Local restaurants are stepping up to the plate to raise money for Japanese disaster relief, by offering special menu items and cocktails, with some even hosting benefits, from which proceeds will be donated to organizations like the Red Cross, to help the Japanese victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Japonais: Munch on maki and sip on sake at Japonais, as this upscale sushi restaurant and lounge hosts its "Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Fundraiser Relief." Japonais has teamed up with More Cupcakes and the Japan America Society of Chicago, with all proceeds going directly to the Japanese Red Cross (donations are 100 percent tax deductible). Book early because this one will sell out.
Tues., March 29; 6pm - 9pm; $20 in advance, $25 at the door
600 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-822-9600
Bangers & Lace: Beer aficionados can drink for a good cause at Wicker Park's famed craft beer and sausage haven, Bangers & Lace. This popular establishment, which is a beer lover's dream, will donate a portion of the proceeds to the American Red Cross when you order from its beer list. Reservations are not accepted, so get there early to nab a seat.
Available through Sat., March 26
1670 W. Division St.; 773-252-6499
SUSHISAMBA: Japan native and executive chef at Chicago's SUSHISAMBA, Shigeru Kitano has created a $12 "Japan Relief" sushi roll, which is stuffed with king crab, unagi, tamago, cucumber and shiso, wrapped in inari skin. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this special sushi roll will be donated to the Red Cross. Reservations are encouraged.
Available through Thu., March 31
504 N. Wells St.; 312-595-2300
Lockwood: Pass on the margarita for happy hour and, instead, grab a saketini after work with your 10 favorite co-workers. When you order a Sunrise Saketini, made of sake, orange juice and a splash of grenadine, at Lockwood restaurant or Potter's bar, located in the Palmer House Hilton, $6 of the $12 drink price is donated to the American Red Cross to help the people of Japan.
17 E. Monroe St.; 312-917-3404
Atlantic Bar & Grill: For a minimum donation of $10, you and your besties can partake in Lincoln Square's Atlantic Bar & Grill fund-raising effort. On hand will be a complimentary buffet, (6 - 9pm) with salad, chicken marsala, pasta and bread rolls, along with raffles and live music.
Sat., March 26; 6pm - midnight
5062 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-506-7090
If you can't make dinner, you can still support the relief efforts. If you like to shop, then you should know that Akira has something special currently in the works. When you make a purchase at Akira's online store through April 21, and use coupon code "RELIEF," you'll receive 10 percent off your purchase. Akira will donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all sales to Japanese relief, and designer Michael Antonio will match all donations.
Through April 21
For more ways to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, check out HuffPost Impact's guide.
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