By Kelly Grace Thomas
When it comes to sushi, an adventurous cuisine, most of us have a tendency to play it safe. Whether it be the predictable California roll or old Shrimp Tempura staple, many of us find ourselves in an ordering rut. For those looking to add a little splash to the monotony, Sushi Roku is just the place.
Sushi Roku, owned by the Innovative Dining Group, recently celebrated their anniversary - eighteen years of deliciousness. To commensurate the occasion newly appointed Executive Chef Tyson Wong, created a new menu, one packed with enticing ingredients, a bold and palatable sampling of just how deep flavor can go. With dishes like Tuna Sashimi Carpaccio and Blue Crab Tartare this surprise of flavors is a welcomed change to the traditional hand roll or miso soup. Besides the newest additions, Sushi Roku has also expanded their “secret menu.” Meaning those with insider knowledge can choose from an ocean of exotic options. From dishes like Spicy Pork Belly “Kakuni” Fried Rice to Blue Crab Tartare, just one bite of these delectable dishes will leave you talking for weeks to come. Trust us. Edible Skinny was invited to sample some of Sushi Roku’s latest creations and before the second course we were already planning our return.
For those looking to start with something light Sushi Roku offers a variety of appetizers from both garden and sea. Our vegetarian half of Edible Skinny loved Roku’s Nori Senbei, a crispy weightless seaweed cracker with wasabi cream in lightly fried puffed dough. For those looking for a Gluten Free option, the secret menu offers both Truffle Edamame and Spicy Edamame, the perfect opportunity to start your meal with all of the flavor and none of the guilt. Other health conscious, fresh-flavored choices include the King Crab Lettuce Cups, as well as the velvet smooth Yellowtail with Diced Chilies served with olive oil and garlic ponzu.
Wong’s expertise and guidance has also landed Sushi Roku as Sashimi experts, showing no matter how you slice or dice, their flavor is still layered thick. The Edible Skinny loved the Fluke Kumquat Sashimi with a light and tangy Yuzu Vinaigrette, as well as the Seared Albacore Sashimi with Fried Onions and Garlic Ponzu. But the evening’s standout was the Tuna Sashimi Carpaccio, served Katana style, with shaved Parmesan, micro arugula, truffle tamari soy and diced avocado. Though this dish is not large in size, the flavors are huge. With on bite, the many facets, of tied together textures and savory seasonings will leave you completely satiated. This dish is quality over quantity, and oh boy, once you have tried it, it’s hard to look back.
Sushi Roku also offers other bite-sized starters, with lots of flavor. Among them are the Aji Crudo, whose light accents are flavored with Jack Mackerel, ginger relish and Aji Amarillo sauce. There is also the Hanabi, which is served seven different ways. Edible Skinny had the pleasure of sampling the chef’s choice, prepared with yellowtail sashimi, diced red peppers, scallions and citrus soy.
But no tasting would be complete without a list of must trys. And these are a must. The following are our superstar, Sushi Roku favorites, favorites being an understatement. After tasting these intricate dishes, Edible Skinny wondered, “Why go to sushi anywhere else?” For those who are more turf than surf, we recommend the melt-in-your-mouth, tender-yet-crunchy, can-I-eat-this everyday-please, Spicy Pork Belly “Kakuni” Fried Rice. This eight-hour braised pork meat, which falls off the bone like butter, is arguably one of the best meats we tasted all year. This perfect portion is then place on top a bed of fried rice, and garnished with a creamy fried egg. Edible Skinny’s other vote for standout was the Blue Crab Tartare, which feels like the food version of silk pajamas. Luxury. Luxury. Luxury. Made with Santa Barbara Uni (sea urchin) and caviar, this dish is rich in a way that doesn't overwhelm. Its delicate and smooth texture feels like the first touch of velvet in a sea of sandpaper. Though one of their pricer items, this undeniably one of the best seafood appetizers to be ordered in Los Angeles.
Try any one of these delectable offerings and you can’t go wrong. From bold and brave dishes, to soft and savory, Sushi Roku’s new menu has something for everyone. With these new offerings of exotic explorations, one thing is for sure, Sushi Roku is redefining the sushi same.
Sushi Roku has locations in Los Angles, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Las Vegas and Scottsdale.