Sashi Sushi + Sake Lounge
451 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Sashi Sushi + Sake Lounge is not the first, nor the last, establishment to combine modern Japanese design and cuisine. However, unlike other strip-mall sushi joints, which can often be cold or stark, KAA Design Group’s interpretation flaunts a warm, sexy, refreshingly feminine flair.
Like a Bento Box, Sashi’s lounge and sake bar are housed in one square section of the space, while the main dining area and sushi bar are located in the other. An enclosed terrace stretches the length of both, doubling the size of this otherwise diminutive restaurant. Inspired by the ambience of Kyoto, Japan, KAA opted for a natural palette that includes striking jarrah wood walls, teak tables, a bobinga and alabaster sushi bar, warm walnut furnishings, and vibrant orange and plum floral cushions and textiles. Bright cherry blossoms are even apparent on the bathroom ceilings. The magenta back bar is reminiscent of the flowers of the Toji Temple’s gardens, while bronze lanterns and long benches on the enclosed terrace invoke images of a Kyoto village.
The design creates an aura of subtle allure—passionate without being provocative, evocative without being erotic. The space heightens one’s appetite, and Chef Makoto’s menu seals the deal.