Koji's Restaurant is the superstar of the Santa Teresa dinner scene. Spend just a few hours in the area, and you're bound to hear about Koji's raw talent. Owner Koji Hyodo sets the sushi bar high, coalescing the best and freshest seafood in the local market with imported Japanese ingredients to create masterpieces you wouldn't expect out of the jungle in a beach town.read more close
Artful carving elicits the melt-in-your mouth smoothness of Koji's seafood; especially when it comes to spicy sesame tuna, $6, garnished with green onion, or red snapper Carpaccio, $7, in Ponzu sauce, topped with sliced red and green onions.
You may not normally think of sushi for superb drink pairing, but the tartness of real-fruit strawberry, mango-passion fruit or jalapeno margaritas, $8, impeccably balances with the coolness of Koji's sashimi/nigiri, rolls and hand rolls.
His signature rolls are all in the upper-tier of flavor and texture. We had the distinct pleasure of allowing Koji to choose three for us to taste:
- Hawaiian roll, $12, shrimp, avocado, cucumber, topped with chunked tuna
- Koji roll, $14, shrimp, shrimp tempura, avocado and cucumber, topped with spicy tuna and a special sauce
- Red snapper roll, $10, spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, topped with red snapper and thin slices of fresh jalapeno
With such dexterity in his cuisine, it makes sense his desserts are equally exquisite; homemade chocolate cake, $7, with vanilla ice cream, and banana flambé, $7, with rum-sugar sauce, topped with cashews.
Stems of bamboo naturally embellish the outdoor dining area, where wooden tables and bar tops are set with chopsticks, sushi plates and recycled wine bottles holding wax candles.
Koji's swanky spot is borderline 'famous' - in fact, you may notice superstars dining at the table next to you.
It's easy to notice how much Koji's employees love their jobs; you can see it on their faces and hear it when they offer recommendations.
Appetizers $3-$12; Sashimi/Nigiri $6-$8; Rolls $6-$15; Hand rolls $5-$7 Desserts $5-$7; Drinks $3-$12; Cash only
5:30 p.m. - 9:30p.m.; closed Mondays and Tuesdays