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
I went to Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel many years ago during DineLA but had not been back and then heard it closed over a year ago. I never heard if a new place opened but apparently Boxwood has been the restaurant at the London Hotel for over a year now.
I recently went with a friend for a media dinner and was intrigued with what we would experience. For years the Sunset Strip was not a foodie destination but with restaurants like Eveleigh and The Churchkey, I anticipated that anything new would aspire to be on the same level. The restaurant is opulent with views overlooking the lights of the Sunset Strip, textured white walls and leather banquettes. Unfortunately, Boxwood does not live up to the quality of food that those other restaurants offer.
The menu at Boxwood seems to have a little of everything, from sushi to pasta to chicken tikka masala to steak. Although there are Japanese, Indian, Italian, French and American dishes, the menu is not an international menu. The menu does not seem to have a purpose or direction. It seems more like a hotel restaurant that is trying to appeal to all but not necessarily pleasing anyone.
We started with a few cocktails. I would define the quality of drink not only by its balance but by it being finished. Sadly none of the drinks at our table were finished.
The Heir and the Spare (Peligrosso Cinnamon Tequila, Pimms, Ginger Beer, Orange Puree, Lemon Twist) is very hot and sweet and tastes like a cinnamon red hot candy. London Calling (Mezcal, St. Germain, Averna, Lemon Juice) has too much going on, from the smokiness of the mezcal, the sweetness of the St. Germain, the bitterness of the Averna and the citrus of the lemon juice. The Eye (Basil Haydens, Strawberry, Blueberry, Mint) is too light and the fruit adds sweetness but does not add depth or acidity.