If you enjoy dining out, you always dream about discovering a restaurant that no one else knows about. In Japan there is a long standing tradition where tiny hard-to-spot restaurant names are whispered only to very good friends and respected business associates.  Owners Jesus Diaz and Gerardo Calles has created such a place in his Ikura Sushi Lounge, an intimate, eleven table gem on Giralda’s Restaurant Row, where they combine tastes and textures that you never dreamed were possible.

Chef Chris Rojas is your guide of this culinary adventure which can begin with Kanikama Crunch, a house favorite. This crunchy salad has crab, tempura flakes, yuzu tobiko, scallions, sesame seeds all held together with spicy mayo and finished with drops of honey.  Another favorite, the Green Apple Roll is a combination of shrimp tempura with eel sauce on the bottom, coated with green masago, roasted jalapeño, garlic and cilantro sauce, red tobiko, avocado and cream cheese all with a little bit of yuzu.

Chef Rojas’ classical Cordon Bleu training is evident in his selection of sauces, textures and presentation. Any of these rolls conveys the taste of an entire meal. Chef Rojas manages to pack quite a punch in a very small bite.

Ikura is one of those places that will become a must for anybody wanting to experience what is possible when a team of young individuals embark on a mission of gastronomic discovery. And while your taste buds are enjoying the party, your brain is trying to register and make sense of it all… then you realize that sometimes you can’t make sense out of pleasure…you just have to enjoy the ride.

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