Looking Into The Space and Menu at David Myers' Hinoki & the Bird, Opening Tomorrow in Century City

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We're not alone in saying that David Myers' Sona long held the top spot in our list of favorite L.A. restaurants. In fact, the Michelin inspectors who awarded it one star would be the first to agree (if they were still speaking to us). Elegant and electrifying, the chef merged his French training with a passion for Japanese kaiseki, flexing his tweezer fingers over internationally-fused tasting menus based on exotic micro-greens and fruits, chai foams and grains of paradise sabayon, subcontinental spices, and Gallic mainstays with Asian accents.

The restaurant shuttered in the spring of 2010 as local fine-dining wheezed, but Myers promised to bring Sona back the next year in a Hollywood space. That is yet to happen. Instead, the chef concentrated on Comme Ca, Pizza Ortica, and the opening of Sola in Tokyo, while gastropubs proliferated to L.A.'s stressed seams. Tomorrow, some turf portends to be taken back, as Myers opens Hinoki & The Bird with former Sona chef de cuisine Kuniko Yagi heading the kitchen.

Housed in a sky-scraping condo complex in Century City, Hinoki & The Bird is layered in woods both light and dark; a snug, atmospheric roadhouse tavern with an al fresco patio, pew-style booths, an open kitchen fronted by a stack of shelves, and blasts of color from sparse, striking flower arrangements.

The menu, as seen below, may not be a full-trumpeted return to white tablecloths and high-priced tasting menus, but it does mark the return of Myers' globally-inspired cuisine to the Boston-born chef's adopted hometown.

Backed by a strong cocktail program from Milk & Honey's Sam Ross, dishes include classic Myers-style combinations of the familiar and alluring, like scallops with grapefruit and lime leaf and calamari with ajwain-tomato jam, in addition to au currant twists like chili crab toast with coriander and spicy cucumber, house-cured pickles, green curry lobster rolls, and duck leg carbonara. The menu also includes vegetable plates and simply grilled selections like sambal skate wing, miso-marinated steak, and Maine lobster.

Overall, an enticing prospect of Asian-influenced dining with a less formal bent from one of our favorite fine-dining chefs. Check out Hinoki & The Bird's full dinner and cocktail menus below and take a look at the space in our slide show, prior to the restaurant's opening tomorrow evening at 5:30 P.M.

Hinoki & The Bird, 10 West Century Dr. Century City; 310-552-1200.

MENU

raw bar

1/2 dozen oysters, pear mignonette 18

marinated tuna, lemongrass salad 16

scallops, grapefruit, lime leaf 16

beef tartare, pickled jalapeno, parmigiano 15

fun bites

salt & pepper marinated calamari, ajwain-tomato jam 13

crispy marinated chicken, lemon aoli 14

chili crab toast, spicy cucumber, coriander 15

fried oysters, black garlic aoli 12

cured and smoked ham, garlic toast 11

spice scented nuts 6

assorted housemade pickles 6

pumpkin toast, miso jam, goat cheese 11

simply grilled

scottish salmon 24

maine lobster 38

sambal skate wing 21

drunken duck breast 24

bbq pork 21

apple marinated shortrib 24

wagyu strip loin 38

ginger chicken 24

miso marinated skirt steak 24

Dinner

inspiration

clam chowder, celery leaf 11

lobster roll, green curry, thai basil 24

kale, crispy and raw, curried almonds, pecorino, red wine vinaigrette 12

escarole and watercress, roasted carrots, yoghurt 12

spinach, miso cured goat cheese, sunflower seed vinaigrette 12

cured duck leg carbonara 16/24

hinoki scented black cod, sweet potato, pistachio 24

braised lamb, tiny potatoes, cumin seed 25

caramel braised kurobuta pork belly, radish, mustard greens 28

coconut-curried mussels, sausage, cauliflower 19

vegetables & grains

pee wee potatoes 9

organic grilled rice, white or brown 5

roasted yam, chili, pepper 9

steamed mustard greens, soy 9

grilled winter mushrooms, sea salt, lime 12

haricot vert, sesame 9

braised shitake mushroom 11

All Cocktails 14

cups

gordon’s cup gin, muddled lime, cucumber, szechuan pepper, salt

tangerine caipirissima white rum, lime, tangerine & brown sugar

bird cup our take on a pimms cup, muddled citrus, cucumber, mint & ginger

swizzles

hinoki swizzle amontillado sherry, st germaine, fresh green apple, & champagne

dark ‘n stormy bermudan rum, fresh ginger & lime

griffith park swizzle bourbon, mint, lime, bitters & absinthe

seasonal fix gin, rum, vodka or tequila, served with fresh lemon over
muddled seasonal fruit

negroni & the like

classic negroni gin, sweet vermouth & campari, rocks, orange twist

white negroni amère sauvage (bitter gentian), bianco vermouth, rocks, grapefruit twist

harajuku hakushu single malt whiskey, gran classico, byrrh quinquina & chocolate bitters

kingston negroni smith + cross jamaican rum, gran classico, sweet vermouth, rocks, orange twist

quaffers

tommy’s #2 tequila and/or mezcal, lime, orange & agave

jungle bird black strap rum, pineapple, lime & campari

nakatomi plaza choya plum wine, yamazaki, fresh pressed green apple

BEGIN SLIDESHOW