If you’re looking for a scene with some innovative food and hard-bodied waiters as eye candy, Roku Sunset is your jam.
The fifth collaboration for the creative team of Innovative Dining Group and Ralph Gentile Architects, located on the corner of Sunset and Doheny, is a 5,550 square food feast for the senses. Visually, it’s stunning. The redesigned façade features grand mahogany windows which pivot outwards, while seating includes an eclectic combination of upholstered booths, settees and Mid-Century ‘hair pin’ chairs. Leather armchairs and upholstered side chairs are paired with flamed white oak tables enhancing a relaxed, stylish feel.
Then there’s the manicured cypress trees. A tree grows in Brooklyn, you say? Well, they also grow in Los Angeles. These arbors, placed in oversized earthen pots, provide a soft screening effect between restaurant areas and add some kitsch to the decor.
A great man once said that you can tell the worth of a restaurant by it’s ceiling. The ceiling here is spot on. Above the patio, you’ll find a series of rustic beams inspired by Asian patterns, creating a novel interplay of light and natural materials. From a practical perspective they also help control the acoustics and effectively conceal the lighting, sound system and sprinklers.
Lighting is provided by a retractable awning system during the day and multi-scene dimmer system of wall sconces at night, offering a range of lighting for different areas of the restaurant. During the day a soft glow filters from above thru the beam ceiling and the mahogany storefront. At night, the lights of Sunset twinkle and the dark sky takes over.
A major focal point of the restaurant is the feature wall showcasing Asian-inspired street art. Created by artist Hans Haveron especially for Roku Sunset, the large three-paneled piece, which spans 20 feet, is a collage of figures and landscape. The glass panels are backlit for a soft glow.
The sushi bar features a live edge walnut bar encircled on three sides by green seat belt stools, while an overhead skylight with vintage Japanese lanterns illuminates the lounge. It’s very cool, and very ambient.
And now that we’ve discussed the awesome ambiance, here are five additional reasons you’re going to love your experience at Roku Sunset.
- The four teppanyaki grills. Unlike many Roku restaurants, Roku Sunset feature four teppanyaki grills, making the actual preparation of food a feature attraction. Larger groups will enjoy an authentic Japanese cooking experience while seated in counter seats with backs.
- Decadent desserts. In addition to items like pumpkin fritters and a caramel budino, there’s an amazing DIY s’mores confection with handmade marshmallows, green tea ice cream and all the sauces you can possibly imagine at your disposal.
- Tableside toro tartare. The waiters (all clad in form-fitting denim) will prepare your toro for you tableside. It makes the experience that much cooler to enjoy something so fresh.
- The omakase experience. Put your trust in the chef when you order the outrageous omakase experience at Roku Sunset. We enjoyed dish after dish after dish, from the delightful ahi tacos, to the utterly fresh sashimi, to roasted kabocha and butternut squash to the excellent Shima roll: shrimp-wrapped spicy tuna with cilantro and avocado.
- Oh, the cocktails! We admit it, we’re impressed. Whether you’re enjoying a wide variety of sakes (including our favorite, the sparkling Banzai Bunny), high-end Japanese whiskies like Hibiki or signature cocktails like the Paciifc Scorpion—an in-house infusion with Svedka, Svedka Clementine, coconut, pineapple, passion fruit, watermelon, guava and lychee—you’re going to leave warm and very happy.