It has been almost a year since Roku opened on the Sunset Strip. The 8,000 square-foot modern restaurant with black-and-white marble flooring, manicured Bonsai trees and a warm, sophisticated vibe has been a popular spot for celebrities. It is a restaurant that can please most palates as they offer sushi, teppanyaki, new style appetizers, inventive entrees and, of course, favorite dishes from the iconic Sushi Roku.
With the menu changing seasonally, we went to try the new items on ROKU’s menu.
Shishito Peppers - Typical shishito peppers are elevated with a yuzu miso sauce and melted Parmesan
As dining out becomes a daily occurrence, what draws a customer to one restaurant over another? Is it the food, the décor, or the service? Perhaps it’s the overall experience which is then reported back to friends. With the influence of social media, diners love to share what they are experiencing on Instagram, Facebook, Periscope, Twitter, and Snapchat. Usually the photos of a beautifully plated dish will represent the experience. However, some restaurants are taking the dining experience to a more experiential level and incorporating theatrical elements. No longer is dining out simply sitting at a table with your friends and having a conversation.
Theatrical dining is not a new concept. Italian pizza restaurant Miceli’s has the singing waiters and The Magic Castle offers roaming magicians and magic shows. There is also Medieval Times where men, dressed as knights, joust and brandish weapons as diners eat and cheer on the knights. But food is not the primary focus when a diner goes to one of these venues. They go for the entertainment and for the overall experience. Yet, there are experiential dining experiences in Los Angeles that are raising the bar and going beyond performance dining. Theatrical elements are brought into the modern dining environment to enhance, not overshadow, the food.