Seafood dishes to feast on only in Greater Palm Springs
Without stopping, he moves on to fish, slices raw and sparkling Scottish salmon, Hawaiian ahi tuna and silky scallops from Japan, as well as cooked Alaskan king crab, and adds it to the bowl of fruit with a few spoonfuls. of “secret sauce”. and a sprinkle of daikon sprouts for color. After a quick stir with his chopsticks, he pours the citrus concoction into the hollowed-out grapefruit, while the overflow cascades onto the plate below. Diners are given a straw to suck up every last drop of the juicy sauce, but regulars tend to just spill it all over.
Ishikawa didn’t get the idea here in the grapefruit-studded Coachella Valley, where he’s owned Kiyosaku for 38 years. Rather, it was during a 1997 visit to his native Japan that he spotted a chef on television preparing a simple mixture of grapefruit and scallops.
“I thought, Orange is too sweet and lemon too sour, but grapefruit is in between and refreshing. I came back here and created it,” he says, adding that he sources ruby-red grapefruits locally when in season and imports them from Texas and Florida the rest of the year.
The dish got a boon a few years back when Huell Howser introduced it to the KCET program California gold, and has been the number 1 vendor at the Palm Springs restaurant ever since – the kind of basic regulars who come in every week. Once, when a group of 14 people decided they wanted another ride, Ishikawa went into assembly line mode, sending each of them home with a grapefruit special in their hands.
“He was like a machine,” says his daughter Mika Iniguez, who works at the sushi bar alongside her father. But don’t expect her to reveal the recipe for that secret sauce. “I don’t even know that. He won’t tell me.