I tend to do a lot of research before going to a restaurant- especially fine dining. After I set up a reservation for Ijji, I began my research. I found that there are multiple "Ijji" locations throughout the US. Panicking, I thought I had signed up to eat at a chain restaurant. After additional frantic research, I realized I was safe and this restaurant had way too much character to be a chain. I digress.
Ijji is my current favorite fine dining venue of this year. It's pricey, but you get an intimate tasting experience with the chef. It's perfect for a date night, and the 19 courses make a great conversation topic. The service is on point, which kind of enhanced my awkwardness.
When you walk into Ijji, it's suuuper quiet and zen. The venue is small, intimate and has the character of a Japanese dojo. The décor is simple, but tasteful.
Holy smokes. This sushi makes you question all the sushi you've been eating in your life. Why isn't all sushi this good? Every dish is intentional and each piece of fish is paired well with other flavors. Also, the plating is beautiful. Eat slowly and enjoy.
The menu changes seasonally, and the restaurant tries to use wild caught fish when they can. As you go through the courses, you'll notice flavor patterns as you go between fresh and aged fish. Our first few pieces of fish had a theme lingering smokiness.
The sake list is also on point- you have to get a glass for your meal. I prefer sakes with high minerality .
At the end of the meal, I was full, but not busting out of my pants, which was SO nice. I don't like feeling like a pig after a meal. (Regardless, this did not stop me from heading over to the shaved ice place next door lol. I digress.)
The service is phenomenal. The servers are attentive, polite, and considerate. Chef Alex was passionate about his food and excited to share his knowledge. When you sit at the bar, you get the full experience of the sushi.
Would I recommend? Yes, I would recommend this place for date night or an anniversary. It's expensive, but you're paying for the 1 on 1 experience with the chef. My experience at Ijji has changed the way I look at sushi.
If you end up going- tag me in your photos- let me know what you thought!