“This is by no means a new restaurant – in fact, it’s a staple”
Located in vibrant La Cienega Boulevard, with Barton G and Nobu just up the road. Koi is definitely in good company. This is by no means a new restaurant – in fact, it’s a staple, but it was new to me having been in LA for just a year and a half. I still couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried Koi yet. It has been a celebrity and local favorite since it opened back in 2002. And the fact that it still exists in the shifting landscape that is LA nightlife, speaks volumes.
My partner and I came here for a date night, and it is the perfect spot for one: super intimate with dim lighting and a modern zen vibe that really sets the scene. We had our puppy with us and that was no problem, we even got seating indoors.
Cozy in our curved booth seating, we started with cocktails, an Old Fashioned and the gin and basil-flavored Hana Blossom – both delicious. I knew I had to try the Salmon Carpaccio with its rave reviews and a doubling-down recommendation from our server. I am addicted to truffles (I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve been following along), so I just had to. And yes, I agree with everyone: it is a must-try. I practically finished this myself, though most of the items are tapas style and meant to be shared!
We ordered our mains and noticed the hot sake on the menu. Upon further investigation, we noticed some great choices we just had to try. So enough with the cocktails, we placed our sake order. I mean if I’m having Japanese and there’s hot sake available, I just have to have the whole authentic experience. And we were so glad we did. . . in fact, we ended up finishing 3 bottles by the end of the night – a perfectly boozy date night, indeed!
The mains took some time to arrive, but I was completely enjoying the ambiance (as well as the liquor) and the setting was perfect for conversation. I was also able to strike up a convo with our server and get some insider tips!
What are some of the best meals in the city?
Horses, Oste, Leo’s Tacos Truck and n/naka. I also like trying new places and recently went to Cento Pasta Bar – amazing pasta.
Best Date Spots?
LA has so many, but The Little Door, Firefly and obviously Koi!
What are some of the secret spots?
Bathtub Gin, Umbrella Social Club, Black Rabbit Rose, and Varnish Bar
When the mains finally got to us, I must say we had really made some good choices: the Grilled Chilean Sea Bass, again with Truffle Sauce though this time mixed with Habenero, was superb and the Peppercorn Filet Mignon Toban Yaki with Shishito Potato Mash was so juicy and delish – the perfect combo.
We somehow still had room for dessert and ordered their Flourless Molten Chocolate Cake with Ice Cream and Homemade Marshmallows. The presentation was on point and it boasted a taste to match.
We were totally taken with Koi and will definitely be back to sample more of their fantastic menu. It is the perfect special occasion spot, or a romantic date night and the service is incredible – truly, the entire house. That’s what really set this place apart. To experience this for yourself, make sure to book a table in advance on Resy.