It's trendy, it's young, it's delicious...it's Koi Restaurant in LA. Part of a widely successul chain with outposts all over the country from Las Vegas to New York and then beyond to Bangkok, the ambiance was modern, cool, asian-inspired and service was efficient, laid-back and fun. There's a definite vibe and people-watching scene here. The food, a succession of smaller but amazingly fresh dishes, is delicious.
I particularly liked the outdoor courtyard setting with bamboo plants, soothing Zen-like fountains and sexy mood lighting. The menu is comprised of sushi as well as signature hot and cold asian-inspired dishes. They call it "Japanese inspired cuisine with California accents" and that sums it up perfectly.
I tried some of the Koi Signature Dishes, namely the "Salmon Carpaccio with Black Truffles and Citrus Sauce" it was unbelievably fresh and light. Los Angeles weight conscious types can eat this one with zero guilt.
Next I had the Toro rolls: unctuous, melt-in-your-mouth, deliciousness and an explosion of freshness in every bite. But without a doubt, the best part of the dinner was dessert. I often find that Japanese-inspired restaurants don't always live up to the hype when it comes to dessert, but this one was different. The "Koi Sundae" should be featured on the Travel Channel: yes, it's that level of crazy good, over the top presentation that we love watching on TV. The menu says it's vanilla and chocolate ice-cream, warm brownie and fresh bananas but I could have sworn there were a couple of other ingredients like hot fudge, whipped cream and possibly a few others which I've since forgotten. They present it to you in the cup and then turn it upside down in the plate so you can better enjoy ALL the flavors: this is definitely one to be shared.