at my favorite LA places once in a while I would get some Octopus that just wasn’t that good.  Thankfully Juno is two for two at bringing out the dish so it has the right mix of taste and texture without turning into the feeling of chomping some juicy fruit.

Being a sushi snob I have drifted away from rolls but I try to not be a complete jerk to friends so when less refined palates (i.e. my small-town Iowa dad) want some rolls, I’ll go with the flow.  Juno breaks down their maki (rolls) into signatures and traditional.  While technically not a roll, the Juno King and Juno Queen are similar to maki in their presentation.  The King comes with spicy crab and tuna.  I like getting it as an appetizer because it seems very modern and helps set the tone.


Smoked Sake – Photo courtesy of http://www.junosushichicago.com

Last but certainly not least are the special smoked.  The Hamachi is a fish and it comes with shiitake and sweet corn.  It is brought out in on a plate with a glass dome filled with smoke, yet it is stone cold.  The mix is unusual as you get the smokey taste with something very fresh but very cold.  We asked the waiter the process and he said they keep everything a little above freezing and then when someone orders a smoked item they quickly smoke it in just a couple of minutes.  Whatever mad scientist came up with it, the dish is unlike anything I have ever had.

Despite the food being so good and presented in an upscale way, the prices aren’t horrible.  Last time I dined there it was $75 before tip for just two of us; however, we had about $25 worth of beer.  We also failed to order any maki which comes with more pieces, instead we mixed and matched with their nigiri, the King Juno and the smoked items.  I’m sure without alcohol and less experimental ordering, a meal at Juno can easily be under 50 bucks, which isn’t bad for a date night.

Juno Sushi, 2638 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614


Walkable from both Diversey and Fullerton stations.  Residential neighborhood on surrounding blocks so street parking possible (in theory).  Takes reservations, takes all major credit cards.

AGLSP Confluence Submission Guidelines

Did you know The Association for Graduate Liberal Studies, or AGLSP, has their own publication called Confluence?  This is a wonderful publishing opportunity for MALS and IDS students.  For more information about the publication, check out their homepage.  Here are their submission guidelines:

Confluence welcomes manuscripts from (1) students, (2) faculty, and (3) graduates of AGLSP member programs, including essays, research papers, short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, art pieces, and photography.  The journal also accepts book reviews of interdisciplinary works of interest to the Liberal Arts Community.  Students, faculty, and graduates who are not members of the AGLSP may submit if they establish AGLSP individual membership.  Note:  Alumni are allowed to submit within one year’s time following completion of their graduate degree programs.  To submit beyond this time, one must establish individual AGLSP membership.  See Membership for instructions.

Style Guidelines:

*          Prose manuscripts may be up to 20 double-spaced pages, including bibliography, tables, images, and endnotes.   Poetry should be single-spaced, with each poem limited to 10 pages.  No more than one work of prose, three poems, three art pieces, or three photographs.  You may submit in two genres.  All work must be your original creation.

*          The journal follows the Chicago Manual of Style:  please consult the manual when composing your manuscript.  Use endnotes as opposed to footnotes.  Endnotes should appear directly following the text.

*          12 pt. type, Times New Roman Style

*          The editors must insist that each writer takes care in preparing the manuscript.  Style (italicization, bold underlining, etc.) should be consistent throughout the manuscript such as in the treatment of book titles and foreign words.  Proofread careful for possible errors of any sort, noting especially any foreign or highly technical words or phrases.

*          The first page of your manuscript should begin with the title of the piece, followed by the author’s/authors’ names(s).  The manuscript should follow with no page headers/footers or any other designations.  Please number your pages.  Manuscript should allow for 1” margins.

*          All text, including tables, must be incorporated into the body of the manuscript.  Any graphic material such as photographs or diagrams should be submitted as separate digital files (jpeg.pdf.tff.).  The dimensions of graphics should be no greater than 4.25 inches wide by 6/5 inches high with a resolution of 300 dpi or greater.  The placement of graphic material must be clearly indicated in the body of the manuscript.

*          Prepare a short biographical statement as a separate document.  The biographical statement should be from three to five sentences in length and should include the author’s institutional and program affiliation.  After the biographical statement, also include full phone, email, and mailing information.

*          Submit manuscript and biographical statement files to submissions@AGLSP-Confluence.org in Windows format, Word document, by email to the editor.  In the Subject section of the email, state “Confluence Submission” and the title of your submission.  Your submission will be acknowledged by e-mail and will be under review and consideration for approximately three months.  All rights return to the author of the original work.

Gary D. Swaim, Editor-in-Chief

Confluence: The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies

Southern Methodist University

P.O. Box 750253

Dallas, TX 75275-0253

SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR THE OCTOBER CONFLUENCE HAS PASSED.  Check the AGLSP Confluence webpage for next submission opportunity.

Email: Submissions@AGLSP-Confluence.org

2015 AGLSP Conference


MALS/IDS Director David Gitomer and Associate Director Susan Jacobs will be attending the 2015 Annual AGLSP Conference in San Jose, CA.  The Association for Graduate Liberal Studies brings together graduate Liberal Studies programs throughout the US and Canada  and publishes Confluence,  a magazine devoted to publishing the work of graduate Liberal Studies students.  DePaul’s MALS/IDS representatives attend the conference each year to share “best of practices” and network with approximately 130  similar graduate programs. DePaul’s MALS/IDS Programs hosted the 2013 AGLSP Conference, which featured many of our own students and faculty as presenters and moderators throughout the 3 day event. Check the AGLSP website frequently for national events and publishing opportunities.

Graduate School Open House

Just a reminder DePaul University’s graduate school open house is coming up on Thursday, October 15th, 2015 and the MALS/IDS department will be on hand for all interested parties.  Meet current students and learn about the exciting, self-constructed program you can create with MALS and IDS.

The Open House is 5 pm to 7 pm with an Admissions FAQ panel at 4pm at the Lincoln Park Campus Student Center (room 120):

2250 North Sheffield Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614

For more information about the event or register: Click Here

You can also email gradevents@depaul.edu
Or Call: 773-325-8312

For more information about the MALS/IDS department check out our Contact Us page and feel free to call or email.

See you on October 15th!

Who We Are: Jeff Tangel

Jeff II

Jeff Tangel, MALS, 2012 stands next to one of his libraries.

One of the primary goals of a customized MALS and IDS program is to become more worldly as person; but what if you desire to be worldly for the sake of, well, the world?  Coming as an environmental activist, Jeff Tangel’s self-constructed MALS journey was completed while working with DePaul’s Institute for Nature and Culture.  Jeff’s interdisciplinary studies bridged numerous fields.  “I decided that what I needed was a deeper understanding and the discipline and a process that would shape and meld my varied learning into some sort of cohesiveness.”

One way to attain this deeper understanding was through a wide range of literature. “I saw the MALS core courses as an exciting opportunity to widen my knowledge base – reading Homer and Dante, Raymond Williams and Bruno Latour, Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois… were just what I needed to connect with broader cultural ideas that I had missed or only encountered superficially. Choosing my electives was like being a kid in a candy store.”

Taking these experiences to heart, Jeff helped develop “free little libraries” for Englewood in Chicago’s south side.

Start your self-constructed educational journey today by contacting the DePaul MALS/IDS program.

Who We Are: Anne Walchak

Anne Resource Page

Anne Walchak’s resource page to help educators. Click to expand.

How can a customized IDS degree make you a better educator?  Anne Walchak’s IDS experiences gave her the opportunity to walk a mile in her student’s shoes.  On being an outsider, “I realized learning Arabic was the closest I had ever come to understanding how many of my students felt in school. I had spent most of my graduate study as a student, but as a thriving student. In Arabic, I was a struggling student. The feelings of frustration, empathy for my students, and the admiration for the positivity and understanding of my instructor were another layer to my education I may not have experienced had I not been an IDS student.

A self-constructed program not only allows students to study what they are passionate about but makes for  more worldly individuals.  Walchak cites this personal growth as an advantage to her professional advancement: “IDS gave me the opportunity to develop organically as both a student and a teacher and the platform with which to reflect upon and organize my experiences. June of 2015, I will have a graduate degree that is a true symbol of my passions, personal interests, and professional practice having come together.”

Start your self-constructed educational journey today by contacting the DePaul MALS/IDS program.