Alen Lin, 10/15/07
Here we have Robata Bar adjacent to, and owned by the same people as, Sushi Roku in Santa Monica. What you see here is pretty much what you get. It's compact, adorned with hanging tassels, wicker light fixtures, dark leather and wood (a Dodd Mitchell/Sushi Roku hallmark), and prints of Harajuku street fashion by each booth. The bar, half sushi/robata bar and half drinking, fills up fast. The menu has some Katana and Sushi Roku specialties with a few originals thrown in: lots of skewers (everything from chicken cartilage to bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes), uni and oyster shooters, white fish ceviche with a spicy caramel popcorn side, and an extensive sake list. Along with sweet cocktails, there's Red Sun beer, brewed specially for Sushi Roku, and sparkling sake that's akin to Zima "for the ladies." By the looks of things, you'd think the neighborhood was starved for a casual, not too too expensive, Japanese-style pub. No reservations means get there early or be patient.