Kim read about Ichiza on Yelp and thought we should give it a try. From the outside, the place doesn’t look like anything special. Located in a strip mall in Vegas’ Chinatown, it looks like any other sushi joint you’d find here in L.A. Step inside and you’ll see tables and booths packed with guests. Luckily, we were seated quickly. Unfortunately, we were seated on some of the nastiest cushions I’ve ever seen. I should’ve taken a photo, but just the thought of my bare legs touching the seats was making my whole body cringe. The “white” cushions were stained with all kinds of mysterious liquids. I was completely grossed out. The walls were covered with menu items. Some illegible and some just plain hilarious.
I couldn’t stop going nuts over the seats, but we hurriedly ordered and I tried to focus on other things while we waited for our food. Things like 409 spray, deep cleaning vacuums, car washes..
Two apps that came first – deep fried baby Spanish mackerel and gizzards. Both were tasty. The dipping sauce for the mackerel tasted a bit like a chipotle mayo. Nice way to whet our appetites.
Spider roll and spicy tuna roll – typical things we order at sushi places. The spider roll was subpar. I didn’t care much for the thick gooey rice on the spicy tuna roll. I’ve definitely had better, but they were both enjoyable.
Red snapper carpaccio topped with potato goo (super gooey, no flavour and generally not very pleasing to my palate) and yellowtail tartare which was a very interesting dish. Yellowtail tuna mixed with avocado atop a crispy fried tortilla sandwich of sushi rice and pico de gallo. It was actually tasty and I wanted more!
We decided on the uni and squid roll too because we’re uni lovers, but when it came, I noticed that it had these spider-web like strands between each cut piece. Not thinking, I bit into the roll and immediately felt my mouth become a cesspool of goo. I swallowed as quickly as I could and a strange sensation occurred in my throat. It felt like I had swallowed a spoonful of rubber cement. The uni was good. The squid was good, but something was very wrong. I decided to eat another piece, and Kim then mentioned there was natto in the roll. I exclaimed, “Natto!!!!!!” No wonder. And the same potato shaving goo under the uni. My chopsticks smelled like the sewers of hell after that roll. I do not care to ever eat natto again.
We had to somehow revive our taste buds, so we ordered uni sashimi. Those were the best pieces of uni I’ve ever eaten. This order was $6.75 and there were about 6 pieces of uni in it. Each piece tasting like butter of the sea. Seriously. Good uni is mindblowingly delicious.
To top this delicious dinner, we had Ichiza’s famed “honey toast”. Basically, it’s a brick of bread that has honey and butter in the middle, topped with a heaping scoopful of vanilla iced cream. Do not underestimate the simple ingredients here my friend. This bread is soft, hot, has just the right amount of chew and tear you want from bread and the combination of honey and vanilla iced cream is just spectacular. The crispy sides of the brick make you want to slap the nearest person to your right (out of love of course).
A return to Ichiza is a must. I might bring my own seat covers though….