Sushi on Sunset is reborn, and now the focus is on food instead of debauchery. Ardi Entezam, Michael Charles and longtime music industry vet Jonnie Forster re-launched the Sunset Strip restaurant on Labor Day, dubbing it Sushi on Sunset East/West Fusion. Chef Tetsuro Ahn (sushi) has collaborated with Culinary Director Rod Aglibot (fusion) on a multi-faceted Asian menu, which is geared toward a new generation of Sunset Strip denizens.
Aglibot was the opening chef at Koi and Yi Cuisine before traveling across Asia and Australia for four months, a trip he chronicled on his blog, Swining and Dining. “Tetsu” is a Kappo Sushi Chef from Kyoto who crossed the Pacific in 2000.
At last night’s Sushi on Sunset media dinner, Forster delved into the restaurant’s history. Sushi on Sunset was apparently one of the first sushi bars in Los Angeles, and it got rowdy. S.O.S. lasted 25 years, but went under as soon as the owner died. Now Sushi on Sunset is back after a five-year absence. Entezam razed the space in 2004 and rebuilt as Empress, a relatively short-lived Asian restaurant that was designed by Thomas Schoos. The current incarnation is a modified version of Schoos’ design, just as sleek but more casual. The two levels combined can accommodate 104 people. Downstairs is dominated by Chef Tetsu’s sushi bar and upstairs features city views from the low-lit dining room.
The trio of owners has embraced Sunset Strip nostalgia. All the specialty cocktails are named for bands that broke on Sunset Boulevard, including Motley Crue (Kick Start My Heart), The Doors (Light My Fire), Guns ‘n Roses (Rocket Queen) and Van Halen (Panama). Tetsu San’s sushi rolls are named for famous Sunset Strip establishments. For example, the Riot House is named for the once notorious Hyatt House. Even the music is derived from the Strip’s heyday in the eighties.
Forster spent years working for Capitol Records, and hopes to channel his connections at Sushi on Sunset. The space is wired for acoustic sets and is tailored to host record release parties.
Here’s a taste of the menu:
Matsuri (Chef Tetsu signature dish, $32) – 4 items selected daily by the chef
House Special Rolls
Mocambo Roll ($13) – baked blue crab and avocado roll with sliced jalapeno and 3 kinds of spicy sauce
The S.O.S. ($27) – lobster, freshwater ell and avocado are mixed with smelt egg mayo and tama miso, then baked. This mix is laid on top of sushi rice and covered with green tea miso, spicy sauce, eel sauce and tobiko
Karakara Buri ($17) – fresh yellowtail sashimi, jalapeno, marinated onion, tosaka seaweed with black pepper & yuzu sauce
On The Cooler Side
Crispy Salmon Mitzuna Salad ($14) with tomato-miso vinaigrette & pickled onions
On The Hot Side
“Pinoy” Style Domestic Kobe Beef Satays ($16) with lime pepper sauce
“Red” Lamb ($12) – grilled Asian rubbed lamb in lettuce cups with cucumber aioli
“Noodaling” ($16) – caramelized chicken & mango with rice noodles
Pan Roasted Striped Bass ($32) with Asian style paella
Chinese “Churros” ($8) with five-spice sugar and chocolate sauce