Sherman Oaks Japanese hit Sushi Note is ready to play a new tune, this time in Beverly Hills. Recently-pulled ABC license paperwork points to owners Dave Gibbs and Andy Paxson taking up residence in a small space within the Rodeo Collection development at 421 N. Rodeo Drive, and word is that they’ll be using the address to take the original Sushi Note menu into a slightly new direction.
Sushi Note first opened in 2018 as an upscale-casual option along Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks — already a rich area for fine Japanese food. The hook was twofold: Gibbs (of Augustine Wine Bar, Mirabelle, and other establishments) would help to oversee the restaurant’s unique sushi and wine pairings with Paxson, and the restaurant would be helmed by Los Angeles sushi master Kiminobu Saito, who served an array of tasting menus as well as a la carte options. “I think wine gets shortchanged in sushi bars,” explained Gibbs at the time. “There are not many by the glass that you’re excited about when eating sushi. We’re trying to change that.” The restaurant was an almost immediate hit, and for several years now the group has been quietly working on a proper follow-up album. Enter Beverly Hills.
Sushi Note Omakase, a standalone “brand-within-a-brand,” per Paxson, will exclusively offer a higher-end omakase menu to customers; 12 seats per night, two different timed seatings. Being Sushi Note, there will still be an available wine pairing option (likely two tiers separated by price and exclusivity), but no a la carte bites or general menu. Here Saito and culinary director Earl Aguilar will look to keep the original intent of Sushi Note in place while offering something more specific and luxurious to one of LA’s wealthiest zip codes. “We’re really focusing on the highest-end omakase experience that we can provide,” says Gibbs, “with a beverage pairing of course. We’re pushing further than we’ve gone before, presentation-wise, [and] fish selection-wise. We’re really happy about it.”
“It’s a little reminiscent of these little omakase restaurants that you find in Japan and elsewhere,” adds Paxson, who also owns Melanie Wine Bar on West Third Street. “They can be kind of quirky in how you get to them, but once you’re inside it’s all high-end, big experiences, done right.” Austin Ferrier will move over from Melanie to serve as Sushi Note Omakase’s general manager, with Ian Lokey still in as Sushi Note’s beverage director. As for timing, expect this new Omakase experience to land by April, most likely — and with potentially more locations on the horizon soon, too.
Meanwhile, Beverly Hills continues to have a real moment, with everyone from Salt Bae to Daniel Boulud picking up leases in the city. Jon & Vinny’s is now here alongside Matu, Maude, Spago, and Jean-Georges at the Waldorf Astoria, with more places either announced or opening each week.