Shibucho on Beverly Great Red Wine and Sushi
Had dinner there a couple of weeks ago. A fantastic, authentic experience. In my opinion, the best sushi in LA, although I am admittedly not an expert. I have eaten there with Japanese clients of mine who are experts, however, and they concur. The unique aspect to Shibucho is the owner's (Shige Kudo) devotion to serving very old classic red wines with his food. The first time I tried this, I could not believe this combination made sense, but it does, trust me.
Hard fo find and not a great location, but worth the effort. Open Mon.-Sat., on holiday through 10/31/06.
3114 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Shige Kudo is a very talented eccentric chef. He serves very classic "Edo" style sushi/sashimi. I've been going to shubucho for years -the best way is to go omakase. Let him know of anything you don't like or any food allergies and budget (if you have a limit) Some people find him off-putting, but infact he is very friendly. Do NOT ask for california rolls, spicy-anything rolls or edaname. When it comes to sushi, he is a purist.
He will orchestra a delcious meal that will include some of the finest sushi and sashimi.
Here is the great twist...often he will prepare a cooked dish that will blow you away such as sauteed scallops in a foie gras red wine sauce (foie gras from BH cheese store-the really top notch stuff), or melanzane all parmigiana -I kid you not! These dishes are not always available. I also love his seared toro slices on a bed of arugula.
His red wine list is amazing from very high end bottles to some very reasonable bottles-all well chosen. Skip the red house by the glass. His pairing of red wine and fish will amaze and surprise.
It's one of my favorite places to go post performance Music Center or Disney Hall.
Open until midnight. Jeffery Kahane is a fan and often you will see members of the LA Phil (instrument in tote) at the sushi bar.
The decor is tokyo sushi bar from the 70's-funky. Music is either 80's Japanese pop, opera or the soundtrack from pink panther. Gotta love it!
I've been going to shibucho since shibutani owned and ran the place back in 1980. it was my first sushi experience and it took years to find something close.
that said - i find shige too much, really. his fish is wonderful and i think that with a japanese client your service on one night was probably better than the best service i had there in the last quarter century - that is, from him. One of his sous-chef helpers was last working at Mori when I saw him a year or so ago. Got great service from him. Shige has some kind of antipathy toward me, i imagine, and i'm not paranoid. when i go with friends, he actually treats them very well - me, not so well.
that said - the fish is fantastic, some of the best ankimo around, etc. I don't drink large amounts, so it's possible that this might be the cause of the strain. but he is a master, one of the best in the area, and shibucho on beverly blvd has been touted extensively on these boards.
When in costa mesa, try the shibucho there- the last outpost of shige's old boss.
hey jerome, what's the reason behind him not warming up to you, but to your guests, does it have to do with them ordering wine?
and for what it's worth i'd love to try some of the wine with the sushi but i've actually never done so, first reason is it's just too expensive, the bottles of older Bordeaux start up from 250 per and go up to at least 500-600 or so, and that's not including the listo reserva.
wow, i' ve been going here for years but it doesn't seem to ever get any notice.
maybe it's because shige is not the most jovial sushi chef around (and i'm putting it very lightly).
i had the best french foie gras cooked or sauteed simpled in some premium french butter, and it was beyond exceptional a couple years ago, it was also exceptionally priced.
Once you sort of warm up to Shige, he's sort of a nice guy, but then again I'm also somewhat of a relapsing regular at this joint.
i'm also curiouis what wines did you order? if you can remember vinter and vintage, and how much were your bottles?
also what dishes did you have besides sushi?
it's been quite a few months since i have been there.
and everyone for what it's worth i do like shibucho on beverly better than shibucho in costa mesa (but you have to keep in mind the beverly locale is three times the cost).
i don't know at the beginning years he did charge 20 for two pieces of nigiri toro sushi.
albacore salad at 12 bucks,
but yes it is good, and if you don't have any of the fusiion-y elements it is very traditional sushi, the nice part is once in a while i go there, and have an order of toro sushi and also a hefty toro handroll the size of a cuban spliff, along with the albacore salad, and a few orders or sushi and a beer or soda, and a dessert cake, and it's probably hovering around 70 bucks which is not bad including the fact that we had quite a bit of toro.
here, it really pays off to be a regular, if you desire to stick with it. other joints are very welcoming, numerous times we've got into discussions with shige about business and customers. notice how he places "Reserved" cards over numerous spaces at the bar even when he doesn't have any reservations for the nights. it's too warn off some newbies. also, he doesn't like to serve newbies omakase on their first visit because as he says" how do I know what they want to eat???!" true story.
too bad he doesn't get anymore of that great french foie gras.
Not only is Shige one of the best sushi chefs around, order the wine omakase as well. Give him a budget, I usually tell him not more than $100, he will take the request very seriously, disappear to some unknown cellar and return with a bottle that not only is on his menu for more than you requested (he always only charges me up to the reuested amount) but it's a wine that would be worth 2-3 times what he charges in another restaurant. Shige's main business he says is wine export to Japan. He frequently buys at auctions rare French wines. Oh, and don't ask for white.
you hit the nail on the head kevin...it's all about trust.
once you cross that treshhold with shige it's a completely different experience.
he will often look out of the corner of his eye to see your reaction as you are eating.
once he sees that you appreciate the quality (it's not that he wants you to kiss his ass) that he is serving then he reciprocates.
I started my sushi bar experience at Shibucho's in the late 70s - prior to that, only combination plates of sushi at Osho's. Loved Shibucho's and followed Shibu-ya to the Alameda complex.
Had dinner at the Beverly Blvd. Shibucho's last year. Though the food was very good, including his freshly made tamago, the chilly atmosphere did not leave me with a good feeling, and I will not return. Perhaps if I had ordered red wine instead of sake?
Was there with my father who doesn't eat sushi. Shige served him some fabulous unagi and cooked shrimp and scallops. There was one other couple there and we ended up sharing some wine, a 1959 Tour de Pressac, which was very good and great with the dishes that Shige served us. I am afraid I can’t remember them all, I do remember some great halibut. Dessert was a mango mousse and some absolutely lovely matcha (Shige said you could not find that tea in the US, it was something else.)