The elegantly used natural materials in earthen tones and strategically placed soft lights create just the right setting for ... More
The elegantly used natural materials in earthen tones and strategically placed soft lights create just the right setting for a memorable Japanese inspired meal. Tempting starters include Baked Crab Roll with edible rice paper that goes well with a glass of Koi sake. Try out the signature hot and cold dishes like the Seared Toro Sashimi with Garlic Sauce or the Tiger Prawns Butterfly Grilled with Asian Glaze. Vegetarian lovers can go for the Tempuras (asparagus, green beans, yams, onion, shiitake, eggplant and carrot). The soothing Feng Shui ambiance with the Asian fusion cuisine is worth a try.
Summary: Sublime food, enhanced by a gorgeous setting, attentive staff, and great soundtrack.
Koi is unbelievably beautiful patio setting with a mixture of Asian accents, foliage, lighting, waterfalls, and the namesake fish. Cool background music was upbeat and energizing, without being loud or distracting.
We arrived a few minutes prior to our reservation. The short walk between the valet parking and gated entrance was lined with paparazzi, but isn't that part of the LA mystique? We were greeted pleasantly and seated promptly at a table next to a miniature waterfall. Stunning.
Our dining goal was a sampling of the best Koi had to offer. Our server, Paul, was professional and informative when assisting us with our menu selections, then attentive without being intrusive as we dined.
We began with a selection of appetizers. The edamame arrived first; perfectly steamed and salted, it was just the thing for taking the edge from our mounting hunger. Next came the rock shrimp hand roll with avocado and the hamachi fusion. The former was arguably the best appetizer I've ever tasted ... creamy, smooth, bursting with flavorful chunks of fresh rock shrimp. The latter was also divine, with slivers of hamachi lightly drizzled with a tangy, sweetly spicy sauce.
Next out was the dragon roll, which will be the standard by which we measure all future dragon rolls. Spicy, crunchy, perfection.
The entrees arrived, beautifully presented. We enjoyed the yellowtail salmon salad, with its tangy balsamic/soy dressing and the steamed sea bass, wonderfully tender in a tasty broth which could have stood on its own as a soup.
Our evening concluded with a pineapple upside down cake which was nothing like anyone's grandmother ever made in a cast iron skillet. Full as we were, every bite was savored.
Quantities of each dish were nice (no skimpy bite-size doll food here), and prices were quite reasonable for the quality. Our complete dinner, including a modestly priced bottle of riesling, was just over $100 per person.
Koi gets a lot of press for being a place to spot celebrities, but the food and the restaurant itself are the real stars. We plan on returning often, and will heartily recommend Koi to all.
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