Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ichiban Sushi Bar & Sammy's Asian Cuisine

We're back in the saddle after more than a month of post-holiday quarantine!  Weather and illness woes be gone!  Oddly, we were in the mood for sushi.  With Ozzy's lunch finickiness the school's problem today, we decided to see what has been going on at Ichiban.

Being very familiar with Ichiban for the past several years, we noticed something different a few months back.  Not only a much longer name, but more than twice the space!  The entry alone made it clear this place had gone from neighborhood (charming) hole in the wall to new southside dining hotspot!  Just beautiful!  Somebody dropped a dime and kept it classy for a strip mall locale.

It's about 4 times the size of the old place with a private dining room, a second bar and a lot of intimate dining space for such an open feel.The menu has changed a bit adding a few more pan-asian dishes, but we chose to ignore this and eat what we came for---the best sushi on the southside.

Crazy Roll sans tail ends...forgot to photograph before diving in!
So accustomed to grabbing a sushi order ticket, we were happy to see a few lunch roll combos available that would more than satisfy our appetites---including a small third diner who would sample from everyone.  All sushi combos come with miso soup and a small salad with house asian ginger dressing.  Knowing what we wanted, we couldn't stop with just the combo.  We had to add the true guilty sushi pleasure---the crazy roll...to share. :)

As yummy as it is gorgeous!

Service was as expected---fast, professional and accommodating.  Our salads and soups came out quickly and something was pleasantly different about the dressing.  Not that it was at all bad before, but a small amount of yummy liquid sat at the bottom of the bowl and really kicked it up a notch...Stella agreed!  Seeing her eat salad is a real treat after the long standing protests from Ozzy.

We did end up getting Stella one of the kids meals as we weren't sure how she would respond to sushi.  We were happily surprised she sampled a bit of everything with great zest!  Her favorites were the sticky rice, orange pieces, and salad.  She wanted to like the shrimp, but the texture was too challenging for her to master without far too much of a choking hazard.  

The sushi was fast and especially pleasing to the eye as you can see.  If you haven't experienced the crazy roll...it really shouldn't qualify as sushi.  But it is such a delightful fried treat wrapped in a sushi package---basically a tempura roll with extra crab meat and some killer sauces to boot!  There's no denying this is a creation for the western palate.

We also went with two eels rolls, a tuna roll, and a shrimp tempura(as if there wasn't enough fried goodness from the crazy roll).  All fantastic!  Fred proclaimed being weak in the knees, while Libby silently stared off into space.
We were so glad to get out and get some really good food after such a long time.


Wrap Up
Price-$-$$$,- Half priced Monday's still available, but for sushi, you can't complain about the price.
Atmosphere****,-Absolutely beautiful!!!  Well designed and no spared expense.
Service***,-Same good service we have always experienced.

Fred- A+ , The best sushi I've had outside the coasts!  With an atmosphere like that, it makes me proud to finally say there is a classy, high-end restaurant on the south side.
Libby- A+, Just what the doctor ordered.  A perfectly prepared meal in a quiet, intimate atmosphere that made us feel like we were going out, rather than just grabbing some lunch.
Ozzy- school lunch today.
Estelle- A+, Stella was not out of place in the least and seemed to appreciate everything she ate.  One happy baby!

Ichiban on Urbanspoon


Tammy said...

Welcome back! Sounds like I'll need to put Ichiban on the list. I've always gone to Kubuto when on the south side.

Fred, Libby, Ozzy and Estelle(Stella) said...

We actually have been to Kabuto many many times and attempted to blog about it 3 months ago. We went and just were not happy with either the service or sushi quality. Since we'd been going there ever since it opened, we decided to give it one-time pass before writing a negative review. But either way, now that Ichiban has remodeled, it's head and shoulders above them. We had previously felt that the sushi was about the same at both places (minus the insane Crazy Roll!!) but not so on our last trip.


filipino girl said...

Oh! I go to this place like almost weekly. For me, good quality food at decent price. Not the best sushi in the city and not the best prices, but excellent balance of the two Excellent staff. In addition, Sammy the sushi chef super friendly. You should eat here!