It’s not hard to find a great sushi spot in Los Angeles, but finding a restaurant that specializes in Kappo cuisine is another matter altogether. Thankfully, that all changed when David Schlosser decided to open up Shibumi on an unassuming street in Downtown. Kappo-style cuisine can most simply be described as a middle ground between izakaya fare and what one finds at a multi-course kaiseki meal. Emphasis is placed on seasonal ingredients and dishes are offered as a series of small plates. Entering the darkly lit and minimalistically decorated restaurant, one may find Schlosser towering behind the 15-seat counter, precisely slicing Japanese sea bream for a sashimi or freshly grating wasabi with a sharkskin grater. On a recent visit, we started the meal with a rare taste of uni fermented for one month and spot prawns aged for two weeks in their own innards. Moving forward, a seasonal dish of steamed abalone with fresh mochi and ginger miso was a great play on contrasting textures. Vegetables are a must and the tender Japanese eggplant with tomato, okra and a dash of sansho pepper hits the spot. For larger meat and seafood courses, it’s possible to drop $84-$150 on real Kobe beef, but our personal favorite is the trout smoked with wild cherry bark. The fish is moist and flaky, but the real star is the skin which is fried like chicharrones. We like to round out our meal with the koji rice cream, a chilled dessert with a texture very similar to ice cream. You definitely shouldn’t skip out on the drinks, which are given as much thought as the food. Options range from French wines, to rare sakes and Japanese whiskeys. We always go with what our server recommends and we’ve yet to be led astray.
Where? 815 Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
When? Tuesday-Sunday 6-10:30PM
How? (323) 484-8915 or OpenTable
Price: Omakase $90
Best for: Dinner
This review was written by In The Loup contributor Ash Narayan, follow him on @anarayan97!