T+L Reports: Wok 'n Roll in L.A.
Sushi, dim sum, and dancing?So it goes at Los Angeles's latest crop of Asian restaurants, which are doubling as popular after-hours venues. At Koi (730 N. La Cienega Blvd.; 310/659-9449; dinner for two $90), which sparked the trend, the line of Ferraris lining up for valet parking gives a preview of the scene inside. Diners are apt to be distracted from chef Rodelio Aglibot's black cod bronzed with miso only by nonstop people-watching. (Are those the Osbournes in the corner?) • For a little trip-hop with their California rolls, Angelenos head to White Lotus (1743 N. Cahuenga Blvd.; 323/463-0060; dinner for two $80). The best seats are on the patio under soaring white tents surrounded by a bamboo garden. • The team behind the ever popular Sushi Roku mini-empire has struck again with the Japanese grill, Katana (8439 W. Sunset Blvd.; 323/650-8585; dinner for two $70), where spiny crab and Kobe beef are prepared by a robata chef. The restaurant is such a scene that it's even released a Hôtel Costes-style CD.
At this West Hollywood Japanese restaurant, trendy patrons settle into an equally trendy, 6,000-sq-ft dining room that features large arched windows, bar tops in 400-year-old redwood, and walls lined with protruding railroad spikes. Whether dining on streamlined banquettes or outside on a heated patio overlooking the Sunset Strip, visitors can savor signature dishes such as the baked lobster sushi roll and robata, traditional Japanese skewers of meat, vegetables, or fish roasted over an open flame. Specialty cocktails like the ginger lychee mojito are also a highlight.