One place they like is the izakaya restaurant Ichiza. As a matter of fact, I did see a chef there, Wazuzu's Jet Tila.
Ichiza is a real escape, a place where a tee shirt and jeans look dressy, where laughter can be raucous and the beer is icy cold.
The cooks are Japanese, and the small plates they send out are quite good, with an occasional slip. But who cares, when you're this relaxed and having this much fun?
Stir-fried pork with kimchi showed Japanese restraint and simplicity, which is not to say that it wasn't delicious.
Chewy and gummy, bacon-wrapped mochi was a study in texture as well as taste. It's on the blue and white plate in the photo above the tataki salad.
Robata-cooked asparagus wrapped in bacon should have been just as good, but the cook was in a hurry and didn't grill the bacon sufficiently, leaving it flabby and pale.
No matter, a bowl of ramen provided some comfort. Grilled tofu with bean sprouts (right) was excellent, and spinach with enoki mushrooms and garlic butter was a very nice way to treat the leafy greens.
Ichiza hollows out half a loaf of tender white bread, toasts it, puts in vanilla ice cream and glazes the toast with honey.
This sounds like something Mom would throw together for the kids, but it's a grownup-pleaser too. And Ichiza deserves thanks for putting it on the menu.
The only other place that I've had this dessert was Tokyo Table in Beverly Hills, and that restaurant is now closed.
Ichiza Sake House and Japanese Restaurant, 4355 Spring Mountain Road, Suite 205, Las Vegas, NV 89102. Tel: (702) 367-3151.