Since returning to Northern Nevada I have seen all sorts of Ijji Sushi and Hibachi popping up around me so I scooted in last week.
Now, I’m not a sushi snob – but I am used to paying much differently than “all you can eat sushi” it just is not in the world I come from. In Walnut Creek the bill for sushi is equal to a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps.
Upon entering Ijji, I was struck by the classic rolls filled with crunchy shrimp tempura and spicy tuna piled high I saw covering large platters being served on my way in. Once seated with my dining companions we were immediately distracted with the “all you can eat” appetizers that come with lunch. They had me at vegetable tempura and my companions ordered the miso soup, pot stickers, baked mussels and chicken skewers.
I was full by the time I had enjoyed my second order of tempura and eaten a few of my friends pot stickers, but I soldiered on and ordered nigiri. Ijji’s fish is very fresh, you can tell they turn it quickly since the restaurant is packed, and the sushi is just the perfect double bite (two bites and its gone – just like we were in Japan). I had the tuna, seared tuna, albacore, salmon, smoked salmon, unagi (fresh water eel), snapper and the tamago (egg). I realize it’s a lot of sushi, but I’m a food writer I have to try everything.
Ijji’s tamago was excellent and I ended up ordering additional pieces, six of them, that good. When you sit down they deposit a generous clump of pickled ginger slices and replenish as you consume which makes me happy since some sushi restaurants must think its gold bullion and are reluctant to share.
Ijji has a vast lineup of specialty rolls that benefit from vibrantly fresh fish, meticulously rolled, sauced and plated. Their chefs can really turn out the sushi, at Ijji serious sushi enthusiasts won’t get sniffy about the fish quality, kids can dive into the appetizer menu and all is right with the sushi world.
If you haven’t been go and if it’s been awhile since you’ve visited go back. Ijji. 685 E. Prater Way, #101, Sparks, NV (775) 356-8668 – Ijjisushiandhibachi.com.
Campo Sparks is open and they did it with quite the fanfare – Mayor Geno Martini, Washoe County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler, Sparks City Council Member/Ward 4 Charlene Bybee, Assemblywoman AD31 Jill Dickman, Sparks City Manager Steve Driscoll, WCSD Board Trustee Angie Taylor, Reno City Councilmember/Vice Mayor Oscar Delgado – I know I’m missing some elected officials but Campo was jammed packed so forgive me. Campo owner, Sanjay Lillaney knows how to throw a party and Chef David Holman knows how to create an over the top menu.
I was first struck by the etched Campo wine glasses and then the abundance of wine that was being offered. I settled on white to go with the freshly shucked oysters being handed to you the moment you walked in. Kudos to Mr. Lillaney’s builder and decorator since I certainly couldn’t tell this used to be a Chili’s. So many people were walking in and asking that very question because the vibe is so totally different, and did I mention the new patio, it’s great.
Hopefully, Campo Sparks will be offering beer flights that will be paired with some small plates to be enjoyed on the patio. Active food stations were offered throughout the restaurant, one was preparing the classic Campo Kale Salad complete with poached egg. Chef David was encouraging people to take a tour of the kitchen and grab “a slice” of pizza. The evening was capped off with tiny gelato cones (chocolate, salted caramel, limoncello, and vanilla) that we all greedily consumed and asked for more. Campo Sparks will be serving brunch along with lunch and dinner so make sure you run over and give the restaurant a try. Campo Sparks, 137 Los Altos Parkway, Sparks NV (775) 501-8970 – camporeno.com.
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