Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Roku Sunset, IDG's Newest Flagship Restaurant in West Hollywood

by Bryan Tsunoda @btsunoda

West Hollywood or “WeHo” has become an interesting intersection for me. More of my co-workers select WeHo as their place to call home. In addition, I have been receiving way more invites to dine at WeHo restaurants. I was fortunate to be invited to one of the hottest restaurants, Roku Sunset.

Due to the large front windows, the interior is full of natural light. Combined with the fact that their is spacious seating available, Roku Sunset is extremely welcoming. It’s certainly bodes well for someone trying to impress their date.

I typically lean towards sake when I eat Japanese seafood. After perusing the drink list, I decided it was only fitting to start with a sake flight. After all, it was an easy way to sample different types of sake.

The traditional sake sampler consisted of three premium samples: Ken Sword Daiginjo, Yuki No Bosha, and Shichi Hon Yari. The Ken Sword Daiginjo was probably the driest of the group. The Yuki No Bosha was fruity and had notes of banana and strawberries. The Shichi Hon Yari was the most interesting as it was very rustic and earthy.

I began my meal with the bluefin tuna.
 It was combined with diced avocados, tomatoes, shaved parmesan and shaved truffles. I was initially skeptical about mixing bluefin with parmesan, but overall the combination of flavors worked very well.
The grilled octopus with shiso had a pleasant smoky flavor and a nice crunchy texture. The addition of kimchi made it slightly spicy.

Jidori chicken was served on a small tray with the thigh meat sliced width-wise. I thought the skin was not overly crispy which didn’t take away from the mild taste of the chicken.

Sampling their craft cocktails, I tried the Nutty Monkey which was comprised of premium gin, green chartreuse, muddled blackberries and raspberries. This cocktail was bursting with fruit, and for me, it was a great drink for the summer.

I also tried their “Silence Moe”. This is made with El Silencio Black Mezcal which gives the drink a smoky flavor. It was combined with grapefruit juice and yuzu. It was almost like a smoky Paloma.

The robata grilled Alaskan king crab was very tender and moist and extremely delicious!
 I appreciated the fact that they basted it with with garlic butter. A miso corn pudding and fried sage was served on the side. This provided a nice contrast to the crab legs.

I decided to try their nigiri and my server suggested that I try kinmedai. I combined that with one of my favorites, sea bream. I found the kinmedai to be velvety soft and slightly sweet in taste. The sea bream was equally fresh and satisfying.

Roku Sunset manages to provide food comprised of fresh ingredients that is presented well. This is modern Japanese cuisine that is well executed and combined with a full suite of beverages: sake, beer, wine and craft cocktails. If you are looking for that special meal, I strongly recommend that you consider Roku Sunset.

Roku Sunset
9201 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(319) 278-2060


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