Taking over the intimate venue formerly home to Homegrown Smoker in the Goose Hollow neighborhood, Ichiza Kitchen and Teahouse began steeping ancient oolong teas on July 15, and it brings the unique Japanese dining style shojin ryori: to eat like vegetarian Buddhist monks. That means traditional tea service, brightly colored vegan plates featuring Pan-Asian meat substitutes, and tightly packed seating in a humble setting.
Among its offerings, the all-vegan Ichiza Kitchen menu is packed with small plates like kimchi steamed dumplings, faux-chicken skewers, and pickled lotus root. A smaller offering of noodle and rice bowls comes with gluten-free options, like the fox udon, an umami-loaded dish of either udon or glass noodles with slow-cooked seasonal mushrooms, fried tofu, napa cabbage, jombu dashi, and saké broth.
Much of the menu is dedicated to teas, and this is where things get... interesting. The Mao Xie "Hairy Crab" tea is described as "a fresh, fragrant green oolong," and the Dan Cong "Duck Shit" is a single-tree tea that, according to the menu, has been around for the past 350 years. Also find "Blue People," "Iron Goddess," "Big Red Robe,” and the seemingly tame “Orange Blossoms” teas.
Ichiza Kitchen and Teahouse is now open for dinner at 1628 SW Jefferson St.