As far as LA restaurants go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more glamorous spot than Century City’s Hinoki & the Bird. The polished American/Asian space is anchored by unexpected Japanese denim banquettes and lush greenery, a seductive decor that’s helped it become—and stay—one of LA’s most intriguing venues. Killer ambiance coupled with a stellar menu has earned Hinoki more than it’s share of critical success since its debut back in 2012. And after some notable changes in management last year, it looks as though the culinary gem has found its footing.
Enter new Executive Chef Brandon Kida of Clement and Peninsula Hotel fame. The New York transplant had some pretty big shoes to fill after the departure of founder David Myers and former Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi last year. Together, Kida with Executive Sous Chef Kei-Ichi Kurobe are poised and ready to satisfy the Hinoki crowd’s lofty expectations.
On July 7th, the restaurant celebrated their new team’s arrival with a Tanabata Star Festival dinner. For the unindoctrinated, the traditional Japanese festival is held throughout July and August and celebrates the meeting of two stars, Altair and Vega, who “meet” on the seventh day of the seventh month. The occasion was an opportune time for the new culinary team to flex their creative muscles with pristine meat dishes like braised lamb dumplings and grilled duck with papaya. Expect the same creatively eclectic offerings for both their seasonal lunch and dinner menus.
Together, Kida and Kurobe have created a globally inspired vision that muses off their multi-cultural backgrounds and collective fine dining experience. Dinner menu staples like caramel braised kurobuta pork belly and chili crab toast with spicy cucumber were more than worth our rush hour commute.
Oh, and those cocktails…