Hinoki and the Bird – Century City, CA
One of my favorite places to visit is Los Angeles. A month ago, I dined at Hinoki & the Bird. This restaurant serves Californian food with an Asian twist. Definitely ask to be seated in the outdoor area – you’ll be surrounded by greenery, a warm fireplace, and heating elements for a nice, cozy feel.
The first dish we had was the lobster roll – easily the best one I’ve ever had. The roll itself was made with activated charcoal, giving a pitch black color to it, which makes it look ten times cooler and makes you want to eat it even more. The lobster was sweet and succulent with a hint of lemongrass, giving it an Asian spin.
Once again, another one of the “bests.” This beef tartare was prepared using high quality beef and expert knife skills. They cut the beef into perfectly sized pieces, allowing the flavors to get into each bite you take. The quail egg, tossed with the beef, gave a luscious texture, while the mint and dill added an herby, fresh note. The briny bite of jalapeno and the salty Parmesan gave another dimension to the dish. Once you put the tartare on top of the crusty bread, you can’t help but eat the entire bowl!
Crispy Marinated Chicken
Perfectly cooked chicken thigh. Juicy, crispy deliciousness. The chicken was crisp on the outside, and had a wonderful flavor from the marinade. The chili dusting on top added the perfect kick- with the sweet-spicy honey drizzled over it and a squeeze of lemon, you get the perfect sweet, acidic, savory bite that leaves you wanting more.
The tempura mushrooms were new on the menu, but highly spoken of by our waiter. The tempura was light, crisp, and delicious just like tempura should be. The meaty mushroom was wonderful with the crisp coating, especially after dipping it in the creamy, slightly acidic aioli.
Hinoki & the Bird is a great restaurant in Century City. It has a cozy, hip atmosphere that you fall in love with as soon as you sit down. Be sure to ask to be seated in the outdoor area. The Californian fare with an Asian twist is masterfully prepared with exquisite skill. I have never had beef tartare or a lobster roll as good as the ones they make here.