Restaurant: Hinoki & the Bird
Location: 10 West Century Drive, Los Angeles, Ca, 90067
Date: January 26, 2013
Cuisine: Modern American Tapas
Rating: Excellent new cutting edge LA/Asian
Hinoki & the Bird comes from the David Myers Group, which once included flagship Sona. On opening, I was blown away by that restaurant, and it seems to have been LA’s last great hooray in the full on formal dining sector. Hinoki as much more casual, serving what is mostly modern California small plates with Asian influences. The chef here is Kuniko Yagi, one of Myer’s proteges and a Japanese native.
From my cellar, Parker 93, “This estate’s Corton-Bressandes is a wine I search out in vintages with good ripeness. It is never huge, muscular, or a blockbuster but can often be sultry, seductive, detailed, and simply lovely. A recently tasted 1990, while at least three years from maturity, was fabulous. The 1996 displays sweet red cherry and Asian spice aromatics as well as a gorgeously refined character filled with candied and delineated cherries. This elegant, sexy, and feminine offering is medium-to-full-bodied, silky-textured, and possesses a long and refreshing finish.”
Despite the peculiar name, Hinoki and the Bird is a very welcome addition to the West Side. This is a very modern restaurant, very much in the current LA Zeitgeist. It’s a little reminiscent of Ink. The traditional sort of fine dining, ala Sona or even Melisse seems to be on the outs. While I regret this, I don’t mind at all the trend toward small plates (tapas) as I adore tasting a lot of dishes in a meal. It’s actually gotten to the point where any “normal” appetizer/entree menu is inherently boring. Hinoki also adds to these very American trends a good dose of Asian flavor – which is in itself very LA. I hope this is a place that evolves its menu, and very much look forward to returning.