Location: 424 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (213) 229-8200
Date: March 20, 2015
Rating: Good modern Japanese comfort food
Last year the Babykillers and I went to BOS in this same spot. It was good, but kinda extreme, being an offal restaurant. The owners have since rebooted the space as Kinjiro, a modern Izakaya (bar with food).
It should be noted that tonight’s wine theme was 2002, mostly. The mostly being both the year and White Burgundy. We also tossed in a couple of 2002 Champagnes and the like and a couple reds to round out the steaks.
It looks pretty much the same as it did before, with slight superficial alterations.
2002 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Rare. JG 95. Light, bright gold. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes candied orange, pear and ginger, with building floral and spice nuances. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering an array of citrus and floral flavors that become richer with air. A hint of nuttiness arrives on the finish, which is spicy, focused and very long. This Champagne seems set for a long life.
Kinjiro Ceviche (Octopus, Shrimp, Snapper, Scallops, Mango). Fairly mild, but certainly fine. The chips added some traditional (in south/central America) crunch.
2002 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne. JG 98. A beautifully elegant and ultra-pure nose serves up attractively layered aromas of spiced pear, white rose, citrus, brioche and hints of green apple. There is really lovely complexity to the moderately vibrant flavors that are supported by impressively refined effervescence before terminating in a balanced, dry, clean and lingering finish. While this could certainly be held for further development it is drinking very well now.
Kinjiro Japanese Wagyu Carpaccio w/ Arima Sansho. A really yummy tangy sauce. The texture was perfect, and it was very beefy with a nice zing.
Warm Organic Baby Spinach with Assorted Organic Mushrooms. Salad. Enough said.
1982 Robert Ampeau & Fils Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes. Burghound 91. Richly perfumed aromas of yeast, herbs, white flowers and moderate secondary fruit leads to sweet, round and full-bodied flavors that manage to offer lovely delineated, hints of minerality and fine finishing punch. As with virtually all older Ampeau wines, this is really impressive with its youthful vigor and zesty overall character with almost none of the heaviness that characterizes many ’82 whites today. While there is no reason to hold this further, neither is there is rush to drink up.
agavin: doing surprisingly well for a 33 year old premier cru white!
Kinjiro Free-range Chicken Maki-age. Awesome. Fried chicken roulades (more or less). Nice crispy skin and very savory meat.
2002 Dauvissat-Camus Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos. 91 points. Very fresh and nice, and also VERY Chablis.
Wild Black Cod with Saikyo Miso. Sort of the usual.
2002 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Meursault 1er Cru Charmes. Burghound 93. This too displays some toast notes with tight, reserved and perfumed roasted nuts and a brown butter character. The big, rich and intense flavors are blessed with massive amounts of dry extract and display an astonishing level of refinement; in particular, this seems chiseled directly from limestone with the superb minerality and near knife-like precision. A great effort of surpassing freshness and a finish that lasts for several minutes.
agavin: arguably the (white) wine of the night. Really killer with a lovely nose of reductive fruit and a great mid palette.
Thick-cut Prime Beef Tongue with Sea Salt. Good juicy tongue.
2007 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon. Burghound 91. At the moment this displays a bit of post-bottling reduction though hints of white flower, peach and apple can still be discerned. The clean, intense, precise and energetic medium-bodied flavors possess good cut and more precision than I usually see with this wine, all wrapped in a mildly austere and wonderfully long finish. This seems to have more “presence” than usual and while it’s not an elegant wine, it’s quite satisfying all the same.
agavin: I’m kinda sick of 2007, but this was a solid wine.
Grilled Amberjack (Yellowtail) Collar. I don’t love this kind of fish prep.
2002 Marc Colin et Fils Corton-Charlemagne. Burghound 88. Softly perfumed notes of toasty oak and sweet chardonnay fruit lead to rich, round, generously but not over-oaked broad scaled flavors that are delicious if not especially precise, nor do they carry the classic minerality one expects from a great Corton-Charlemagne. To be sure, this is a very attractive wine with much to like but it doesn’t have enough punch or depth to carry it to the next level. Solid and attractive in a slightly international style.
agavin: our bottle was premoxed and undrinkable. Gross.
Kinjiro Agedashi Homemade Tofu, Mushroom Ankake Sauce. Amazing. The soft texture plus the rich but subtle mushroom sauce. Just awesome and very Japanese.
2002 Louis Latour Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles. Burghound 93. By contrast, this seemed to have suffered no effects at all from the mise with its deftly oaked nose that combines superbly elegant white flower and green apple aromas that melt into very bright, racy and intense medium full flavors that possess stunning delineation and the hallmark pungent minerality of a great Demoiselles. This is more powerful than it usually is yet sacrifices none of its precision or style because of it. In short, this is a complete wine of considerable grace and presence.
agavin: ours was very flat. no fruit at all. Fairly lousy.
Steamed Manila Clams (Ginger or Butter). Nice clams.
From my cellar: 2002 Louis Jadot Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot. Burghound 94. This is really a lovely effort and one that has reached its peak with a lovely panoply of mature white burgundy aromas that include dried floral elements, spice, wet stone and white orchard fruit. There is fine concentration and plenty of power to the tension and mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that offer outstanding complexity on the gorgeously long and impeccably well-balanced finish. To my taste this is drinking perfectly now and while there is no further upside development potential, neither is there any need to drink up as the ’02 Dem should hold well for years to come.
agavin: Certainly the best of our Chevys. Round, and opened up after an hour to have a really typical and lovely middle. Not much finish though.
Dashi simmered wild snapper. Very soft.
2002 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chevalier-Montrachet. Burghound 93. A deft touch of wood spice frames gorgeous and superbly elegant white flower and green fruit aromas that introduce intense, refined, superbly precise mineral-infused flavors that are also crystalline in their purity. The flavors explode on the finish and this is clearly very classy juice that will be capable of aging for a decade or more.
agavin: just so so. Fine, but not spectacular.
Niman Ranch Pork Belly Kakuni, Half-boiled Free-range Egg & Daikon. Totally awesome. Rich, porky, with a very similar dashi sauce as the tofu. Just amazing. Fell apart into strands it was so tender.
Kinjiro Bone Marrow Dengaku. I’m not normally a huge bone marrow fan, but the brown sauce (more or less a plum based sauce like that served with Peking duck) really sold it.
1998 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Landonne.
IWC 97+. Saturated medium ruby. Incredible nose combines black fruits, violet, meat, licorice, brown spices, cinders and tapenade. Dense and powerful, with a strong flavor of bitter chocolate and great delineation of flavor. This has the most impressive tannic structure of these ’98s. Offers great breed and vivacity. Finishes with superb palate-staining persistence. The pH here is about 3.77, which is significantly lower than that of the 2000 version but higher than the ’99.
Parker 100. The 1998 Cote Rotie La Landonne is a perfect wine … at least for my palate. Its saturated black/purple color is accompanied by an extraordinary nose of smoke, incense, tapenade, creosote, blackberry, and currant aromas. It is densely packed with blackberry, truffle, chocolate, and leather-like flavors. The wine possesses high tannin, but perfect harmony, impeccable balance, and gorgeous integration of acidity, alcohol, and tannin. It is a tour de force in winemaking. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.
agavin: our bottle was a touch corked, but still enjoyable. Sigh.
Australia Wagyu Chuck Rib Kalbi Salted. A little more tender and flavorful than the marinated.
Australia Wagyu Chuck Rib Kalbi Marinated. A bit sweeter than the salted.
2004 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select. Parker 99. This vintage shocked me when I did my retrospective earlier this year, and the 2004 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select acquitted itself brilliantly in the vertical of Hillside Selects. It was a hot year, a relatively early harvest and there were worries that the heat had stressed the grapes, and there would be a lack of physiological ripeness and nuance. Those worries have not manifested themselves in this great Cabernet Sauvignon. Inky/purple-colored with notes of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, spring flowers, and a touch of toast, the wine is opulent, voluptuous and full-bodied with sweet tannin, just enough acidity to provide freshness, vibrancy and delineation, and a spectacular finish that goes on 40+ seconds. This is a killer, a showy and flamboyant style of Hillside Select that’s already drinking beautifully and should continue to do so for another 15-20 years.
agavin: open half a day. Really really nice, if still massive.
Japanese A5 Plus Wagyu Steak (Miyazaki | Sirloin). Amazing. So soft. With a bit of the yuzu pepper it was to die for — and it might with all that fat.
Various toppings. Yuzu, wasabi, ponzu, salt, daikon.
1987 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Parker 97. This extraordinary wine is backward and unevolved, but even neophytes will recognize its potential greatness. The opaque, saturated, dark purple color reveals no sign of age. The huge, smoky, oaky, blackcurrant, herb, and vanillin-scented nose only hints at what will be achieved with further evolution. Sweet, decadently rich, dense, highly extracted flavors are wrapped around a full-bodied, chewy, super-concentrated, moderately tannic wine that, ideally, needs 7-8 more years of cellaring. It is a 25 to 30 year California Cabernet Sauvignon that is just beginning to become civilized. A potential legend in the making!
Prime Dry-aged Ribeye Steak. With toppings. More gristly and not as super soft as the wagyu.
2002 Jean Boillot & Fils Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Mouchère. VM 94+. Lemon, lime, spring flowers, nut oil and minerals on the vibrant nose. Dense and sweet, with penetrating flavors of peach, spice and minerals lifted by a captivating floral character. Broad, classy and extremely long on the back end. Already showing terrific personality, but this will be even better for five to seven years of cellaring.
Wild Snapper Sashimi Ochazuke. Amazing porridge of rice and snapper. Totally killer.
2002 Henri Boillot Meursault 1er Cru Charmes. VM 92. Lemon, lime and spices on the nose. Very ripe but brisk orange and lemon flavors show an exotic aspect as well as terrific cut. Hiding its substantial fat today. Finishes very long, with a note of vanillin oak. Boillot used about 50% new oak for his 2002 crus.
Kinjiro Beef Tendon, Tongue, Sinew & Tripe Miso Stew. Better than it sounds by far.
2002 Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne. VM 95+. Steely, penetrating aromas of minerals, crushed stone and vanillin oak. Wonderfully dense and broad, with a dusty, tactile texture and powerful underlying spine. Shows a superripe note of crystallized pit fruits, but the wine’s powerful acids give it great precision and penetration. A great young Corton-Charlemagne.
Santa Barbara Uni Udom with Hijiki Seaweed. Basically Japan’s answer to linguine con le vongole. Fine, but not really rich enough and the pasta felt a little dry.
2002 Henri Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet. VM 95+. Subdued, brooding nose hints at pear, clove and nut oil. Superconcentrated, rich and deep, with compelling sweetness of apple and pear fruit perfectly balanced by powerful acids (5. 2 grams per liter, with a pH of 3. 11, according to Boillot). Offers an uncanny combination of fat, density of texture and sheer sweetness. “This needs ten years despite its great early sucrosite,” notes Boillot. Finishes with outstanding palate-staining length. Another monument of the vintage.
Santa Barbara Uni Udom with Hijiki Seaweed. This was awesome though. The udon had a nice heft and there was the nice briny tone to the uni.
Desserts! Each creme brûlée thing had a sauce of sorts.
Sake Kasu (Lees) Crème Brulee. Like creme brûlée with a bit of a yeasty kick.
Black Sesame Mousse. Awesome black sesame flavor and nice soft texture.
Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea) Panna Cotta. Arguably the best of the three. Nice soft tea flavors and fabulous with the honey.
Overall, an amazingly fun night. Great company. Great wines. And some really tasty comfort food that paired very well.