PRICE RANGE: $$$$
LOCATION: 815 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
RESERVATIONS: Book here
RECOMMENDED DISHES: Tempura Cannabis Leaf, Japanese Sea Bream, Miyazaki Wagyu Beef, Sanuki “Olive” Beef
I’ve been going to Shibumi for about a year now. It’s a downtown LA, Japanese kappo style restaurant with a pretty nice bar. They just recently got one star from the Michelin Guide so it’s really been blowing up. There is an omakase menu, which you can always try but I typically go for a la carte and the special beef options that they have–they are one of the few LA restaurants that offers real Japanese Wagyu Beef, specifically Miyazaki. Holstein beef from Montana and a very rare Sanuki “olive” beef are also on the menu.
This time when we went we really got the full suite of items. We ordered the avocado salad, which is absolutely amazing. We ordered the Tonkatsu, which is also delicious. And we got a variety of the Holstein, Miyazaki and Sanuki beef, all three cooked and raw. We also got the sashimi of the moment, the tempura of the moment, and the whole fish of the moment. And of course, you have to get the rice and pickles to pair with everything.
Insider Tip: Ask for the cannabis leaf tempura dish 😮
Icebreaker Sake (10/10)
Can’t have Japanese food without sake! We had a unique sake called the Icebreaker. The nose is a really cool collection of wet wood and nut aromas. It also has a penguin on the label, which is super awesome. And you can even drink it on ice if you want to. I didn’t really mind if it’s with ice or not, but it’s a very strong Sake and it is pretty delicious. I would definitely have it again, but it’s not traditional Sake in any sense of the word.
Green Eyes Fish (8.5/10)
We ordered the green eye fish tempura despite never having heard of green eye fish before. So I did a quick little search on Google and apparently they’re a deep sea marine fish. Who knew. I was pretty concerned about trying this, there typically is a reason why I haven’t heard of a fish, but consider me fooled because they tasted delicious. It always helps when they are slightly battered as well. I love trying things I’ve never had before so you should definitely give it a shot on your visit.
Abalone Noodles (6/10)
Not my favorite of the night and I would pass over this if I go again but everyone else enjoyed it. Abalone and cold soba noodles and some type of a broth. I’m not a big cold dish person and also not a big soba noodles person. So it’s not my favorite. But, the rest of the party enjoyed it so it’s definitely worth a try. Maybe I just have an undeveloped palette!
Bonito Fish (9/10)
A whole bonito fish and not bonito flakes? Yea. It’s a medium sized predatory fish, according to Google, and it’s similar to tuna and mackerel. It tastes pretty fishy with a very strong and distinct flavor. Shibumi services it in a nice soy sauce based sauce (yum). But it does have the bloodlines which can be sort of a personal thing if you don’t like that, but I really enjoyed it. I’d never had bonito fish this way before which is why I had to try it.
Japanese Sea Bream (9.5/10)
Not just sea bream, this sea bream is Japanese 😮. It comes beautifully presented in a spiral on one of the many gorgeous plates that Shibumi uses. The flavors were very subtle and delicate and it is slightly adorned with a light touch of ginger creating an overall tasty dish. For those of you who don’t know, the sea bream is found basically all over the world and in all types of water temperatures but there are a ton of different varieties!
Black Cod (10/10)
Black cod is… not actually black. Nor is it even in the cod family. How’s that for false advertising. In reality, it’s otherwise known as Sablefish and/or Butterfish. Soft and moist, the black cod is a hearty and flavorful dish. Shibumi truly allows the rich, buttery flavor and delicate, silky texture to shine.
A.K.A. Japanese fried pork cutlet. It’s crisp, relatively light, and paired with cool chopped cabbage. Legendary LA food critic Johnathan Gold aptly describes it’s taste as “August”.
Despite being tasty, tonkatsu isn’t exactly rare, so if you don’t have a bottomless stomach like I do I would skip this one.
TeMpUrA cAnNaBiS lEaF (420/10)
*Disclaimer. It is not possible to get high from eating this cannabis leaf, no matter how many you eat.
Insider Tip: It’s not on the menu. You have to ask for it.
You read that right. Tempura Cannabis leaf. The devil’s lettuce. Don’t tell your parents you tried this, and that you liked it too, because it’s 10/10 amazing. It’s covered in salt and is lightly battered. Also you get to tell everyone that you ate a fried cannabis leaf, which is super cool in my book.
Hemp Avocado Salad (10/10)
Yea, there’s a theme here. They are now serving a hemp salad at Shibumi with avocado. It’s got hemp seeds and avocado. Yum.
Squid Tempura (9/10)
The squid tempera is lightly salted and lightly battered. Nothing is worse than having a high quality fish destroyed by frying the crap out of it. Shibumi does a great job of just lightly frying it, truly tempura style. IMO if you fry it too much you could basically put anything in there and it’s going to taste the same.
Holstein Beef (9/10)
One of the three beef that Shibumi is currently offering and the only one from the US. Their lot is actually from Montana. What the hell is Holstein anyways?
Holstein steers are large, tall and lean animals and they have thin hides in short hair coats and carry less back fat. It does allow them to consume about 10 to 12% more feed than other typical cows. They tend to have lower yields of desired cuts but the pieces they do layout tend to be very well marbled. They’re typically a 6 to 8% lower yield than regular beef.
Miyazaki Wagyu Beef (10/10)
Miyazaki beef is 100% purebred Japanese Wagyu and a pure delicacy. It wasn’t even until September 2012 that Japanese wagyu was permitted in the States. So what the hell makes beef Miyazaki Wagyu? The animals are fed a diet of mostly wheat and corn for an average of 900 days. That’s eight times longer than most cattle that’s consumed in the US market. That is why they are so fatty and delicious.
There’s a standard of grading the beef consisting of yield grade and quality five. A of A5 means the yield grade while 5 shows the quality grade. They serve A5 (the best) at Shibumi. This means it’s the highest grade and the highest marbling. There’s even a myth that the cattle are fed beer and massaged by Japanese women. But it is true they are allowed to feed their animals, whatever they deem appropriate. I like to think there is a farmer that does that…
Sanuki “Olive” Beef (10/10)
The most unique beef they have at Shibumi me is the Sanuki “Olive” Beef, which, obviously, are raised on olives. Sanuki cattle are raised in the warm, subtle Inland Sea region for many years. It’s a very unique flavor profile that you will not find with any other type of meat.
Another item I had never even heard of before I came here! Just another reason to come to Shibumi so you can try all these crazy items.
If you’re looking for a food adventure Shibumi is a must go to. From its tempura cannabis leaf to its Sanuki “Olive” beef, Shibumi definitely has something you haven’t tried before.
Go before it’s too difficult to get a reservation at! (Thanks Michelin Guide)Loading Likes...