In honor of National Sake Day (Oct. 1), Koi– the leader in contemporary Japanese cuisine and noted celebrity hotspot – is offering a variety of delicious and refreshing sake cocktails. Additionally, Koi Sake, a fragrant, well-balanced sake of the premier Junmai Daiginjo class, is sold exclusively to Koi guests for $85 per 500 ml bottle.
To expand on the spirit for which this holiday was created, we would also like to offer an interview with Ken Whang, Koi Los Angeles’ Bar Manager. Whang, an industry veteran, has been creating sake cocktails for one of the most prestigious programs in the country; having offered Koi Sake for the last five years, he’s able to speak to its prominence and share more information on the category
Sparkling Hana Blossom
1 1/2 ounces VeeV
1 1/2 ounces Hana Sparkling Sake
1 ounce lychee juice
1/2 ounce St Germain
Pour into high ball over ice and garnish with orchid and lychee.
2 ½ ounces of Rock Sake
1 ½ ounces of vodka
Splash of lime juice
Add all in to a shaker and shake hard to breakdown the cucumbers and strain into a martini glass, garnish with a slice of cucumber.
A fragrant, well-balanced sake with medium dry taste, Koi Sake, is of the premier Junmai Daiginjo class, and is sold exclusively to Koi diners at $85 per 500 ml bottle. Sakes of this class are made with rice that has been polished to at least 50%, and often times the rice is polished more than the required amount, eliminating a majority of the unwanted fats and proteins found in the outer layer of the grain. Koi Sake is brewed by the Kamikokoro Brewery located in the small town of Setouchi in the Okayama prefecture, a region known for producing top quality sakes due to optimal growing conditions. Koi Sake is brewed in the traditional method using the most precise and labor-intensive techniques without the addition of distilled alcohol.
KOI LOS ANGELES Koi Los Angeles is the flagship restaurant of Koi Group and has been a staple in the LA dining scene since opening its doors in 2002. Executive Chef Robb Lucas’ imaginative dishes are inspired by traditional Japanese preparations, then deconstructed and infused with modern California accents. The menu includes a variety of savory cooked dishes, traditional sushi and sashimi, as well as creative rolls. Koi’s décor, conceptualized by its own design team, reflects the tenets of feng shui and Zen Buddhism. Each of the four dining rooms are illuminated by candlelight and outfitted in colors that evoke nature’s elements of water, air, fire and earth; multiple fireplaces and waterscapes add to its design. Additionally, the restaurant features a separate lounge, two private dining areas, a sushi bar and three indoor/outdoor patios. Critical raves for Koi Los Angeles have appeared inbon appétit, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, among others.
Bar Manager/Koi Los Angeles
Los Angeles native Ken Whang joined Koi Group in 2007 as the company’s Bar Manager, a position he still holds today. Whang earned a degree in Biology from the University of California – Los Angeles and began a two month career in biological research upon graduation. Realizing his true passion was in the hospitality industry, he quickly switched directions and began pursuing mixology. The seasoned veteran has held titles from doorman to restaurant owner but his love of the spirits industry and natural passion for simple cocktails made with complex ingredients have resulted in his success as bar manager for one of the most prominent programs in the country.