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The perfect date night: IJJI 4 Korean Bar-B-Que

By Nora Tarte

Food serves so many purposes: sustenance, celebration, cravings. And different foods serve those individual purposes better than others. When it comes to date night, our preferences, for example, may be different than a casual lunch or a family affair. 

Enter: Ijji 4, one of many Ijji restaurants throughout Reno. Those in the know are aware that each Ijji also serves its own purpose. One is for sushi; another is a noodle house. Ijji 4 is a Korean Bar-B-Que experience.

If you’re not familiar, we’ll break it down for you. At Ijji 4, tables are outfitted with permanent grills used to cook your meat and veggies right at the table, like a mix between fondue service and a hibachi grill (where the cooking is done by a pro and thrown your way when it’s ready). 

An order of beef, marinated and waiting to be thrown on the hibachi at Ijji 4. Image: Nora Tarte / This Is Reno

Similar to other Ijji establishments, the fare is AYCE (all-you-can-eat) and you’ll only be charged extra if you waste it, so order carefully and remember you can always add more.

Inside, the ambiance also caters to everything from intimate dinners to more raucous group dates. It’s dimly lit—but with enough light to illuminate your cooking surface—and features cozy booths. The elegant touches elevate the dining room, and a full bar at the entrance is ornate and fully stocked, the ideal place to grab a stool and a pre-dinner drink while you wait for a table.

Most dinners start with appetizers, which range from Asian favorites like Japchae (mixed vegetables and glass noodles) to vegetable spring rolls, pot stickers and even garlic bread. Less expected delicacies include seafood pancakes and fried rice cakes. 

The main course is ordered by meat. Prime meats include beef short rib, basil chicken, beef tongue and Angus prime brisket. There’s also seafood including spicy baby octopus, fresh shrimp and sole—but these only scratch the surface of what’s available. Start with a few—and a side of assorted vegetables—and get to grilling with the accoutrements. 

The fun is in experimenting with different combinations. Your waiter will offer some cooking tips if you ask, but mostly it’s up to you to concoct your own dinner.

Like any true Korean joint, there are also bowls filled with bibimbap available to order.

While you indulge and discover your favorites, sip signature beverages from the long menu. You can order just about anything from the full bar, but the menu boasts mostly sweet, sometimes tropical-inspired drinks or those with Asian monikers festive enough for a celebratory affair. 

For a refreshing sip, try the Watermelon Mojito (a mix of Stirrings Watermelon, rum, fresh mint, rock candy syrup and lime juice). The Blushing Dragon is a favorite, Skyy Vodka with Cointreau, fresh fruit, lime juice and simple syrup. For those who prefer something stiffer, the bartenders are perfectly capable of whipping up old fashions, Manhattans and margaritas by request.

Details

10580 North McCarran Blvd. #102, Reno, Nev., 89523
775-507-4554
Wednesday – Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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