Sushi might be the perfect meal.
When you’re alone, sushi is meditative. You get to enjoy whatever it is you like, maybe trying the omakase at the bar or digging into some extremely Americanized sushi that’s been deep fried and filled with cream cheese. You do you, boo.
On a date, sushi is a compatibility test. What do you share? What do you sacrifice? Who gets that last piece? (Warning: If you are on a date with me, I will probably take the last piece without thinking, because I am a terrible person.)
Sushi as a group is a celebration. Some people get the dishes they already like, some people get experimental and rolls are passed around for everyone to try. The economies of scale really kick in and you end up trying some truly weird stuff you might never have had otherwise.
I’ve experienced Cafe Icon solo and with a group and it’s wonderfully suited to both occasions.
I probably shouldn’t be surprised by restaurant locations anymore, especially after Lip Smackers, but Cafe Icon is parked in such an out-of-the-way corner of a Target parking lot in Edmond that I wonder how anybody finds out about it.
Then I tasted the food and I knew. Word of mouth is the best advertising a restaurant can get (second place is advertising on this website, btw) and the food at Icon is the kind you can’t wait to tell your friends about.
As is my wont, I grabbed some of my Patreon peeps for a Massive Review Meal and we went absolutely nuts on the menu.
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This time I started up off with an order of Honeymoon ($10) which are jalapeno halves filled with a mix of crab and cream cheese, then dipped in tempura batter and fried before being drizzled with spicy mayo and Sriracha.
They’re not exceedingly spicy, but they definitely have a little kick to ‘em. Myself? I’m a fan. Crispy, juicy, sweet, green, hot — everything I like all in one little package.
When I went alone, I got some wasabi shumai ($8). If you like steamed pork dumplings — and of course you do — these are wrapped in a wasabi-infused dough that gives you a lovely burst of nasal heat. Highly recommended.
Speaking of wasabi, if you’re a fan of the green Play-doh version, I suggest you ask your server at Cafe Icon if they have any of the real stuff around. Yes, the wasabi we get at most restaurants is a mix of horseradish, mustard, starch and green food coloring. Don’t get me wrong; I love the stuff. But it’s pretty awesome to get to try real wasabi, which has a similar flavor, but it’s more like relish than a paste and it’s a bit more subtle in heat.
Both times we got the omakase (market price), which is the chef’s choice of nigiri. Here’s the dish I got:
From left to right, I had king yellowtail—insanely buttery and smooth; escolar—firm with a mild flavor; gold band snapper—a firm, nice bite; bluefin tuna—meaty, with a great texture; tombo—very mild, fall apart fish that’s extremely tender; Ora king salmon—ridiculously soft and buttery. Tiny bit of preserved lemon gave it a nice citrus pop.
One nice thing at Cafe Icon is black rice. For an upcharge, they’ll exchange your white rice with black rice, which is nuttier and mighty tasty.
So when my friends ordered the tuna tower ($17), they got it with black rice. Oh...man. This thing is so tasty. Ahi tuna, avocado, crab mix and roe with wasabi sauce and tender, nutty black rice. Don’t bother trying to eat it in any sort of orderly fashion. It will collapse and it’s up to you to devour all the carnage. Delicious, creamy, tasty carnage.
Maybe you like your food fully cooked? Look, I don’t want to judge. But one really excellent thing you can get at Cafe Icon is a searing hot lava rock and some raw meat to cook on it. I got the ahi tuna ($31) and cooked it myself. Squeeze a little lemon on it, dip it in some sauce, it’s pretty great.
Hey, don’t touch the rock. I shouldn’t have to tell you that and the server shouldn’t have to tell you that, but if a rock is hot enough to cook raw meat, it can definitely cook you. Just a heads up.
The list of rolls at Cafe Icon is looooooong and I obviously didn’t get a chance to try all of them, but I can give you a few really great ones to get.
The gold digger roll ($20) is full of lobster and avocado topped with peppered tuna and gold tobiko roe on a sweet wasabi sauce. It did not go to waste.
For veggie lovers, the rain forest roll ($12) is a must have. Inside it’s asparagus, cucumber, kampyo and burdock root and covered with seaweed salad and avocado. It’s extremely green and probably pretty healthy, but more importantly, it was super tasty. I loved it and, when forced, I even shared it.
Cafe Icon is a real treat. It’s a lovely restaurant, suitable for going alone or going with a group or whatever. The sushi is legit. The service is attentive. The coffee is...you know what, maybe don’t bother getting coffee. But everything else was wonderful. Give it a try yourself some time.