Ivory Pearl’s menu surprises and delights



Ran Duan, owner of Blossom Bar in Brookline Village, has opened another restaurant called Ivory Pearl in Washington Square. Ivory Pearl is known for its cocktails and tapas-style seafood dishes.

Don’t be frightened by the idea of Unagi Grilled Cheese.

Ran Duan, who also owns Blossom Bar in Brookline Village, recently opened Ivory Pearl on Aug. 5, 2020. Located in Washington Square on 1704 Beacon Street, the new restaurant is known for its cocktails and tapas-style seafood dishes, but it also has some interesting food combinations that one might not initially think of. The menu offers a raw bar, a balance of simplistic yet delicious plates, sizable platters, and curious––but surprisingly successful––fusions.

Getting back to the Unagi Grilled Cheese ($16), it was a memorable dish that was basically a quirky spin on a tuna melt. And yes, unagi is eel. I promise, you can barely taste the eel and it’s not slimy. The unagi adds saltiness to the melted cheddar cheese and has a texture similar to cooked tuna. As a whole, the sandwich was crispy and cut into four bite-sized pieces.

Unagi Grilled Cheese (Photo by Zoe Tseng )

If you don’t want to be as adventurous, you can always go for the Local Baby Lettuce ($6), Grilled Maine Carrots ($10), Local Squash ($9), Rice Bowl ($19), or Grilled Arrowhead Cabbage ($10). The local squash dish consisted of a creamy mashed butternut squash “hummus” underneath a pile of squash noodles. There was a tinge of lemon flavoring on the squash noodles, and the mashed squash tasted similar to pumpkin pie filling. The combination was delicious.

Local Squash (Photo by Zoe Tseng )

In terms of seafood, Ivory Pearl’s menu has Maine Sea Urchin ($19), Tuna Crudo ($15), Hamachi Crudo ($16), and Manila Clams ($20) as plates. For pricier seafood platters, they have a Dover Sole ($59) and an IP Fisherman Platter ($39).

The Hamachi Crudo (a raw, thinly sliced Japanese fish) was fresh and light. Atop each slice was a dollop of quince paste, which is basically quince fruit mashed into a jam. The paste added the perfect amount of sweetness and balanced out some of the seafood flavor. Recommended by the waitress, the Hamachi Crudo definitely did not disappoint.

Hamachi Crudo (Photo by Zoe Tseng )

One of my favorite dishes was the Roasted Sunchokes ($12). As soon as the dish was placed on the table, a candy-like smell filled the air. This dish reminded me of homemade roasted potato wedges because of the crunchy outside and chewy inside. They were a little bit sweet but still retained a savory flavor.

Roasted Sunchokes (Photo by Zoe Tseng )

The rice bowl, one of the least quirky items on the menu, was topped with roe, peppers, fatty tuna, and pickled cabbage. The rice was well seasoned with flakes of seaweed. This dish was essentially a fancy sushi bowl. If you’re looking for a safe route, this is the perfect dish, but be warned that you will be missing out on wackier combinations that your tastebuds will thank you for.

As a restaurant known for its signature cocktails, my mom got the Champagne Papi. If you keep it on the down-low, I’d tell you it had a hint of sweetness and tasted like sparkling fruit punch.

And of course, to top it all off, Ivory Pearl offers three desserts: a Swedish Sugar Cake ($9), an Apple Cider Donut ($8) and Ice C.R.E.A.M ($15), which is described to sport Crème fraîche, potatoes and caviar. We went for the Swedish sugar cake. The cake, much like a bundt cake, was topped with whipped cream and a compote of apples akin to an apple pie filling. Although not quite as memorable as the other dishes, the cake was still tasty.

Rice Bowl (Photo by Zoe Tseng )
Swedish Sugar Cake (Photo by Zoe Tseng )

On a Friday night, the restaurant offers an energizing night time scene with lights decorating the front and patio area. They have seating indoors and outdoors, including a fenced-in portion of the road.

Although Ivory Pearl is on the pricier side, if you’re looking for a night out with family or friends, interesting food combinations and a light, but flavorsome meal, this restaurant will check all your boxes.