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Photograph: Nick Murway
Ani Ramen
Photograph: Barry Brecheisen

Ani is serving Japanese cuisine in Lakeview.

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This Lincoln Park Japanese spot (and sister to Arami) wasn't where we expected to find one of the best bowls of ramen in the city. The tantanmen ramen can make you, albeit briefly, forget your winter woes. The broth, made with nutty sesame and chilis, shimmers with spicy oil and specks of green onion, and comes topped with a firework of cheveux d'ange (impossibly thin ribbons of red pepper). Crisp baby bok choy and tender pork meatballs float on top, and make sure to fish out the delicate bites of sweet kabocha squash that settled at the bottom of the murky sesame depths. Every bite is coated with a slick of chili oil, resulting in pleasant tongue-burning warmth. The cleanly cut sushi is another highlight, and the sake list has many well-chosen options.

Venue name: Ani
Address: 3056 N Lincoln Ave

Opening hours: Sun-Th 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Transport: El: Brown and Purple (rush hour) to Wellington, Brown, Purple and Red to Belmont. Bus: 9.
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