Should we be surprised that the LA Times' Jonathan Gold is impressed with David Myers' (Sona, Comme Ça) newest serious project, Hinoki & the Bird? Perhaps not. Much buzz has been made about the restaurant in and around LA, and even the New York Times filed an early, positive report. Gold quickly notes Myers and his chef Kuniko Yagi's reach for kaiseki, "a complex, ritualized cuisine keyed to the seasons," and puts Hinoki & the Bird in the same category as "local pan-Asian kitchens such as Lukshon or Spice Table, with a somewhat higher reliance on luxury ingredients." Then, there's the lobster roll that everyone is talking about:
Half the new restaurants in Los Angeles are riffing on the New England lobster roll these days, but nobody's version is as surprising as Myers': lobster salad — a bit of citrus, a licoricey hint of Thai basil — tucked into rolls of a surpassing blackness, made with charcoal-enriched flour, which gives the sandwich a pleasant, mild grittiness.
The grilled skate wing, bartender Sam Ross' modern Negroni made with Japanese whiskey, and "an excellent dish of mussels and sausage in a broth with the flavors and weight of Thai chicken-coconut soup," are all worth a taste at Hinoki & the Bird, according to Mr. Gold. [LAT]
The Elsewhere: Refined Palate gets a tasting menu at Milo & Olive, e*star LA takes a second look at The Hudson, Eat: LA discoversOcean Star Seafood, Let Me Eat Cake gets a sugar pie at Short Cake, Gastronomy Blog is tickled at ink., and Sinosoul tastes both Tar and Roses and Sycamore Kitchen.