💐 Celebrate four years of Mom’s greatest hits

Food & Drink

May 12, 2023

Your Mom’s so old she turns four the day after Mother’s Day.

Come on. I would never disrespect your moms like that. I’m talking about Mom’s Chicago, chef Kelly Ijichi’s Japanese American comfort food pop-up, which has been slinging katsu sandos, smashburgers on furikake milk bread, and coconut butter mochi for four turns around the sun. That’s a lifetime in pop-up years, which entitles us all to an evening of Mom’s Greatest Hits at the next Monday Night Foodball, the Reader’s weekly chef pop-up series.
I’ve been pining for Mom’s katsu sando since the early days at
Politan Row. It’s bedded between cirrus clouds of Japanese milk bread, sandwiching strata of crispy pork cutlet, Sichuan-chili-spiked mayo, acidic tsukemono-style pickled cucumbers, cool shredded cabbage, and pea greens.

Foodball vet Ijichi developed a similarly indelible signature during her long residency at Marz Community Brewing: a short-rib and brisket smashburger topped with American cheese, sweet soy pickles, and chili mayo on a housemade furikake-milk bread bun. “We got so crushed with burgers when we were at the brewery,” she says. “It was like all we were doing for a while. We haven’t done it in over a year, but I get so many DMs about the burger.”
And there’s another: during a long bento box residency at Konbini & Kanpai, the Kakuni Don emerged: a sake-braised pork belly rice bowl with a soy-marinated egg, pickled mustard greens, and sinus-scouring Japanese mustard.
Ijichi’s reprising them all (with a side of garlic butter–nori fries for the sandwiches), along with her cool soba noodles with shaved daikon and marinated eggplant in a vegan dashi; as well as a roasted mushroom tomato-butter onigiri; and the mochi that started it all—those chewy, mildly sweet coconut-butter squares that summon visions of Saint Louis gooey butter cake. 

Naturally, Joel is working up a sake-based concoction for the bar special.
Walk on in to celebrate four years of Mom’s this Monday, May 15, beginning at 6 PM at 2959 N. California.

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Ready to party?!

On June 1, we’re celebrating the Best of Chicago at Metro/SmartBar in Wrigleyville. Great food, drinks and lots of fun!
Ticket prices increase on May 15, so grab yours today!


Issue of
May 4 – 17, 2023
Vol. 52, No. 15

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