I lived in Vegas for a few years and developed a great relationship with my favorite sushi chef, Hiro, from Osaka. After I left Vegas, we’d periodically keep in touch and I’d always visit on my return trips home. On one of my visits home, I asked him to take me someplace that he goes to eat himself. He recommended Ichiza, which seems to be a popular hangout for Vegas locals, based on the crowd waiting for tables when we arrived.
They are only open from 5pm until 3am and there is always a wait. The restaurant is not that big so it’s definitely best to call for reservations, especially for late night dining. We definitely got the VIP service being with Hiro, and since nothing on the menu appeared to be in English, we just let him order whatever he wanted. My friend Lisa and I were stunned at the amount of food that arrived at our table. I cannot remember the names of everything we had that visit but some of the items are tempura fried okra (which was amazing actually), deep fried quail eggs, some type of spicy chicken dish, a shrimp with eggplant dish, large sashimi platter, oysters, and a whole broiled squid (cut into the calamari rings), and octopus mixed with something and deep fried. I know I am missing quite a few things, but everything we ate was just so delicious!
We tried their sake sampler as well which Hiro said contained one rather expensive sake, which I believe may be Otokoyama.
And the BEST was one of the desserts. Hiro had ordered two desserts for us – one was like a caramel flan, and the other was called Honey Toast. It’s almost like a half loaf of unsliced bread, hollowed out and toasted, honey drizzled on the inside, and topped with vanilla ice cream. It is absolutely amazing. I’ve actually since tried making it myself and will include a link to the recipe when I get it posted!
You would think the amount of food we ate, the two sake samplers, and several beers would be quite a bit. It came to right around $100 for all of us including tip. Most of their dishes appear to range from around $4-10, depending on what your order. Most places, a sashimi platter is over $20, add beers and the sake samplers and we might have been over $50 right there.
I also visited Ichiza again in November 2008 on yet another trip home. This time we had a larger group so we were able to try a variety of things. Of course, we had the honey toast again….two to be exact! This time we visited on a weeknight and had only about a 20 minute wait, but by the time we went to leave, there was a huge line of people waiting.
Ichiza is located on Spring Mountain, between Arville and Wynn. It is not on the strip nor within walking distance. It’s basically in the “Chinatown” of Las Vegas which has some incredible restaurants and fun stores. It’s not a big restaurant and tables tend to be close together and the later you get there, it can be a bit loud. Now that I live in Taiwan, it’s really no different than most of the restaurants here. The menu is interesting since there are things posted all over the restaurant walls and they put a sticky note on an item when it’s sold out. If you are in the Las Vegas area, I’d definitely recommend stopping by Ichiza and check out a local’s hangout!
4355 Spring Mountain Road
Las Vegas, NV 89102