LAReview

5.2

Wabi on Rose

Formerly known as Wabi-Sabi, this spot has had an eventful few years since losing its original Abbot Kinney location in a 2018 fire. Now up and running nearby on Rose Ave. in Venice, the restaurant is steadily packed with team Happy Hours, dates, and friend groups grabbing drinks over very dressed up Japanese food.

At Wabi, more is more, which means your sushi will come topped with anything from black truffle, truffle oil, caviar, actual gold, "gangster sauce," and something called "taste the rainbow." If you order the spicy blue crab and shrimp tempura roll (the OG Kush), it'll come in a smoke-filled cloche for dramatic effect. 

And it’s not just the food that’s over the top. The dark dining space is lit up by pink neon signs and dangling glass chandeliers that would fit right in a Vegas casino. 

These flashy touches are ultimately distractions from fresh toro, tender scallop, meaty blue crab, or anything that doesn't require 24K flakes on it. And while there are sashimi options for those who want to keep things modest, it's safe to say Wabi is not where you go for an out-of-body sushi experience. Instead, you come here to have solid cocktails and eat pretty meh sushi rolls that sound like they were conceptualized by a 21 year-old club promoter. But who knows, by the end of your lychee martini-fueled Happy Hour, maybe you’ll have a soft spot for Venice bros who wear their own streetwear brands from head-to-toe. 

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