Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I have been going to Ichiza for a long time. It is great for a late night snack! Since a friend recommended this place for great Izakaya, it has become a tradition for Ms. Lin and I. In fact, I often come to Vegas and cheat on Ms. Lin by bringing different friends here and going with different people all the time. If you have been here, you'd understand why and if you haven't, it's about time for you to drive off the strip for an adventure.
One of my favorite items here is the Sakana Roll, Pinchos. This is not your typical roll. They are little bites of heaven where they mix fresh ingredients that you wouldn't have thought would be a great combo, but somehow makes it work! Going against the traditional idea of a roll, all the ingredients layered on top and not inside the roll. At the bottom is just rice wrapped in seaweed. They exquisitely match fresh sashimi and add tasty dollops of fun. One of the most surprising combos is using tamago, shiso leaf, mackerel, and a dollop of ume! At first glance I was a little turned off but after the first bite I was on cloud nine! A perfect blend of flavors (salty, sweet, a little sour) that you never thought possible. The salmon, avocado, shrimp, mayo, and ikura are a great combo that's very smooth and tasty. My least fave of the three but still delish is the tuna, cucumber, squid, mayo, and roe (masago). This dish is a must!
They added a new great item called the Seafood Quesadilla, intriguing no? I first tested it out before recommending it to Ms. Lin. They top the freshest cuts of sashimi on top of a piping hot quesadilla. Simple and delicious! Who could ever forget the nice drizzle of Japanese Mayonnaise that really helps add another layer to the dish. Mixed in with finely sliced daikon and a few sprouts are delightful miniature capers that resemble roe, which adds just the right amount of saltiness to the entire dish. The fish they use are salmon, tuna, yellowtail, albacore, octopus, squid and ikura. It's a brilliant dish to utilize any end pieces or left over sashimi. I started out with the half order, but I recommend you get the full order! It's worth it and if you can't finish just call me up and I will help! =D
What has kept me coming back here is the Yellowtail (Hamachi) Tartare! This is definitely not your traditional tartare. Here they totally had me after my first bite. We start of with a thick crispy tortilla chip layered with rice, lettuce, & pico de gallo then another chip followed by a flavorful mix of yellowtail tartare and avocado! **drool drool** I simply adore the crunchy tortilla chips and explosion of flavors. My guilty pleasure here. Ms. Lin knows I need two orders of this every time.
Here is when I first introduced Ms. Lin to Wasabi Octopus. They give a good portion and their wasabi mixture is always very flavorful and sweet. At the bottom of the bowl is a shiso leaf that's used as a decoration but serves a great purpose. A secret tip is to use that leaf to wrap up around the savory, crunchy, and fresh octopus like a taco to eat. The refreshing cool burst of shiso will really enhance the experience.
Ms. Lin loves Uni and here they serve it in a nice lemon cup! One of my trade secrets is to squeeze some lemon on top of my uni to enhance the natural sweetness. The uni here is fresh and the portion is not bad. On top they have finely sliced cucumber and a dash of yuzu chili pepper. Yum!
If you are lucky, they will have some special grilled items. I was able to have some tantalizing Pork Cheek Skewers that are nicely glazed and full of flavor. Last time I went back they didn't have it again, but this will not stop me from looking again and again!
All in all this is a MUST TRY place in Vegas. Of course this is if you have a car to head on over to Vegas' on version of China Town. You can always take the cab to cross the bridge on Spring Mountain and believe me, it's worth it. I am thinking about flying to Vegas again, but I think I'd rather drive so I can explore the great eats on and off the Strip! Ichiza is open super late. So if you ever get that 4th meal craving, don't worry they'll be there for you!

Ichiza
4355 Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89102
(702) 367-3151
Ichiza Sake House on Urbanspoon

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