Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ichiban Offers Fine Flavors from Japan

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ichiban Offers Fine Flavors from Japan

Article excerpt

A friend of mine and I are always trying to "do lunch." However, since we both work during the day on opposite sides of town, we decided to "do dinner" instead.

We met at Ichiban on Third Street in Jacksonville Beach. My friend had last been there on New Year's Eve and said it was extremely crowded. On this visit, it was much more relaxed. We had the choice of sitting at the sushi bar, the teppanyaki tables or a standard table, and sat at our own table mostly for privacy.

My friend commented on how much he liked the atmosphere, and at first I thought he was referring to the Oriental pictures and hangings on the walls, and soft music in the background. However, what mostly got his approval was the Minnesota Vikings sign above the sushi bar, among several other sports logos.

For an appetizer, we decided to share Harumaki ($3.95), commonly known as Japanese egg rolls. We were given three, which was fine, except I have often wondered why restaurants give an odd number for the number of people at the table. They were excellent, and I loved the sweet and sour sauce that accompanied them.

Our waitress then brought us each a bowl of clear soup, which was a simple broth with scallions and mushrooms in it, but we both liked it. We were then brought a small salad, again simple but very good. We were given a choice of ranch or ginger dressing. While my friend opted for ranch, I chose the latter and didn't realize until then how much I liked ginger. I wasn't planning on finishing my salad, since there was so much food, but couldn't resist, thanks to the dressing.

For an entree, my friend was going to have Yaki-ebi ($14.95), his usual dish at Ichiban, which is shrimp, onions and green peppers on a skewer with teriyaki sauce. But instead, he decided to try something different, Chicken and Grouper Katsu ($15.95), which was lightly seasoned, dipped in bread crumbs, fried and served with katsu sauce. Entrees include a choice of steamed or fried rice, We both chose steamed. …

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