And I Will Walk One Thousand Miles....(or 500 miles, or even just 3)

During this last Summer, I had the opportunity to do some traveling in a big rig truck. It is always a fun and interesting experience and although it is a great way to try some out of the way restaurants, there are also time constrictions. There have been plenty of restaurants that looked interesting from the passenger side window, but unfortunately that's as far as it has gone. If too much time passes and the turkey and cheese sandwiches eaten from inside the truck has become countless, I become restless for a new dining adventure. On the way to deliver a particular load, I had that feeling and as we exited off the freeway toward our destination, I noticed an array of restaurants that looked promising. Gazing longingly, I made a mental note and began calculating the possibilities of us actually eating at one of them. There are also logistic concerns because it's not as though one can fit a 53 ft. trailer into every parking lot. Much of the day was spent waiting to be unloaded and by the time we parked at a truck stop it was 9:00 p.m., on a Sunday night and we were at least 3 miles from the restaurants. On this particular night it was 98 degrees, so it took quite a bit of coaxing to convince my husband that walking 3 miles was a good idea. Being a good sport he agreed. So we walked. Once we finally arrived to the area my excitement was shaken as sadly every one of them seemed to be closed. Just when we were about to lose hope, we noticed Ichiban's lights on. Boy, did we hustle over and landed a table in a hurry.

Ichiban Japanese Restaurant
9897 W. McDowell Rd.
Tolleson, AZ 85353
(623) 478-1500

The interior was welcoming and the decor was classic Sushi Bar. They had an Tepanyaki station where one can watch there food being cooked "Benihana" style, but we opted for a table. I really splurged and ordered the Lobster Roll for $24.99 as well as a Shrimp Tempura Dinner for $11.99. My husband ordered the Fillet Minon from the Tepanyaki side of the menu for $21.99. The Lobster roll came out and it was very pretty. It utilized the Lobster meat in two ways- the first was within a sushi roll itself and the second seemed to utilized finely chopped raw Lobster in a Cream Cheese mixture that they served within the shell of the Lobster. I was hoping to have larger chunks of the Lobster in the roll although the taste was yummy and the mixture in the shell went well with a bit of rice. I'm glad I tried it. My husband's meal was a bit of a surprise to him because he expected the normal presentation of Fillet Minon, but what he received was a chopped version that was stir fried with Onions and Mushrooms served with Fried Rice. The chopping seemed to dry out the meat and the presentation could be improved on. The real value was in the Tempura dish. The Tempura batter was light and airy and really trapped in the juiciness of the Shrimp as well flavors within the Onions, Zucchini, Mushrooms and Yam. It's a big, tasty dish and is well worth the price. Needless to say, we were grateful that they were open so that our walk wasn't for nothing and we were happy to munch on our left overs the next day!


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