Shibumi DTLA

84 posts were split to a new topic: Shibumi’s David Schlosser: threat or menace?

A post was merged into an existing topic: Shibumi’s David Schlosser: threat or menace?

new menu


No sakura mochi? pass.


Chartreuse kohakuto, damn.

Crunchy dried gelatin candy?


I’m always conflicted when i come here. my brain has a hard time reconciling all the incongruous signals it’s receiving: i smell incense, i see white servers and chefs, i hear loud krautrock playing on the speakers, i feel the 400-year old cypress counter, and i taste delicious traditional japanese food. this has to be the most non-japanese japanese restaurant i’ve ever been to.

the whole sakura-mochi-gate was a fucking dick move and hopefully he can learn from it, but i can’t deny the food on the plate is delicious. the amount of aging, fermenting and flavor going on here is impressive.

fresh seaweed shot, junsai, mozuku, mountain yam
a nice cold, refreshing start.


pickled plum “umeboshi” between bamboo leaves, 2-year aged yubeshi (yuzu, walnut, miso)
the plum was like a delicious concentrated jello. the yubeshi was soft and chewy and i’m amazed how much flavor is packed into such a small bite. highlight.




3-month aged hokkaido scallop in koji, 18-month smoked karasumi
the aged hokkaido scallop was fascinating, it was soft and chewy and had a sweetness and funkiness to it with the flavor of scallop lingering in the background. karasumi–textbook. loved the six pieces of raw daikon that acts as a crunchy textural contrast and to reset your palate. it’s also great to get all the chewy bits off your teeth. highlight.


3-month aged tofuyo
this was intense and funky and had the texture of a runny epoisses. stood up well to the taragawa awamori that it was served with.



hokkaido wagyu, nori, wasabi, 3-year aged ginger
meltingly soft wagyu with crispy nori with possibly the best gari in the city. highlight.



chilled eggplant, smoked tosazu gelee, kokabu, shiso flowers
loved the texture contrast of the shredded crunchy kokabu and the soft eggplant. highlight.





wild japanese aji sashimi, 3-year aged ginger, 3-year aged shoyu koji, fresh cucumber, wakame
the aji was flawless, but paired with the 3-year aged shoyu, it was incredible. highlight.



simmered japanese octopus, wasabi stems
flavorful and tender. highlight.



original tempura circa 1615, tai, grated daikon, green onions, shoyu dashi
perfectly fried tai. i drank this entire bowl of sweet and savory shoyu dashi. highlight.



iron pot koshihikari rice, iga wagyu, grilled unagi, shiitake, shimeji mushrooms, tsukemono
this course had enough flavor for about two meals. i would be happy just eating the flavorful mushrooms and tsukemono with a bowl of austere rice. the wagyu and unagi were a delicious added bonus. the iga wagyu was intensely beefy and fatty, and the unagi was so much better than the chewy one i had for takeout. loved the sansho powder on top. highlight.


the austere rice :blush: :heart: :blush:






miso soup


not sakura mochi
aka ice cream, fresh amazake, rice cracker


not sakura mochi
aka castella cake, apricot


not sakura mochi
aka kohakuto



That alone takes this restaurant off my list. Once we were there and it was so loud we could not here each other. I politely asked them to turn the volume down - they came back and said they could not lower music volume because that is how the chef likes it!


Had the same issue, albeit with the incense (or maybe it was a Muji atomizer).

I’m on the neurotic end of the spectrum when it comes to artificial scents, but food is a sensory, olfactory experience, and I don’t want that obscured or affected by incense.

Crazy that this is part of a $300 meal. While I understand the push pull power dynamic between chef and customer, it’s frustrating when some of these chef dudes make the ‘door’ to enter the experience so small and specific.


No loud music when I was there in February a year ago, but it was a Wednesday night at 6:00. No incense either.


i wonder what the veggie menu is

The vegetarian menu surely depends on what’s good and in season that week. Maybe fresh tofu, maybe dumplings. The most memorable dish from my meal there was sweet potato with miso.

Had my first dinner here with a friend yesterday, and honestly it was a bit underwhelming. The menu(s) had a fair number of new/changed items, many of which seem like they’d be less interesting or less well-thought-out compared to those on @PorkyBelly’s menu.

Didn’t take any pictures, but:

  1. Chinmi - tofu-ya (exceptional, unusual, one of the best bites of the night), fermented spot prawn (good, but not a whole lot to get into), and uni (same)
  2. Corn Soup w/Puffed Rice, Yuba, & Dashi Gelee - inventive twist on the classic taste, though Corn Soup is not really my thing. Execution here was definitely good. The two cubes of Dashi Gelee were excellent counterpoints, and I wish that flavor had been included in a slightly more integrated way into the dish - that was the part that I enjoyed the most :slight_smile:
  3. Sashimi (Hirame, Engawa, Heirloom Tomatoes, Shiso, & Shiso Flowers) - fine, and the tomato/shiso combination was definitely interesting in an “intellectual” way; there was definitely a contrast that worked there, but it’s not something I’d go back to. I prefer the more traditional accoutrements for hirame. The wild japanese aji sashimi looks much more interesting, not to mention the aged shoyi & ginger.
  4. “First Pressed” Tofu w/Edamame Puree & Shio Kombu - again, interesting in a sort of intellectual fashion, and certainly the tofu was pleasantly reminiscent of a mousse in texture, but it seemed like the portion was kind of large given the minimalistic flavor profile.
  5. Kinki Tempura (Lime & Salt) - decent, though it didn’t quite reach the heights of tempura you’d get sitting at the tempura bar at I-naba. Once again the tai & shoyu dashi looks like a version of the dish I’d have enjoyed more - if for no other reason than the fact that it’d be doing something slightly off the beaten path, and wouldn’t be falling a bit short compared to a dedicated specialist in the pure form :laughing:
  6. Cucumber Aspic w/Cucumbers, Prawns, & ???, on Dashi (I also forgot the name! This is what I get for not even taking a picture of the menu…) - kinda boring. Like the tofu dish, the flavors here were very muted, and the dashi wasn’t strong enough to provide much contrast by itself. Possibly the intent was to contrast the textures, and those were there, but the portion size felt like a bit too much and it started feeling same-y very fast.
  7. Iron Pot of Rice, Pickles, Miso Soup, Shiitake stuffed w/Minced Wagyu, & Grilled Unagi - the minced wagyu honestly just felt a bit like slightly-richer hamburger meat, given how it was prepared, but everything else here was really good! The rice was perfectly done, each grain remaining noticeably distinct even as it cooled. The wasabi was quite floral and not very spicy, providing a great counterpoint to the eel. The miso soup was either best-in-class or very close, and had a delicious fish cake in it as well. Pickles were daikon in some sort of sauce (daikon isn’t my thing, so I can’t really comment here), mustard greens (salty! but good with the rice :slight_smile:), and lotus root (which was excellent and my favorite by far; could easily have that with every meal).
  8. Apricot Seed (Almond) Custard w/White Nectarines - I’m pretty sure the custard itself was almond-based, and it was just topped with apricot seeds. Certainly a clever combination, given their similarity! The white nectarines were sweetened but in a way that gave them enough punch to play well with the custard. I’m not a huge fan of almond-based desserts so I was mostly appreciating this abstractly for the quality of execution, which was excellent.
  9. (r)ice cream w/puffed rice - nice texture

Part of the problem, I think, was that a couple of the things that I thought were really well-executed from a technical perspective just happened to not really be things that I’m a fan of - i.e. both the corn soup and the custard. My friend liked both of those dishes a lot more than I did, because he likes corn soup and almond-based desserts! But even putting those two aside, at $155 a head before tip & tax, it felt a bit spendy for a meal that felt pretty boring half the time and had very few high notes (I’m can’t confidently say that e.g. the sizing on the tofu & the aspic were “missteps”, only the experience I had while eating them). Pretty much every changed menu item seemed like a downgrade - the sashimi, the tempura, the wagyu getting minced, possibly even the aspic (compared to the eggplant dish, which seems more interesting at a glance), and it also seems like there were just a couple items cut entirely without any replacement. I was full at the end but there was very little protein involved.

I might come back for an a la carte menu, because I don’t think I’d have ordered half of what I ended up eating, and would’ve been much happier for it, but probably not until then.


Apricot seeds (noyau) are to my knowledge inedible. You simmer them in liquid or steep them in alcohol to get the bitter-almond flavor.

Well, I don’t think I got cyanide poisoning, but I’ll certainly avoid eating them in the future… whatever the custard was topped with, it definitely wasn’t almonds; both the texture and flavor had some similarities but were still noticeably different. For one thing they had a considerably more bitter aftertaste.

I found a couple of photos online of Shibumi desserts with apricot seeds. I guess he toasts them.

The Chinese uses them in soup and desserts.

Warrior: Shibumi is a DTLA gem. Some dishes today—particularly the corn soup and the nikogori (seafood and vegetables in gelee)—were outstanding. Very refined and classy stuff. Usually I’m a traditionalist when it comes to sashimi (I just want hunks of fish or squid and salt or soy sauce on the side), but I liked Shibumi’s preparation of hirame and engawa with cured tomato and shiso. Great textures, and the flavors worked well together. The wagyu was excellent as always. The eel was meatier and more well-done than what you would usually get in Japan, but it was good. The chinmi starters were tasty as always. Both desserts were good, but the almond custard was especially delicious. The beverage omakase was superb as always.

Peony: We’ve been to Shibumi for several years. I’ve noticed significant improvement of the dishes during this period. The most impressive time was right after their reopening during Covid. The staff there even told us they had tested and improved dishes during Covid. This time, I really liked the corn soup and the chinmi. They were just right. All the other food were all tasty, although not impressive like last time. I feel this restaurant has potential to do better. I like that the chef is being creative and always trying to do new dishes, so I look forward to returning.


But is it better than Chipotle?


Peony: Yes I like it more than Chipotle! :relaxed: