I wanted to do a short post for folks who may travel to Vegas and are not particularly interested in eating on the strip. If you like Japanese food, then you'll really want to check this place out.
The restaurant is called Ichiza (unfortunately its web site is not working so I'm linking to its Yelp review - 4 1/2 stars from 143 reviews - not bad). And these Yelpers are right. I thought the place was top notch. But it's not a straight sushi place. It is more izayaki - small plates. And you don't have to worry about spending an arm and a leg because it's small plates; their prices are quite reasonable.
I had 6 different dishes and they all were either good to great. There were some really interesting items on the menu, but I didn't order anything too exotic. Maybe I'd try the natto (fermented soy bean) next time. But I would highly recommend the shrimp dumplings (I know, pretty boring, but man they were good) and the broiled eel with cucumber was terrific.
After those two I moved on to one of my all time favorites, miso marinated black cod (butterfish). Now I have had better, but this was still really good. The low point of the meal was the next small plate, grilled shisito peppers (on skewers). They were fairly mundane. But, after adding some soy and red chili pepper, it did improve it, but only up to the level of good.
Fortunately I ended on 2 fabulous dishes. I was working up a pretty good rapport with one of the chefs (the young man in the white cap), so I wanted to see what he recommended to end the meal. He asked my likes and dislikes (very few when it comes to Japanese food) and we settled on an uni dish. And boy, talk about yummy. He took a nice sized piece of uni and placed it in a lemon that was cut in half with a bit of the pulp removed. He then placed a couple thin cucumbers between the uni and lemon, drizzled ponzu sauce on top and added some fresh wasabi. It was everything I had hoped for! A very simple dish that was just wonderful.
Since it was so good, I had to try something else. I again asked the chef what he thought and he fixed something unlike I had ever had. Its base was raw tuna, but surrounding the tuna was some kind of julienned and mashed Japanese potato and topping it off was a quail egg and fresh wasabi. The egg was my touch since they're one of my faves. His instructions were to add a bit of soy sauce, mix it all together, and chow down. I followed those orders happily.
So if you are in Vegas and are looking for something interesting off the strip, try out Ichiza. One of my favorite things about the place is you forget you're in Vegas.