Hinoki and the Bird
Location: 10 West Century Drive, Los Angeles, California
Cuisine: French & Japanese Fusion
Dress Code: Smart Casual+
Price: $100-$150/Person for Dinner
Hours: Lunch M-F 11:30am – 2:00pm
& Dinner 6:00pm – 10:00pm Daily
Reservations Required: Reservations Recommended
Special Diet Options: Pescatarian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free Options
Before we even arrived in Los Angeles, I was looking forward to eating at Hinoki & the Bird, because it’s not only a very beautiful restaurant with open air seating, plants everywhere, and a gorgeous aesthetic, but because I’ve always heard wonderful things about the restaurant as well, and the food and staff really exceeded our high expectations. This was one of the very best meals we’ve ever eaten, and it turned out to be the perfect spot for a date night. We made reservations, which I recommend doing a few days in advance, and were immediately impressed with the decor, and how romantic and serene Hinoki & the Bird was.
We ordered Dungeness “Crab” Dumplings in Black Pepper Sauce, Local Whitefish in Miso, Hinoki Scented Black Cod and Dashi, a Roasted Yam covered in Crème Fraîche and Roasted Red Peppers, and everything we sampled was absolutely delicious. My only complaint was that my whitefish had a very odd, almost burnt after taste, despite being very delicately cooked. I grew up on Lake Michigan eating whitefish at least once a week, so I know how it should taste and there was something different (not bad, but not very pleasant) about the way this was prepared. On the other hand, my husband thought it was incredible and ate the rest of my dish and most of his own, so perhaps it was just me. My favorite part of our meal was oddly enough the roasted yam covered in crème fraîche which was roughly the size of my forearm and tasted almost exactly like cake. If our waiter hadn’t recommended this to us, we never would have thought yams could be so delicious!
To drink, we paired our meals with a Punta Seca which was made with tequila, prickly pear spirit, chareau, aloe syrup, citrus, as well as a My Oaxacan Pal consisting of mezcal, pineapple campari, blanc vermouth, pineapple foam, which is a specialty of Hinoki & the Bird. Both drinks were expertly mixed and delectable, but be warned that even though you may not taste the alcohol here, the bartenders don’t mess around – our drinks were strong! Even my 6’2″ husband said he felt the effects of his drink after just one!
Our desserts were absolutely heavenly. We finished our meals by enjoying miso donuts dipped in a honey caramel sauce that had a light, almost fruity flavor, and a dessert from their special menu, which employed toasted quinoa puffs alongside a peanut butter pie, which my husband and I agree was one of the best desserts we had in all of Los Angeles.
If you’re in Los Angeles, I can’t recommend visiting Hinoki & the Bird enough. Our waiter was very friendly and helped us find items suitable to our palates and dietary restrictions, and gave us some great advice about other places to visit in the city. Our meal began with the ceiling open so that we could look up and see the sunset against the nearby skyscrapers, and ended just after the staff closed the massive, retractable roof (which was totally silent by the way), and lit candles all throughout the restaurant, creating an almost magical atmosphere. I’ll always remember how beautifully the candlelight flickered on the leaves from the plants all around the restaurant, and how fascinated we were by the beautiful and unique decor during one of the most romantic and delightful meals we’ve ever had.
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