Koi at Planet Hollywood recently launched its omakase, or “chef’s choice” menu, available through Dec. 25. The eight-course meal features the greatest hits of Koi’s contemporary Japanese menu, from both the sushi bar and the hot kitchen, for the holiday-friendly price of $50 per person. 454-4555, KoiRestaurant.com.
Gorgeous salmon is sliced paper-thin, such that it almost melts when it hits your tongue, and releases the essence of the fragrant black truffle that tops it. A bright, briny dash of citrus soy cuts into the richness of the truffle and salmon.
Tempura Kabocha Squash
Koi dips into the season’s bounty with these thin slivers of orange kabocha squash, which turn tender and almost creamy after they’ve been cooked. Those who may be afraid of autumn gourds have nothing to fear—this squash is dipped into an airy tempura batter and deep fried, then served with a classic tempura dipping sauce. Which of course makes everything better.
Crispy rice with spicy tuna
One of Koi’s signature items, small sushi rice cakes are browned on all sides to create a crunchy, golden-brown crust. A concoction of minced tuna accented with lots of togarashi shichimi (ground Japanese red pepper) tops the crispy rice for a great contrast in flavors and textures.
Unagi and Foie Gras Nigiri
This isn’t your typical nigiri served from a Japanese sushi bar, considering that the proteins atop the sushi rice are, well, cooked. Unagi (freshwater eel) is slightly sweet and meaty, and topped with a small but noteworthy bite of foie gras for lots of decadent umami flavor.
Another of the season’s favorites, pan-seared duck breast is cooked to the proper temperature to maintain is juiciness and intense flavor. The accompanying pomegranate ginger glaze adds a nice touch of acidity and bite that pop for this luscious duck.