Shibumi DTLA

Shibumi is a kappo-style Japanese restaurant that opened this week in DTLA. The chef, David Schlosser, has spent time in the kitchen at Urasawa and Arashiyama Kitcho in Kyoto. For the first month they’re doing a limited menu with plans to add 10 or so more dishes with an omakase option.

Chino farm’s vegetables

Sea bream

Cuttlefish sashimi

California Holstein Beef Strip

Grilled Heritage Pork

Cherry bark smoked salmon trout

Apricot seed tofu

Koji rice cream

Toto toilet


How this place is jgold’s #2 in LA and above places like raku and kinjiro is mind boggling. With the service, hipster servers, and extremely loud music it felt more like a hipster bar in silver lake than the best Japanese restaurant in LA. The chef being more interested in the table drinking the expensive wine didn’t help either. Highlight was once again the grilled heritage pork.

cucumbers stuffed with shiso leaf, seeds, umeboshi, and bonito
Tasted like… cucumbers.

local raw shrimp & lobster cured in sake and its innards
Not what i was expecting, this was pretty much a less intense Shiokara, fermented seafood innards meant to be eaten with sake.

chilled corn soup, yuba, puffed rice
Tasted like a bowl of corn pops

silky egg tofu, uni, fresh nori and wasabi
Not bad, a little too much nori, loved the fresh wasabi.

steamed shrimp dumplings and red shiso vinegar
This tasted like a less shrimpy har gow without the wrapper.

grilled heritage pork in koji, pickled daikon and leeks
Great dish, super tender porky and fatty pieces of pork that went great with the fresh leeks and sweet daikon pickles.

iron pot steamed rice with pickled shiitake and onions #shiitakehappens

mizu shingen mochi implants, left me wanting the real thing


Had one of my better meals at Shibumi the other night.

japanese caviar - karasumi, scallop cured in koji
This was delicious, it had a nice chewy texture and paired well with the sake. However, with only three paper thin slices of karasumi and maybe one scallop it was pricey at 16 bucks.

scallop cured in koji

karasumi

seki sabazushi - kyoto style sushi, cured mackerel topped with kombu on top of vinegared rice
This was an off-menu special and was the highlight of the night. I’ve never seen sabazushi on a menu in LA before so I would order this if it’s offered. The mackerel was soft and fatty and the rice was perfectly seasoned. It was served with aged soy sauce and pickled ginger.

iwagaki oyster, fresh yuzu, shiso flower, mountain caviar
This was yooge, definitely bigger than donald trump’s hand. The oyster was cut up into about six kumamoto sized pieces and tasted super fresh with some nice acid from the yuzu.

broiled sanma skinny mackerel, black vinegar

spines
They threw me a bone and gave me two orders of spines.

dengaku of japanese sweet potato, crusted with yuzu miso
This could have been a dessert

steamed iron pot rice with ikura and dungeness crab
I thought this would be a Kamameshi, crab and ikura mixed with rice, but instead i was served three separate bowls of rice, ikura and crab. This would have been better if the ingredients were actually mixed in the iron pot and then served.

japanese chizu-keki, quince
This japanese cheesecake was light and airy and went great with the sweet quince.


Had my best meal here the other night.

japanese sea bream, ginger bud, pickled plum irizake
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5 year old miso
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Persimmon, ginko nuts, whipped tofu
Not bad, the persimmon could have been sweeter.
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Bonito
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Steamed abalone, fresh mochi, ginger miso
Loved the super tender abalone paired with the even softer mochi.
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Miyazaki Wagyu, nori, fresh wasabi
When I saw @Chowseeker1999’s pictures of this dish I knew it would be epic and wow it did not disappoint. Meltingly soft wagyu with super crisp nori. Perfect.
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Free range chicken, wild mushroom, egg yolk sauce
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Sprouted “8” grain rice, house-made miso with mushroom
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pork jowl
This was so good with the rice. Fatty, tender, smoky, crispy, porky.
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yahata-maki - burdock wrapped with fresh unagi
This was an Omakase special and a Kyoto classic. Fresh unagi was firm yet tender and wrapped around crunchy, chewy burdock, topped with a slightly sweet unagi sauce. So damn good.
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Japanese chizu-keki, pluot
Like Uncle Tetsu’s but better
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Toto
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After multiple visits to shibumi, i’m still torn on this place. The fish here is fantastic and I could just eat any of their proteins with a bowl of rice (or 5) and be happy. But their not so japanese (hamster) staff and (lack of) hospitality has stopped me from coming back more often.

karasumi, daikon
Soft and somewhat sticky, like a sweet and briny mullet roe fruit roll-up.
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aji
Despite the sloppy knife work (sergio was not in the house) this was outstanding. Firm with a clean and buttery taste, the fresh wasabi and shoyu were excellent too.
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iwagaki oyster, yuzu, shiso flower, mountain caviar
The oyster was so firm and sweet it reminded me of a scallop, delicious.
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house made silken tofu, ikura
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shiitake mushroom and dried persimmon tempura
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Not bad, but the batter wasn’t as crispy as inaba’s and surprisingly not much umami.
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However, this was delicious, sweet and crispy. Kind of reminded me of sweet potato fries.
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pumpkin ‘shira-ae’ whipped tofu, sesame
Okay
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lobster miso soup
Good but a bit salty
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salmon trout smoked in cherry bark
This has always been excellent since the day they opened. Smoky, moist, and juicy, great with a bowl a rice.
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pickles
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rockfish nitsuke, gobo, ginger
Wow, highlight of the fucking night and one of the best bites of the year. The fish was vermilion rockfish (anybody know the japanese name?) from santa barbara and was absolutely delicious. The firm, sweet, flesh just slid cleanly off the bone like the melting nazi’s face in raiders of the lost ark and was flakier than a head and shoulders commercial. And the crispy, bitter chrysanthemum greens paired perfectly with the savory sweet sauce. I can’t even imagine what this would taste like with a fattier fish like kinki.

I have my eye on the tai kabutoni at fukuno @JeetKuneBao posted about. Anybody have other leads on sakana no nitsuke (bonus points if they can source kinki) either here in la or sfba (@beefnoguy, @BradFord)? #willdriveforkinki

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grilled red koji duck, daikon
this had the appearance of a char siu pork and was a bit chewy. It was good but can’t compete with the fish.
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koji rice cream, buckwheat honey
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another visit

nodoguro, aged shoyu
excellent
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bonito, avocado, nori, negi
okay. too much going on
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dengaku - fresh bamboo broiled with shiso miso
way too much sauce, overpowered the bamboo
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pork jowl iron pot, pickled vegetable
so porky, an angry bird tried to dive bomb it.
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salmon trout smoked in cherry bark
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quince and chocolate
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sayori (halfbeak, full body), shiso, wasabi, nori, fried bones
heads-up, now serving sayori roll-ups.
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The sashimi was served with, what the chef called, a black bean soy sauce. can anybody translate?
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grilled pork jerky
like biting into a slim jim, only softer. kind of tasted like a lap cheong. i liked it.
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gobo and yamaimo tempura
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gohei mochi, red miso
i never had these sandal-shaped mochis before. it was sweet, savory and stickier than a cinnabon left in a hot car.
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aji kama nitsuke
not as good as the rockfish i had but still very good
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salmon trout smoked in cherry bark
highlight, probably my favorite thing on the menu. this has consistently been great since they opened.
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holstein, narazuke pickles, wasabi
could have been more tender, flavor was nice and beefy.
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sakura mochi
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Shibumi
815 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
http://www.shibumidtla.com/

7 Likes

Yeah baby.

Gonna go once they’re in full swing.

LOL! so is the FTC top Ten LA restaurant toilet list ALL going to be at Japanese restaurants?

1 Like

Maybe Toto will take off like the Poke craze.

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Nice pics. :slight_smile:

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Looks far better than some of the offerings at Wakuriya in Northern California.

Thanks for the initial pics!

Looking forward to see what they offer for sake as well if someone can post the alcohol menu next time they go

so sad they didn’t go with the washlet models…

2 Likes

Good idea, they have a very limited menu right now and not only that they were out of the karaage monkfish and yaki onigiri at 8pm last night.

Maybe poke served out of a communal Toto toilet for the table?

BTW, @PorkyBelly, beautiful pics, as always.

1 Like

I was planning on heading back tonight but their menu has barely changed and they’re still not offering an omakase.

Some additional thoughts i left out of my initial review:

  • This is supposed to be a kappo-style restaurant, yet only 4 seats out of the 14 counter seats are actually in front of chef david, the rest are i guess “bartender-counter seats”.

  • Even after requesting seats at the chef’s counter on our reservation, arriving early, and with two chef counter seats available, they still seated us at the bar.

  • We ordered the last order of crispy monkfish but never got to try it because they delivered it to the couple next to us by accident. Mistakes happen but instead of admitting they screwed up right away they insisted that we did indeed get our monkfish and insinuated we unknowingly ate it. After huddling to discuss the omission, they did apologize and comped us dessert.

Even with the service errors we still enjoyed our food and would like to come back to try the monkfish and omakase. But next time we’ll go for the first seating to get a seat at the actual chef’s counter.

Thanks for the 2nd review.

Gonna go after they institute actual kappo-ryori style service (if that ever happens)…

How this place is jgold’s #2 in LA and above places like raku and kinjiro is mind boggling. With the service, hipster servers, and extremely loud music it felt more like a hipster bar in silver lake than the best Japanese restaurant in LA. The chef being more interested in the table drinking the expensive wine didn’t help either. Highlight was once again the grilled heritage pork.

cucumbers stuffed with shiso leaf, seeds, umeboshi, and bonito
Tasted like… cucumbers.

local raw shrimp & lobster cured in sake and its innards
Not what i was expecting, this was pretty much a less intense Shiokara, fermented seafood innards meant to be eaten with sake.

chilled corn soup, yuba, puffed rice
Tasted like a bowl of corn pops

silky egg tofu, uni, fresh nori and wasabi
Not bad, a little too much nori, loved the fresh wasabi.

steamed shrimp dumplings and red shiso vinegar
This tasted like a less shrimpy har gow without the wrapper.

grilled heritage pork in koji, pickled daikon and leeks
Great dish, super tender porky and fatty pieces of pork that went great with the fresh leeks and sweet daikon pickles.

iron pot steamed rice with pickled shiitake and onions #shiitakehappens

mizu shingen mochi implants, left me wanting the real thing

2 Likes

WOW - I don’t recall you sounding so disappointed and sad about a meal - especially one including uni.

Pretty much sums up my experience there. I didn’t have the heart to write it up.

2 Likes

I wanted to like it more but for the price i would rather go to raku or kinjiro.

P.s. shibumi should be starting an omakase “soon.”

My instincts tell me to avoid…

1 Like

They are serving raindrop cake?

thanks for saving me a trip there

Thanks for the report @PorkyBelly. That steamed shrimp dish is new; thanks for taking one for the team.

Bummer about the corn soup though. It was pretty spectacular when we went. And that dessert looks like the raindrop gimmick that was plaguing Smorgasburg.

I should clarify i did enjoy the corn soup, it just reminded me of corn pops.