“Feels like home to me.” – Randy Newman
Japanese Izakaiya are a unique experience. For anyone who has been to Japan, this will hopefully be a familiar and nostalgic journey into a type of atmosphere. Japanese cuisine has recently been put into the “above the common” understanding by some food critics, and not that anyone will enjoy, but anyone can enjoy it and they should at least give this type of restaurant a try.
Like “Tapas,” Japanese Izakaiya serve a number of small dishes meant to be consumed with friends over beers and other popular Japanese drinks, such as Shochu and Sake (more on these in the future). Dim sum would also be a decent way of categorizing this food, but for ease of understanding lets say glorified pub fair.
Unlike Denver, Las Vegas has an amazing location that does this very thing for reasonably priced good time. Ichiza, excels at delivering excellent service and an array of dishes that I only thought I would get to enjoy in Japan.
Their most popular item on the menu is Yakitori, which is a kabob of tender chicken that has been marinated and then quickly grilled to perfection. They also have a wall littered with Chef specials that range from soups and porridge to specialty fried meat and vegetable dishes.
Everything in the room from the seating to the open cooking area masked by little cloth shades where each cook greats you as you enter, is like a cruise down memory lame. The smells of vinegar, cooking sake and soy sauce permeate the building. The wooden booths and small cylindrical stools that we sat on were very similar to the sort of feux rustic feel of the izakaiyas in Japan.
Besides food, the drink menu featured a collection of mixed shochu items that will delight and surprise. My personal preferences being either a Mizu Wari (which is a water cut drink) or a Chu Hai (which has oolong tea cut with the aforementioned booze). Without skipping a beat our hostess was taking our orders and returning with the delectable appetizers in mere moments. She was also gracious enough to allow me the pleasure of using my broken Japanese with her, while I ordered my meal.
A steady flow and delicate timing allowed both unending flow of drinks and food to come out without interrupting the rhythm of our personal conversations or leaving any of us wondering when we would see our ordered items.
Ichiza, I hope to see you again soon. It was a delight and a pleasure for both my pallette and my heart.
Sincerely – the sentimental critic
4355 Spring Mountain Rd # 205
Las Vegas, NV 89102