Restaurant: Shiki Beverly Hills [1, 2]
Location: 410 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. 310-888-0036
Date: August 6, 2014
Rating: Some of the best sushi I’ve had in a while!
Shiki Beverly Hills recently replaced Enoteco Drago in the primo Canon Dr space right in the heart of Beverly Hills. It features extremely Japanese seasonal ingredient focused kaiseki and sushi. The space is elegant and modern, really not that different than it was as Drago.
Chef Shigenori Fujimoto was at Matsuhisa from 94-04 and brings with him both a traditionalist and “new style” sushi vibe. My friend Liz, who has impeccable taste, arranged a very traditional menu for us and organized.
1988 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut. 92 points. Like many older Cristal bottles, there was a bit of oxidation going on. But a very nice underlying champagne. Its always great to drink 88, and Cristal, even better when its 88 and Cristal!
Seasonal Pike Eel on a “mousse” of tofu, avocado, dashi and the like. This is one of those fabulous dishes that is intensely Japanese, with subtle dashi flavor.
Seared red snapper with various peppers. A little bit of heat to this, but deliciously bright.
Seared scallop and fresh white peach salad. Extremely fresh and tasty.
Check out the peach underneath, the fruit had been scooped out and made into the above balls.
1985 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année. 95 points. Golden colour, yeasty nose. Bead almost gone, but still some fizz. Beautiful fully developed fruit, long finish. A great vintage champagne still drinking at its peak. Outstanding wine. Fresher than the 88.
Octopus and Uni — really two dishes plated together.
Grilled octopus with chili. As tender and good as octopus gets.
Uni pasta with wasabi and nori. The paste wasn’t just straight uni but had been brined. The nori was a special Japanese variety. Really, spread on the seaweed with a little wasabi this was stunningly delightful. I could have eaten 10x as much.
From my cellar: 2001 Domaine Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet. Burghound 95. Incredibly beautiful and elegant aromas of white flower and citrus softly introduce steely, gorgeously pure and delineated medium full flavors that seem as though they’re chiseled directly from solid rock. This is much more mineral driven than the typical Bâtard, and blind I would have mistaken it for a classically styled Chevalier. There is plenty of punch and racy supporting acidity plus simply knockout length. Of all these impressive attributes though, it’s the stunning purity and overall harmony of expression that make this one of the wines of the vintage. Interestingly, this is not a dramatic wine in terms of sheer size and weight but the focus and sneaky length make this a wine that is impossible not to be struck by its intensity. In short, this is one of the best examples of young Bâtard that I have ever had and one that will age for at least a decade. Don’t miss it!
Halibut sashimi with black truffle and motomara tomato. I usually don’t like truffle on my sushi, but this was fabulous. Even the tomato was good (it was marinated, which makes them palatable to my taste).
1996 Louis Jadot Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot. Burghound 98. As with the 750 ml, the purity, elegance and sheer beauty of this wine is frankly difficult to adequately describe as words just don’t seem up to the task. There is nuance after nuance among the brilliantly delineated aromas of white flowers, citrus, wet stone and rose blossoms that perfectly complement the focused and laser-precise medium full flavors that are like rolling liquid rocks around in the mouth. There is a barely contained intensity and one can sense the slow build from the mid-palate to the explosive finish that goes on and on. While no where near ready, this is so good that it’s still a wonderful experience to drink and it’s comforting to know for those that own it that it’s still on its way up. In short, this is a brilliant wine, indeed a text book example and quite simply the finest Jadot Demoiselles I have ever had the pleasure to drink and one that will last for decades in this format.
Conch steamed in its own shell. I’ve had this dish in Japan, and here, but this was probably one of the best versions. The conch was very tender. You drink the juices/soup afterward.
Pike eel soup. One of those lovely mild Japanese soups.
2004 Morey-Blanc Corton-Charlemagne. Burghound 93. A reserved, indeed backward spicy green apple and white pear nose complements delineated but very rich flavors that display moderate wood on the big and weighty if not necessarily super dense finish that packs a serious punch and intensity. The length here is really impressive and the balance is such that this should age for 15 to possibly 20 years.
o’o-toro. Absolutely perfect piece of premium tuna belly.
Anago. Conger eel. Served without the eel sauce, instead with yuzu and salt. Fabulous.
Engawa. Seared Flounder fin, with yuzu and salt. Awesome.
The heads return, this time grilled. Sucking out the guts was a treat.
Yellowtail belly. With a bit of stronger sauce.
1995 Louis Jadot Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. IWC 94. Red-ruby color. Knockout nose combines rose petal, raspberry, mulberry, iodine, cardamom, tobacco and iris. Great sweetness on the palate; offers as much volume as the mouth can hold. Builds and builds. Really exhilarating delineation and depth of flavor. Tannins are substantial but ripe. A superb example of this great grand cru.
Wagyu beef with mushrooms and asparagus. Melts in the mouth.
Plum and shiso handroll. Incredibly traditional and with a sour “minty” taste. Very refreshing.
Ice cream with starch “mochi” on the side and fresh figs and other fruit.
Wow. LA has lots of great Japanese, and I have good sushi all the time, but this was particularly awesome. Really the sushi itself was as good as it gets. Very traditional style too, which is my favorite. I love the acid washed Nozawa style too, but hand sauced traditional like this is my favorite. We had fabulous — and correctly paired — wines too, not to mention just three of us at the sushi bar and great company. All and all worth the hangover.