A must every time I’m in L.A., this trip was no exception!
The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version:
I’m in love! Delicious food, good drinks and great service.
Sunday 6pm – 10pm
Monday – Thursday 6pm – 11pm
Friday – Saturday 6pm – 11:30pm
The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:
Let me start by saying that I do not view this as a traditional sushi restaurant. When I come here I get dishes that are derivatives of Japanese cuisine, let’s call it Japanese sushi with a flare (a delicious flare)!
Koi is spacious with four different seating areas and an outdoor patio. They also have a bar with a few stools. The décor is very calming, modern and simplistic. The restaurant exudes a classy, yet comforting vibe with dim lighting. The who’s who of celebrities have all dined here; a few years back you had to make reservations months in advance, but even though the “Hollywood hype” has moved on to the most recent headline-making establishment, Koi continues to welcome back repeat customers and newcomers alike. Trust me it isn’t their well-established name that will keep you coming back, it’s the food!
The great food and classy vibe is accompanied by great service. I almost always get served by the same people (shout out to Andrea and Megan) and they’re absolutely great. On the off chance that they are not working, though, the other waiters are also very attentive, personable and friendly.
There isn’t a strict dress code and they have gotten more casual over the years, so “smart casual” is the way to go. I have done a dress and heels or jeans, a sweater and flats. I would say dress more for your occasion than the restaurant, but keep it nice.
What we ate:
- Berry Bliss ($14)
- Shishito peppers ($6)
- Seared albacore with crispy onions ($15)
- Creamy rock shrimp ($15)
- Crispy rice ($16)
- Baked crab roll ($14)
- New York cheesecake
The items listed above are a must! I get these dishes every time I come, without fail, and the taste is always consistent.
Berry Bliss – This drink is my go-to. I, personally, prefer to do drinks before or after my meal because I don’t like to overwhelm the taste of the food (margaritas are often an exception). In Koi’s case, I just love the food way too much to mess with it. However, this drink is great while waiting for a table or before they bring the food. You have the option of ordering this drink with Gin or Vodka (I prefer vodka). Whichever alcohol you choose will be served with raw agave, pomegranate juice and raspberries. The raspberries really add to the drink because they are muddled and therefore, you get raspberry bits throughout the drink. Although you can taste the alcohol, the drink does a good job of masking it while not being overly sweet.
Roasted shishito peppers – We always start our meal off with this and edamame. They are roasted and sautéed in soy sauce. They are slightly sweet, slightly salty and on occasion very spicy.
Spicy seared albacore – This dish comes with about 8 pieces of seared albacore that sit in Ponzu sauce, topped with crispy red onions. I do not find this dish spicy at all, but the taste is great. I am a huge fan of Ponzu sauce so that makes it for me, but the fish itself is also perfection and the crispy red onions add a nice texture.
Creamy rock shrimp tempura – The tempura rock shrimp covered in a creamy sauce are delicious. They are a small, crispy, and crunchy bite of heaven. The shrimp have a slight spice and come topped with crispy onions. The flavor is different than anything else on their menu and the texture adds to the delightfulness of this dish.
Baked crab roll – This roll is on the pricier side, but completely worth it. This is probably a heart attack waiting to happen, but I wouldn’t complain if it was the last thing I ate. The only reason I say heart attack is because it tastes buttery and perfect (something like that can’t be low in calories). It is wrapped in soy paper, stuffed with crab – simple, yet completely mind-blowing. Beware: induces food-gasms.
Koi crispy rice – this is by far one of my favorite things! Sometimes I just stop by and grab 2 orders to go. An order comes with four pieces of crispy rice topped with spicy tuna and a jalapeño sliver. Other restaurants have the same item on their menu, but let me tell you, no one does it like Koi! The rice is perfectly crispy without being hard or chewy. The tuna isn’t too spicy and the flavor just blends deliciously with the rice. The tuna is so smooth that it practically melts in your mouth and the jalapeño adds an extra kick. This is the definition of orgasmic!
New York Cheesecake – I hardly ever make it to dessert, but this time we all decided to share a new york cheesecake. WOW, I am so glad we did, it was amazing! The cheesecake is super creamy and full of flavor. It is served with blueberries, mango ice-cream, pineapple pieces and a dried slice of pineapple. The ice-cream was delicious and super flavorful. It paired great with the subtle creaminess of the cheesecake, giving it a tropical flavor. I was seriously in love after the first bite. This dessert is not to be missed. I have tried the brownie sundae previously and this wins by a landslide.
My mouth was literally watering while writing this review, so if you haven’t indulged at Koi yet, make sure to put it on your must-try list.
I’ll see you here tomorrow for a scrumptious review of my birthday cake.