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At a time when hot restaurants tend to have the lifespan of mayflies, Koi is more popular than ever, a hookup nirvana of intimate patios and forested corners; a dining room whose seating chart seems ripped straight from the pages of Us Weekly. Koi’s matrix of sushi, celebrity and sex bumped up the paradigm, and there are now Koi-like lounges around the globe. It is widely believed, though, that the post-Matsuhisa-style cuisine at Koi is an afterthought, that the avocado-laden tuna tartare on crispy won tons, the tuna sashimi with jalapeno, and the albacore Italiano are secondary to the rush, the scene, even the steak. But somebody has been paying attention behind the sushi bar — the sourcing of the fish is extraordinary. And if you’re going to eat something like a baked-crab hand roll, you might as well have a good one. It’ll give you something to do while you eavesdrop on Lindsay Lohan.
Koi, the lavish new restaurant on La Cienega in the former Drai space, doesn‘t miss a Japanese design motif. Bonsai. Buddhas. Bamboo. Smooth round pebbles. Wide plank floors. Fire by water. Koi. Why, for a hot spot, it’s downright Zen. On my... More »
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