David Gibbs is part of the teams that launched the Mirabelle and Augustine wine bars, and is now jumping into the world of sushi restaurants this June. Gibbs, with his team of Andy Paxson and Silvia Gallo, bought the former Bizen space in November, and the experienced team has a few extra tricks up their sleeves. Not only is the menu deeply oriented towards wines, but acclaimed sushi chef Kiminobu Saito from Encino’s 4 On 6 will helm the kitchen. A quick scan on 4 On 6’s now-defunct Yelp page shows accolade after accolade for the sushi chef.
Eater spoke with Gibbs about the upcoming project which began in November. While preparing for the opening of Augustine wine bar, which is directly across the street from the unnamed restaurant, a real estate agent suggested that Gibbs buy Bizen, as the owner wanted to retire. But the option seemed overwhelming, as Gibbs was about to spend many months immersed in the build-out. Eventually, the team pulled together to purchase Bizen, and escrow is about to close.
Securing chef Saito was a big score, as many were loyal followers of 4 On 6’s sushi, which closed in May 2017. Gibbs wants to see a chef like Saito get more recognition. The restaurant will have an ambitious omakase menu, but will also have an omakase wine pairing to thoughtfully complement each slice of fish.
Gibbs wants to bring something a bit different in an area well known for sushi. “I hate snobby wine bars,” he says. “And I feel the same about snobby sushi bars. It should be elevated experience where anyone can enjoy it.”
13447 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA