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Shibumi Wants to Change the Way LA Thinks About Japanese Food

The beautiful Downtown restaurant will open May 3

Decor inside Shibumi, Downtown
Decor inside Shibumi, Downtown
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Downtown’s long-awaited Shibumi restaurant is almost ready to serve, plotting a May 3 opening that should immediately elevate the already stellar Japanese food scene in Los Angeles.

Owner David Schlosser admits the delays on his Hill Street restaurant have been frustrating, but things are finally dialing in for an opening in just a few weeks. Any last-minute menu tweaks are underway as of this very moment, and soon enough guests will be able to duck in for an impressive evening at the intimate 40-seat restaurant.

What’s perhaps most engaging about the place right off the bat is the unique dining format. Shibumi is a kappo-style restaurant, which means dishes are meant to flow together in a sort of symphonic progression, tackling different cooking techniques along the way to create a unified experience that is unique to every diner. Much of that will happen from across the restaurant’s excessively old cypress wood bar, where Schlosser himself will be doling out dishes, explaining techniques, and working the room with equal parts fun and stoicism.

That shouldn’t be hard for Schlosser, considering his pedigree as a longstanding chef and apprentice in Japan. Schlosser has not only worked at Ginza and Urasawa here in Los Angeles, he’s also spent time at L’Arpege in Paris, Aureole and Shuko in New York, and places like Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto, a three Michelin-starred restaurant considered to be one of the best in the world.

Calling his food and drink menus an expression of tradition, Schlosser says guests will be encouraged to work through the options via an omakase menu, priced at two separate tiers ($75 and $95, respectively). There are also plans for an all-vegan tasting menu down the line, as well as a so-called chinmi snack option for late night diners as well.

Shibumi will unveil itself to the world on Tuesday, May 3. Once open, hours will run 6 p.m. to midnight, from Tuesday through Sunday.

815 S. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA