It’s estimated that the average person makes roughly 35,000 decisions per day, only about 120 of which are informed – which assumes a higher level of thinking went into them, perhaps assuming that executive functions are put aside. Unsurprising that some of those decisions are about food: what am I going to eat or drink today, and when?
On the other side of that equation are the millions of minute decisions that went into formulating a single experience at Sushi Roku at Fashion Island: which incorporates innovative cuisine, incredible ambiance, first-class service, and fish. Only the freshest, finest fish from around the world serve as the centerpiece for the menu’s daily sushi and sashimi selections, signature hand and cut rolls.
There is something here for every appetite and palate as my son and I discovered on a recent mother/son night out. Full disclosure: I’m half Japanese and pride myself on personally ferreting out the region’s best sushi and omakase (leave it to the chef or the literal translation “I’ll leave it up to you”) suggested offerings. Some establishments are steeped in tradition, while others like Sushi Roku infuse the culinary scene with a wide variety of dishes with a contemporary spin.
The restaurant’s interior and ambiance is modern – think sleek lines, high ceilings and bonsai-inspired greenery throughout four distinct dining spaces: outdoor patio, spacious dining room, a bar separate from the dining room and the warm, walnut counter sushi bar.
Out of a deep respect for tradition and the desire to enmesh past and present, the restaurant serves diverse, non-traditional ingredients from Latin America and Europe in its magnificent edible artistry (global ingredients from Japanese sauces, jalapenos from Latin America, black truffles from France and Italian cheeses). Whether you’re craving a taste on date night or simply attending a private event at the stunning Newport Beach dining room, the staff will attend to your every need, right down to a premium sake pairing by the glass, carafe, or bottle.
Even though he can easily consume his weight in fresh fish, my 16-year-old son is my go-to sushi partner. His adventurous palate makes it especially fun to sample new and inventive fare. On this evening, our experience was an over-the-top experience of edible works of art where the freshest of seafood is delicately and perfectly balanced with extraordinary flavors and spices.
Our favorite starters? The tuna crudo (with avocado, micro greens, garlic chips, sesame chips and aji amarillo), melt-in-your-mouth baked cod enhanced with sweet miso, the American Wagyu potsticker “gyoza” and ribeye wrapped asparagus that arrives sizzling in its own cast iron skillet.
I opted for several Roku style nigiri sushi while my son went straight for the signature rolls including the crunchy spicy tuna tempura, tuna jalapeno with yuzu olive oil and cilantro. Other popular picks include the Katana roll with combines spicy tuna, shrimp tempura topped with tuna & yellowtail, spicy mayo and the Gensai, which deliciously blends cucumber, jalapeno, avocado, topped with salmon, kizami wasabi, rice cracker and yuzu olive oil.
The service here is worth a special mention – super attentive, yet unobtrusive. The atmosphere lively and upbeat. The ambiance and decor a modern aesthetic. And the food? Worthy of writing home about – every dish was delicious and artfully displayed.
Order for takeout if you aren’t in the mood to dress up, or put on your finest and order one of each item drizzled with the truffle miso glaze. Trust me: it’s not a decision you’ll regret.