While sushi joints are a dime a dozen in Chicago, RA Sushi is a cut above. This trendy spot on the Gold Coast is just the spot for a night out with friends, with a festive atmosphere, fantastic cocktails, and, most importantly, crazy-good sushi, sashimi, and rolls. As you enter, take a moment to let your eyes adjust to the dim lighting. Soon, a sushi paradise comes into focus: Rich red walls are complemented by red hanging lanterns. Horseshoe-shaped wooden booths are filled with canoodling couples. Electronic music thumps in the background. Grab seats at the bar so you and the gang can chat up the sushi chefs as they chop, roll, and assemble your orders. Let them guide you through a tasting of different types of fish, ranging from toro (tuna belly) to uni (sea urchin). Then order a few of the more inventive sushi rolls on the menu, like the “ultimate” shrimp tempura roll (it’s a doozy). In the event someone in your group doesn’t eat seafood, RA makes stellar chicken udon, garlic edamame, and pineapple cheese wontons. But you might just make a convert out of them if you can get them to take one little bite of RA’s famous crispy spicy tuna roll, with crisped sesame rice and drizzled with a yummy soy chili sauce. It’s strange, exciting, and delicious, just what you need when you’re painting the town red.