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Eating at Hinoki And The Bird LA
04/19/2014 by
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Hinoki and the Bird has been featured on a lot of lists.  I thought this place would be similar to The Hart + The Hunter, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Like many new cuisines that have opened, this is yet another one of those Asian inspired fusions.  But unlike many that I’ve been to, I put this pretty high on my list for taste, decor, and decent prices.

This is #15 of 52 on my 2014 LA food expedition.

The decor inside is very modern.  If you have ever been to the Westside Tavern, it has the modernistic feel with sharp edges and lots of tanned wood.  The clientele seems like they all just came out of Entourage fitting the LA stereotype for entertainment fashion.  Food wise, the menu is served tapas style, so basically in shareable portions.

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Lobster roll, green curry, thai basil.  We asked that the lobster roll to be sliced due to our party size.  The lobster was served in a very warm and soft brioche bun.  The lobster was very sweet, and they definitely gave you a nice chunk of it.  Not the best lobster roll I have had, but still really good.

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Chili crab toast, spicy cucumber, coriander.  This was really good.  There was definitely a kick to it, but I like how much crab they put on top of the toast.  The chili itself did remind me somewhat of a homemade Sriracha sauce.

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Beef tartare, pickled jalapeno, parmigiano.  This was also pretty good.  One of my party said it wasn’t the best they’ve eaten, but it was pretty good.  It was definitely fresh with some nice sour kick to it.  The bread itself for me was a little too charred for me, but maybe most people prefer it that way.

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Hinoki scented black cod, sweet potato, pistachio.  Black cod, when cooked right, will be extremely buttery and soft.  This was definitely cooked right.  The skin had a nice burnt taste and crisp to it.  The cod itself was fluffy, tender, and had melt-in-your-mouth type of qualities to it.  Yes, they put some burning bark on it which was kind of interesting.

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Sambal skate wing.  Skate is a type of fish that resembles a manta ray.  This was layered with a lot of Thai inspired chili, so if you don’t like spicy, stay away.  The chili itself wasn’t incredibly spicy, but it had a slight non-lingering kick to it.  It’s served with fish sauce on the side, which I felt suppressed some of the spicy away.  The meat texture of the fish was very tender and stringy.  By stringy, I mean if you take your fork and pull on it, long strings of meat comes off.  The portion size on this was also amazing for 3 people.

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Kale, crispy and raw, curried almonds, pecorino, red wine vinaigrette.  The kale salad as expected was nothing really special.  It’s just the veggie fill for the evening, and it tastes exactly what you would’ve thought it would taste.

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Filet mignon.  We asked for medium rare, and we actually got medium rare.  It was very tender and soft.  I’m not sure what the sauce is on next to the steak, but it was also very good too.  The steak itself had a nice char on the edges with a nice sear.  To the side were bean sprouts and I think fingerling potatoes.  It was all very good.

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Dessert.  Excuse the blurry picture, but I think I started getting lazy.  From top left clockwise, we have: 1) lime mochi, 2) caramel for the miso doughnuts, 3) the miso doughnuts, and 4) miso mochi.  The lime mochi was pretty good and tart.  The miso doughnuts with the caramel I didn’t care too much for.  The doughnuts had miso sugar sprinkled on top, so it was either significantly too salty and sweet.  The caramel hid some of this.  The doughnut itself though was very soft.  The miso mochi was pretty good.  It’s the exact opposite spectrum from the lime mochi.  Instead of being tart, it was subtly sweet with a faint miso taste.

In the end, the bill ran to about $120 per person after tip, which is not bad considering all the drinks plus the food.  Portion sizing was definitely excellent.  Taste wise, I thought overall this is by far one of the better upscale LA restaurants.  In terms of parking, we parked in the lot adjacent to the restaurant.  The restaurant validates your ticket if you pay them $7 cash.  I can see why this restaurant is heralded on many food lists, and I wouldn’t hesitate to come back again.

Visit: Hinoki and the Bird, Beverly Hills, LA
#15 of 52 2014 LA food expedition

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