Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Ciccone to offer sushi with a twist

Hagadone News Network | April 22, 2022 7:00 AM

Mutated sushi — that was the kick driving Frank Ciccone’s inspiration some years ago for his Kaiju Sushi and Spirits in Coeur d'Alene.

He opened the Sherman Avenue restaurant in 2015, having since earned regional fanfare. Now, he’s using the name to cut a new ribbon, this time in Libby for his Kaiju Bar and Grill — and casino.

For it, Ciccone is renovating the former Torgy’s Casino and Bar at 405 E 9th St.

“We do some kinda different things,” the chef and longtime sushi-roller. “But, basically, we’re taking the idea of sushi, and we’re mutating it a little bit.”

That’s where “kaiju” comes into play. In Japanese, the term translates to “strange beast.”

It’s also a popular film genre featuring the likes of Godzilla, Mothra and Gamera, each being of the famed Tokyo studio Toho Co. Ltd., and each being larger-than-life mutants.

“A lot of those monsters were created because of mutation, from like nuclear waste, or whatever the case may be, so it’s kind of that idea,” Ciccone said.

Shooting for a summer opening, and toying still with firm menu offerings, Ciccone said he’s planning to offer steak and sushi dinners with all-day snack and sandwich offerings.

Ciccone has worked in kitchens overall for the past three decades, having been rolling sushi now for the past nearly 15 years.

He is a culinary degree-holding chef of the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy, with post-graduate training at Napa Valley’s Culinary Institute of America in California.

Ciccone also apprenticed at The California Club in downtown Los Angeles, an invitation- and members-only social club.

Now living in Libby, Ciccone said his daughter Phédra now manages his Coeur d'Alene location.

“I’ve got family here,” he said of his move to the area. “I’ve had family here in Libby since the ‘60s, so for me, it’s kind of a homecoming.”