Tweet This: Hinoki & the Bird

When two signs from the universe heavily hinted that I needed to get my ass into Hinoki & the Bird, I finally did.  My aunt, living on the east coast, e-mailed me an article about it, “Don’t know if you’ve been yet, but it sounds amazing!” and later that same day I ran into a friend who is currently a hostess at the moment’s restaurant world darling.  Okay,it was definitely my time to dine.  I had my friend make me a reservation on the spot.

There are very few things in life that please me more than an incredible dining experience.  It’s something that I really like to settle into and enjoy: Everything from the first sip of a hand-crafted cocktail to the last bite of dessert.  I was ready to go big at Hinoki with my guest and best friend Becca, a fabulous New Yorker who enjoys keeping up with my food pervert ways.

The cocktail list was beautiful and I had a hard time deciding what to get, but being the bourbon lover that I am, I went with the Griffith Park Swizzle:  bourbon, mint, lime, bitters and absinthe. When it arrived on the table you would have thought the day’s sunset had been liquified and poured into my glass.  The colors of red, orange and yellow floated above a mint green base.  The flavor was comparable to a bourbon mojito.  Delicious.


To get our palettes warmed up, we started with the Chili Crab Toast with spicy cucumber and coriander and the Pumpkin Toast with miso jam and goat cheese.  Both were highly recommended.  The crab toast was my favorite.  The spice was not intrusive, but enhanced the sweet flavor of the crab meat.  I could have eaten ten of them.  Seriously.

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Becca also ordered a half dozen oysters, a good mix of all they offered.  This woman knows oysters and the fact that she was impressed says a lot.

Hinoki’s spin on the caprese was a special of the evening that we couldn’t resist.  The Japanese tomatoes laced with shreds of crisp red onion and creamy burrata  tasted like the best summer of your life…on a fork.  This is my all-time favorite salad arrangement during the summer months.  This rendition didn’t fail.  The ingredients were dirt fresh, allowing the flavors to burst at their brightest on my tongue.

Meat time.  When our server talked to us about the evening specials and “braised lamb” spilled from his lips my ears got excited, and then my mouth, and then my stomach.  That was a must try, I decided instantly.  We also asked what we shouldn’t miss.  The Hinoki Scented Black Cod was a straight answer.  Alright, lamb and cod, our own version of surf and turf you could say!

Becca noticed plate runners walking to tables with burning pieces of paper…not on fire, but smoking and glowing.  “What is that?  I want to know what these people keep ordering that comes with smokey paper!”  she said tilting her head and watching as another one came closer, and to our surprise landed on our table.  “We get the burning paper!?” she cheered.  “Yes,” the runner smiled “This is the hinoki scented black cod, we want to encourage you to enjoy the flavor.”  We realized it wasn’t paper but a thin sheet of hinoki bark (duh, hinoki scented). This dish was incredible.  I have never tasted fish so tender and rich…like a steak from the sea.


We ordered the haricot vert (green beans) with sesame as a side dish. You know, something green to go with our red and white proteins.

After dinner we were fully prepared to indulge in dessert.  The Devil’s Food Cake (guayaquil mousse and praline) sounded like a winner.  We were also gifted with the Cotton Cheesecake (rhubarb, raspberry cream and strawberry yogurt ice cream).  Both were triumphs.  Wow.  Can I explain the incredibly unique texture of the cheesecake?  It was in between a marshmallow and cotton candy, almost like a souffle or if cake were made of thick foam.  I had nothing to compare it to.  It was described as tasting like strawberry short cake, which it did. The devil’s food cake was served in three small spheres.  The cake was denser than other devil’s food I’ve had and the flavor wasn’t overwhelmingly rich.  It had the perfect bite of dark-chocolate bitterness but an overall sweet and pleasant taste.

The integration of silk road flavors and modern americana cuisine, is impressively met at Hinoki and The Bird thanks to the efforts of chef/founder David Myers and executive chef Kuniko Yagi.  This is a step forward for the LA dining experience and for culinary creativity in general.  That is the wonderful thing about food culture, there is always room for exploration and inovation.  We will never stop eating and chefs will never stop creating.

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Until we eat again…


The Food Pervert


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Categories: Dining Event, Restaurant Review

Author:The Food Pervert

Tara Redfield, The Food Pervert, is an actress, writer, host and obviously food lover. She started her blog and website, "The Food Pervert," in 2010 after an incredible visit to New York City. Her soul acknowledged a genuine passion for food and a desire to share her experiences with friends and family. She’s been sharing ever since. One of her most exciting experiences living in Los Angeles has been working on the TLC reality cooking show, “The Take Home Chef” with the charming and talented Curtis Stone. Redfield has a true love for cooking, dining, travel and story telling. She continues to spread the food love by visiting restaurants, markets, and food festivals as often as possible and sharing her finds through photos and stories. TV Host Representation: Paul Barrutia Commercial Talent 9255 Sunset Blvd. Ste. 505 West Hollywood, CA 90069 310.247.1431


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8 Comments on “Tweet This: Hinoki & the Bird”

  1. May 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    mmmmmmm 🙂

  2. tygh redfield
    May 26, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    That was one of the best reviews and short run downs I have read. The big E.

  3. May 30, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Great review! I just ate there this weekend and thought it was ahmazzzing too. Wish I had tried the crab toast but I loved the pumpkin and the miso cod.

    • May 30, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      Thanks for reading Whitney! I just checked out your site and love it! xo

  4. June 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    can’t wait to eat here – has been on my list since it opened!

    • June 25, 2013 at 4:53 am #

      Thank you so much for reading! Be prepared to have a wonderful time! 🙂

  5. August 2, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    You made me want to go!

  6. August 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Ahhh I’ve been dying to try this restaurant – I guess reading your post should be a cosmic sign that I should go!

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