Shibumi (Los Angeles, CA) 
815 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Dining date: 12/21/16
I first dined at Shibumi in July very soon after the restaurant opened. The meal was very good, although the restaurant was still finding its stride. The restaurant has garnered some considerable praise since then. LA Times critic Jonathan Gold named it the second best restaurant in the city in October. Besha Rodell of the LA Weekly gave it 4 stars. The restaurant has been particularly popular in recent months given the praise, but I was able to snag a table over the holidays. I returned in to see how the food has evolved now that it’s been open for six months.
This was my first time sitting at the bar, providing an upfront view of the action. I definitely recommend requesting seats up here – it’s less intimate, but its a much more immersive dining experience.
Iwagaki Oyster, Fresh Yuzu, Shiso Flower & Mountain Caviar
Trigger Fish Sashimi
Karasumi dried mullet roe
Persimmon, Ginko Nuts, Whipped Tofu
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings In Broth
Onion, Grilled, Fried, Raw, Braised, Broth
Chicken Leg Grilled, Matsutake Mushroom, Egg Yolk Sauce
Steamed New California Crop Rice with accompaniments
Hachiya Persimmon aged three weeks
Mini Pancakes Filled with White & Red Bean, “Dorayaki”
I enjoyed this meal more than the one I had in July. Highlights were the trigger fish and Iwagaki oyster. It was great to be able to observe the chef breaking the whole trigger fish down into thin slices, wrapping it around green onions and topping it with pieces of its rich liver. The oyster was huge, cubed and topped with “mountain caviar” and plenty of yuzu for some really delicious bites. Persimmon and ginkgo nuts were bathed in whipped tofu, which personally had an off-putting mayonnaise-like texture, which provided a subtle sweetness and nuttiness that went well with the fresh fruit. An overripe persimmon for dessert was delicious too, with a custard-like texture and plenty of sweet fruit flavor. I would definitely be back to try more of the menu as it evolves.
Darin Dines — what was the damage for this meal? And what does aged persimmon taste like?
It was just very overripe – very sweet, rich and custard-like. I don’t recall now exactly how much it was; I recall the food itself not being overly expensive, but the bar tab bringing it much higher..