Off the Menu: Sushi Roku Rocks Fashion Island

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roku 4By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale | NB Indy

Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island was one of the few fine French bistros in Newport Beach that had a distinctive atmosphere and cuisine, prepared by owner and chef Pascal Olhats, Christopher could frequently be found at the bar, sipping a glass of syrah and enjoying the shrimp cassoulet.

Brasserie Pascal closed over a year ago, but the large restaurant space inroku 3 Fashion Island across from True Food Kitchen and Fleming’s has been revamped and reborn as Sushi Roku, and Christopher couldn’t be happier.

We dined there recently and were thoroughly impressed with the atmosphere, cuisine, and service. Even Catherine, who admittedly is not normally a sushi fan, enjoyed the experience.

roku 2“This may be the best sushi I have ever had, and certainly the most creative,” gushed Christopher during the meal. “I am blown away by the Blue Crab tartare with uni and caviar ($30). It practically melts in your mouth. And everything we’ve tried, from the sushi ($7 to $18 per order) to the short ribs ($17), has been perfectly prepared and presented. I’m also impressed with the selection of sake. I like the sake flight idea, especially for novices like me who want to try different types of sake.”

“And I like the fact that they have more than just sushi, such as the beef rib eye wrapped asparagus ($16) and the filet foie gras and asparagus ($14),” added Catherine. “And of course, I loved the s’mores dessert that comes with your own tiny campfire to make your s’mores at your table.”

We learned that this is the sixth Sushi Roku location (others are in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Scottsdale), androku 1 that the concept is to mix traditional with modern influences, which they’ve done well with Sushi Roku.

“We’ve been looking forward to making our debut into Orange County’s vibrant dining scene for quite some time,” said Lee Maen, Partner at Innovative Dining Group, the parent company for Sushi Roku. “We are excited to share our modern approach to Japanese cuisine as well as Roku’s outstanding level of hospitality at this stunning location in Fashion Island.”

roku 5Yes, the interior is stunning. Sushi Roku has a 129-seat dining room, 16-seat sushi bar, 15-seat bar with 18-seat lounge, and 40 seats for patio dining.

The interior boasts earth tones, porcelain wood grain floors, stained oak-slat ceiling, warm teak exterior and windows, 8-foot bamboo forest-inspired wall, and walnut around the sushi bar.

Although we sampled many different menu items, along with several creative cocktails, we’ll be going back again (and again) to see what other dazzling dishes await our palates at Sushi Roku.

For more information, visit


Bungalow BBQ Night

The Bungalow Restaurant in Corona del Mar has brought back their popular Wednesday Night BBQ on the Patio, available every Wednesday through the summer beginning at 5 p.m.

Entrée choices include half of a barbecued chicken ($23), mesquite baby back ribs ($25), mesquite grilled king salmon ($28), grilled mixed kabob shrimp, chicken and teak ($29), and mesquite grilled flat iron steak ($28)

All entrees come with a choice of two sides.

“Our Wednesday night summer barbecue has been immensely popular over the years,” said Jim Walker, co-owner of The Bungalow. “Guests begin asking for it as soon as the weather starts getting warmer.”

Diners can add one of The Bungalow’s signature Mule cocktails for $8.

For more information, visit


Dock and Dine at SOL

With so many boaters wanting to dine while they cruise Newport Harbor, SOL Cocina on Coast Highway has brought back its popular Dock & Dine full-service dockside catering, created by Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, whose south-of-the-border cuisine is truly inspired, and delicious.

“SOL’s location at the Balboa Marina is prime docking for those looking for the perfect ambiance to enjoy a sunny afternoon or a scenic nightscape,” said Matt Baumayr, managing partner of SOL Cocina.

Dock & Dine offers five different tasting menu packages and includes SOL’s signature salsas, guacamole and Borracho black beans with cotixa cheese, served with crispy tostadas and warm corn tortillas.

“The Dock and Dine menus were developed for those looking for a little excitement and a fun Mexican experience without any hassle,” said Chef Schneider. “I created each of these unique menus, offering a variety of options, to provide more than just a snack or light meal, so it’s a true SOL experience.”

For more information, visit

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