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.
Ikura Sushi Lounge, an eleven table gem on Giraldaâ€™s restaurant row where sushi becomes just a point of departure on a journey that aims to combine tastes and textures that you never dreamed were possible, is such a place.
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 on top. Now think for a moment, there is the unmistakable taste of seafood which is made crunchy by the the tempura flakes then the salty, smoky, citrus flavor of the yuzu tobiko (flying fish roe), the mildly pungent fresh taste of the scallions, the nutty flavor of the sesame seeds, the spicy touch of the mayo and if all that wasnâ€™t enough the sweetness of honey; your taste buds are saying: â€œItâ€™s party time!â€
Another favorite, the Green Apple Roll is a combination of shrimp tempura with eel sauce on the bottom, coated with green masago, roasted jalapeÃ±o, garlic and cilantro sauce, red tobiko, avocado and cream cheese all with a little bit of yuzu on top.This combinationâ€™s taste was unique and had a finish as lingering as that of any fine single malt Scotch.
Chef Rojasâ€™ 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.
Manager/owner Jesus Diazâ€™s love for sushiÂ drove him to open Ikura about four months ago. Ikura is quaint and intimate but it also boasts one coolest tables in the Gables, you actually get to seat at the viewing window, on display for all the world to see. For those of you whose Instagram feed contains more than 50% selfies this table must be hedonistic bliss.
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 canâ€™t make sense out of pleasure…you just have to enjoy the ride.
143 Giralda Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134
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