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Los Angeles Japanese Restaurant Opens First Texas Location in Austin

Sushi Roku is opening in downtown Austin with sushi, whiskys, and skewers

Rectangle plates of sushi.
The hanabi dishes at Sushi Roku.
Richard Casteel/Courtesy of Innovative Dining Group
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Los Angeles-based Japanese restaurant chain Sushi Roku’s opening its first Texas location in Austin this year. The new restaurant will be found in downtown Austin at 405 Colorado Street, Suite 100 starting on Friday, February 16.

Sushi Roku’s menu features new-school sushi and izakaya items. Think classic sushi, nigiri, and sashimi, as well as the restaurant’s hanabi, where crispy rice is topped with either spicy tuna, spicy yellowtail, or avocado; and the baked crab hand roll. There are also wagyu steaks, Japanese fried chicken, and skewers. Under executive chef chef Sang Kim, the restaurant includes a roll specific to Austin. That’s the Waterloo Ichi roll, which contains tuna, yellowtail, and snow crab paired with mango, avocado, cucumbers, kaiware sprouts, greens, chile oil, and sriracha sauce.

Pieces of sushi on rectangle plates.
Sushi from Sushi Roku.
Richard Casteel/Courtesy of Innovative Dining Group

Then, Sushi Roku’s drinks includes sakes, Japanese beers, whiskys, wines, and cocktails (with nonalcoholic options). The latter was developed by the restaurant’s general manager Jasmine Lee Garcia. The special-to-Austin cocktail is the Shoman Glory, made with blanco tequila, cucumbers, kiwis, and yuzu. Then there are other cocktails like the Fusion, with vodka, pineapple, honeydew, cantaloup, and watermelon; the Ueshima old fashioned made with an espresso-washed rye whiskey, honey, ginger, cucumbers, serrano peppers, mint, and bitters.

Sushi Roku’s parent company, Innovative Dining Group, is also opening a location of its other restaurant chain, BOA Steakhouse, in Austin in the same downtown neighborhood. That first-Texas location will be found at 300 West Fifth Street sometime later this year.

Before Sushi Roku, Kim had been the chef and owner of Leander Japanese restaurant Kai Sushi. He had also worked at Austin Japanese restaurants Uchiko, Yanagi, and Mikado. Garcia moved to Austin from Los Angeles, where she was the manager of the group’s other restaurant Katana.

A clear glass of a green cocktail.
The Shogun Glory cocktail at Sushi Roku.
Richard Casteel/Courtesy of Innovative Dining Group

Innovative Dining Group co-founders Lee Maen and Philip Cummins wanted to open Sushi Roku in Austin because of the city’s growing tech scene. “We’ve seen an increased demand from our tech-focused guests who visit California and Nevada from Austin, or have relocated to Texas,” Maen says in the press release. The co-founders started Sushi Roku in 1997 in Los Angeles. Orange County, Las Vegas, and a new one coming to Palo Alto in spring 2024.

For the Austin restaurant, the company partnered with Philadelphia-based real estate company Brandywine Realty for the restaurant. California-based firm Finn Wijatno Architects designed the physical space, with an indoor dine-in room, a sushi-slash-cocktail bar, and semi-private dining area.

Sushi Roku’s hours will be from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and then 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday. The restaurant will add lunch in the spring.

A restaurant dining room.
The dining room of Sushik Roku.
Richard Casteel/Courtesy of Innovative Dining Group

BOA Steakhouse [Austin]

300 West Fifth Street, Austin, Texas 78701

Sushi Roku [Austin]

405 Colorado Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Visit Website