Hi friends, welcome back! I’ve got a unique dining experience to share with you all today. I alluded to this restaurant in my latest Foodie Friday, but I thought it deserved a whole post. I usually dine at American style restaurants, so when Ai Ki Ya invited me for dinner I was very excited to try out this Japanese restaurant in Koreatown. Jon and I had a reservation at 7pm on Friday night, and this restaurant was packed. The atmosphere was very fun and lively, but also very chill. The diners seemed an even mix of couples and friends, but everyone looked to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.
The star entrée of this restaurant is the Candy Floss Sukiyaki Hot Pot (US Wagyu Beef Slices, Chinese Cabbage, Mushroom, Carrot, Daisy Crown, Tof Konjac, Scallion). The candy floss, aka cotton candy, melts into the hot pot making the broth sweeter. This was my first hot pot, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I thought this entrée tasted delicious and was so unique! The servers cook it for you at the table and explain everything, and we could control the sweetness of the broth by moving the candy floss to the side, or eating it. I’ve never seen anything like this so it was a fun experience for us, and it seemed like almost every table ordered the hot pot too.
Jon and I also ordered the Sashimi Don (Yellowtail, Tuna, and Salmon with Sushi Rice) and I loved the presentation of this dish. I’m not sure what the purple and yellow pieces were, but I was too afraid to find out.
We also split some non-adventurous Pork Gyoza that tasted delicious.
Jon and I tried the Beef Short Rib, American Wagyu, and Beef Sirloin with Oba & Cheese Yakitori Grilled Skewers. These tasted delicious, but as many Yelp reviews state, they were rather small.
We concluded our meal with a little scoop of ice cream that came with the Candy Floss Sukiyaki entree. I am not sure what flavor of ice cream this was, I think it was matcha, but it tasted delicious nevertheless. The flavor was interesting because I tasted vanilla, then chocolate, and then I wasn’t sure. I’ve never had matcha, but if it tastes like this ice cream then I’m definitely missing out!
Lastly, the menu at Ai Ki Ya is quite vast and you put a check next to each item you’d like to order. I thought this was a very convenient way to order, especially if you are getting quite a few skewers or appetizers.
As you can imagine, Jon and I were definitely stuffed after this meal! Overall, this was a fun dinner and I’m so glad we experienced a new cuisine. Ai Ki Ya would be a great spot to meet up with a group of friends or for a unique date night. The service here was excellent, the food tasted delicious, and I’d recommend checking out this restaurant if you’re looking to try hot pot or anything else that may have caught your eye on the menu. What do you think about the Candy Floss Sukiyaki Hot Pot?