Restaurant: Shiki Beverly Hills [1, 2]
Location: 410 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. 310-888-0036
Date: August 26, October 30, 2014, and January 10, 2015
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, first brought me when she arranged a Sage Society dinner here. This post represents three similar Omakase blended together (two lunches and one dinner), so there are slightly more non-sushi courses represented than you might eat in one meal. Slight, given how large our meals were!
2012 Borgo del Tiglio (Nicola Manferrari) Collio Friulano Ronco della Chiesa. 92 points. A very nice, very dry friulano. A clean crispy cool weather Italian white that paired perfectly with sushi.
Chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) with ikura (salmon egg) and uni (sea urchin). Dashi. A wonderful blend of some textures and briny flavors.
Parfait of seaweed and various soft sea stuff. A very delicate flavor with unusual textures.
Kamamoto oysters prepared three ways, with a sort of mignonette, caviar, and uni!
Pepper and halibut salad. Fresh farmer’s market peppers.
Eggplant and Tai salad. Seared snapper with egg plant, dashi, and mushrooms. Really Japanese and delicious.
Halibut sashimi with truffles. Pickled tomato. Really a fabulous savory combination. The tomato is great too, and because it’s heavily marinated, it doesn’t bother me like a raw tomato.
2000 Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte. Burghound 95. While discreet, there is a trace of wood that sits atop the ever-so-mildly exotic fruit and wonderfully layered aromas that are still admirably fresh even though they now display some mature notes. The exceptionally rich and overtly muscular flavors are quite forward though powerful as a still firm and prominent acid spine keeps everything in perfect balance on the magnificently persistent finish. This is classy juice that is knocking on the door of its prime drinkability.
agavin: This one started off so deep yellow, and with so much creme brulee on the nose that I thought it was premoxed, although drinking pleasant enough right now, but over the next 30 minutes or so it came into balance and opened up into an absolutely lovely Chevy. I don’t think it will last, so I wouldn’t hold them for too many years. I’ve open 4 bottles of it this year. 3 have been like this one, and 1 was so premoxed we could barely drink it. None have been pale and fresh/crisp. Now this is 14-15 year old white Burg, but I opened a 1991 Sauzet Chevy for New Years that tasted years younger! So the whole thing has me wondering where the large number of wines made in the new style that come off like this are going. I’m guessing we need to drink them!
Wild yellowtail sashimi with jalopeno. A variant on the now classic Matsuhisa dish.
Salmon with truffle sashimi. Another great.
Slow cooked fish, uni paste, and Japanese pickles.
Giant clam. Wasabi, dashi, seaweed. This was all about the texture. The big chunks of clam had a wonderful crunch.
Oysters. With a slightly sour pink suspension.
The next dish came in one of those cute tea pot/bowls.
Shrimp, mushroom, ginko soup. Inside is a broth with various seafood and vegetables.
This one had a slightly spicy suspension (you can see the chili flakes) and a strong acidity (you squeeze in the Japanese lime) and drink. Then pick out the seafood.
1995 Gros Frère et Sœur Clos Vougeot Musigni. 93 points. 1995 Gros Frère et Sœur Clos Vougeot Musigni. Like old cherries and truffles.
agavin: I love this vineyard, in part because it’s mild and elegant and quite a lot like Musigny (which it is adjacent to, being one of the best locations in Clos Vougeot). It paired perfectly with the beef below.
Wagyu sirloin and filet mignon, with vegetables. The meat melted in your mouth.
Fresh pickled ginger. Shiki pickles his own whole ginger roots! Super flavorful and stomach settling. I gnawed through two.
2000 Etienne Sauzet Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet. Burghound 93. Intense honeysuckle, fresh sliced peach and pear notes with flavors that are not quite as robust and powerful as the Combettes yet finer and more complex. This delivers exciting intensity and a degree of persistence that borders on the astonishing. The Combettes is perhaps grander but this is finer – it’s simply a question of preference, not quality.
agavin: Our bottle started off extremely closed. Paler and clearly younger (less premoxed) than the 2000 Chevalier above. After about 30-40 minutes it opened up into a lovely mature Grand Cru, gaining both the mineral and the floral weight.
Goldeneye snapper. Salt, yuzu, and a bit of kick.
Japanese Barracuda. The best piece of this fish I’ve had.
A different seared Japanese fish that is only eaten in winter (for its high fat content). Really rich and delicious.
Jumbo clam with shiso. More texture, but fabulous.
O toro. As wonder a piece of sushi as one could hope for.
Wild Spanish Mackerel (Aji). No fishiness at all.
Japanese gizzard shad (kohada). Also fabulous.
2007 Simon Bize Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Aux Vergelesses Blanc. Burghound 90. As would reasonably be expected, there is just more here in every dimension with a more complex and more elegant nose that is layered and very fresh and this refinement continues onto the nicely concentrated middle weight flavors that display evident minerality on the sappy, intense and mouth coating finish that lingers and lingers. This is a terrific Savigny blanc and recommended.
agavin: This is a nice young Chardonnay that is drinking terrifically.
On one of the days the shrimp came with row! Even better.
And the heads of course can come back fried, or as Liz likes it above, grilled. Grilled really tastes incredible with a good shrimp like this. You suck out the guts and brain basically (worth it!).
Or miso soup is an option with the head.
King mackerel. Not at all like Aji, but delicious.
Japanese squid (ika). With just the right firmness.
Hokkaido sea urchin (uni). Yum!
New Zealand Sea Trout (salmon relative). Fabulous.
Halibut fin with salt and yuzu and pepper. This has a wonderful texture and chew, with some richness. Fin is a rare bit because there isn’t much usable meat in there.
Halibut fin with slightly sweet soy. Another take on the same meat. Both were good but I slightly prefer the first one.
Salmon eggs (ikura). No fishiness.
Anago (sea eel). With salt and wasabi.
Tuna (maguro). Also like toro.
Hokkaido scallop (Hotate). Just fabulous.
Red snapper (tai) with shiso. Yum!
A toro and citrus peel handroll. Divine.
Orange clam cut roll. Nice crunch.
Classic tuna roll. Not spicy!
Plum and shiso handroll. Incredibly traditional and with a sour “minty” taste.
Check out the inside with the plum paste.
Yuzu ice cream.
Panna cotta with fruit. Small and lovely.
Traditional mochi, saba sauce, and ice cream.
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.
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