While you don't need to use International Sushi Day as an excuse to enjoy sushi, Koi has put together another tasty delicacy that was created just for this day, upcoming June 18th. While all the classics are still on the Koi menu for you, the Sunfire Roll will make this an extraordinarily memorable day for you and it will leave you hoping that it takes up permanent residency at Koi.
Koi has become the iconic Japanese restaurant of Los Angeles since opening in 2002 and Executive Chef Robb Lucas intends to keep it that way. With an always inventive menu and new creations for every occassion, he really pulled out all of the stops with the Sunfire Roll. The Sunfire Roll is prepared with snow crab, lobster, cilantro and cucumber and is topped with mango and avocado, then wrapped with soy paper and served with wasabi yuzu dressing. It certainly sounds like a wide variety of ingredients and flavors and you might wonder what flavor is going to hit you first. The greatness of this roll is that while the snow crab comes through the most in this dish, the rest of the dish just gradually flows through your taste buds. If you did not know the ingredients you would likely have a hard time guessing what they were because you really taste the subtleness of each flavor as they play off each other. The Sunfire Roll simply put is really what sushi is all about.
While it is International Sushi Day, Koi is having their own celebration that they are sharing with you. Koi is celebrating their 10th anniversary and in honor of their signature crispy rice, they have added some new versions to the original versions. The two that really struck me and I will hope to see them become mainstays are the kobe beef and the diced avocado versions. Kobe beef was seemingly made to be paired with the crispy rice with all of the richness and tenderness of the meat coming out with each bite and it only enhances the perfectly prepared crispy rice. The avocado with the smoothness and clean flavors makes for a lighter pairing but with it being avocado season you are finding the perfect time to try this combination.
A dish that might not be here for much longer, so I would suggest you don’t waste anytime making your way over to Koi, is the seared tuna with foie gras and black truffles. If you enjoy seared tuna you will be hard pressed to find a better version than the one at Koi, but that was not enough for Chef Lucas. He added the foie gras on top of the tuna and sprinkled truffles on top of the foie gras to create delectable trio of flavors. Every fish dish on the Koi menu is as fresh as possible and you can't go wrong with any choice, but the Salmon Carpaccio is another memorable item that you will want to try. The thinly slice salmon takes on a new personality once it is plated with citrus sauce and covered black truffles. The flavors all marinate into the salmon and draws those flavors right in, giving you less of a salmon flavor but more of just a very light and rich slice of fish. Even if you don't enjoy salmon I would be pretty confident that you would still really enjoy this dish.
Food alone does not make Koi what it all that is, there is so much more to the experience. Koi is a stunningly beautiful restaurant that has a natural aura about it that really encompasses all that a fine dining experience should be. A staff that is knowledgeable and never a step behind, you can’t go wrong with any server, but I will say if Angelo is handling your table, you are in for a treat. Charming, timely, funny and I would say he knows the menu as well as anyone at Koi. He makes your evening at Koi a memorable one and if he makes a suggestion, I would say take it. From the time you walk into Koi to the time you leave it truly is a first class experience.
International Sushi Day is a fantastic time to get out and try some new sushi or grab one of your all-time favorites that you have not ordered in a while. I would also recommend if you know someone who is a little apprehensive about trying sushi use this day an opportunity to get them to give sushi a try. Koi is the perfect restaurant for this as they have such a wide ranging menu that you are bound to come across something that even the most faint of heart would be willing to try and once you have them in Koi, they will be hooked.
Koi Los Angeles is located at 730 North La Cienega Bouevard. To make reservations call (310) 659-9449. For information on all Koi restaurants, visit: www.koirestaurant.com