Hersh Ipaktchian, of Kaysville, got his start in the restaurant industry while he was a student at Weber State University 48-years ago. He fell in love with the business and has opened dozens of successful restaurants over the years.
It is the sense of accomplishment from serving good food, giving good service and seeing people smile that keeps Ipaktchian passionate about what he does. He started with Italian and Mexican establishments, followed by two Peppercorn Steakhouses from 1990 to 1994, and six Mulboons restaurants between 1985 and 2004.
Ipaktchian currently owns the 10 Iggy’s Sports Grill locations scattered around the state, a concept he started in 1996. Most recently, he opened the Cantina Southwestern Grill in Layton in September 2011.
“I just like to, every so often, start a new concept,” he said of his decision to try something completely new. He used the resources of several chefs working in his Iggy’s restaurants to develop the unique Southwestern menu.
“Everything is made on premises and everything is fresh,” he said.
That includes the seven salsas offered on the salsa bar, ranging from mild to “hot, hot hot,” as Ipaktchian put it.
The meats are cooked fresh daily for dishes such as Flautas ala Cantina ($11.55), two flour tortillas stuffed with grilled chicken, cheeses and vegetables fried crispy and smothered in a house verde sauce; and the Cantina Chimichanga ($9.85), a flour tortilla encasing grilled chicken, jalapenos, onions, cheeses and fresh guacamole.
For seafood lovers, the house specialty is Grilled Salmon With Cucumber Sauce ($15.85), hand-cut salmon in a creamy homemade sauce.
On the lighter side, the Ensalada Cantina
($8.25) combines a bed of romaine with nopales, tomatoes, red onions, black beans, cilantro vinaigrette and tortilla strips. The restaurant also serves many varieties of alcoholic and non-alcoholic margaritas ($3.95 and up).
All of the desserts are homemade, including Flan ($4.85), Fried Ice Cream ($4.65), Horchata Panna Cotta ($3.85), Margarita Cheesecake ($5.95) and a Churro Sundae ($4.55).