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any more reviews of Hinoki and the Bird since February?

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Hi Chowhounds, I went through all the Hinoki and the Bird reviews posted here but haven't seen any new ones since February (when it first opened). Hubby and I are about to go there in a few weeks to celebrate an anniversary. Any new thoughts on what to order/avoid?

Thanks!

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  1. I'd be interested in that information as well. I live nearby and have been wanting to try it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: perk

      Sadly, no one has responded! I will just have to report back to you myself after I go! : )

    2. Went this past weekend
      Had an excellent meal in a lovely setting with lots of good cocktails and people watching.
      My favs of the night were definately the Skate with Sambal, Chili Crab toast, and Beef Tartare. Also good - Fried chicken, lobster roll and escarole. The snapper crudo was good but miniature. The skirt steak with miso - so-so. A mushroom dish - Braised shitake mushroom, yuzu kosho - was a mess.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Ciao Bob

        Just curious.

        Was there any difficulty in finding the location ?

        I had heard it was quite onerous.

        Thanks.

        1. re: kevin

          I have not been there, but if you are familiar with Century City it wont be a problem. If you are not, I am positive it will be a tad confusing.

          1. re: kevin

            It's next door (on the south side) to the Century Plaza Hotel in that 42 story condo building with Candy Spelling waving from the top 2 floors to you.

            1. re: Servorg

              Oooh, candy spelling.

              I've always had a soft spot for her. :)

              1. re: kevin

                There is an interesting Candy S. - Hinoki connection/rumour...something about her suing the property for many millions because a restaurant was not open when she moved in, as promised, and then they rush-opened Hinoki. Seems far fetched but possible.

          2. re: Ciao Bob

            thanks for the writeup! I've been curious about it for a while now.

          3. I did not enjoy the restaurant at all. The food was okay, but the prices were probably more reflective of the location and clientele than the quality of food.

            Unlike Bob, I really disliked the Southeast Asian dishes. To me, they lacked an understanding of what make the dishes great. For example, I thought the heat on the dishes was very superficial. I just got a touch of heat up front, but not really that warmth that I would associate with other versions of those dishes.

            I was also disappointed in the way the bok choy, mushrooms, and pork belly were cooked. Enjoyed the lobster roll and the cocktails.

            4 Replies
            1. re: andytseng

              I haven't been, but a friend went the other day. He said it was packed, expensive and the food "weird".

              My guess, is that like most David Meyer's restaurants, this flames out within 6 months after the trendoids have left. He seems to have bad karma, based on what I've seen.

              1. re: manku

                I thought Sona was great, but didn't love Hinoki. The space is nice, though

              2. re: andytseng

                @ andy & will:

                Ouch. On a side note, have you tried Lukshon? (since that's also more "gentrified Asian cuisine"? How does it compare with Hinoki?

                1. re: chowseeker1999

                  I've been to Lukshon. It's not one of my favorites, nor is it in my regular rotation, but I would say that I find the food at Lukshon more interesting than Hinoki and the Bird. A lot of the dishes at Hinoki, particularly their SE Asian dishes, were very straight-forward; which could be fine if everything was executed well.

                  I enjoyed the cocktails at Hinoki much more than Lukshon. I feel the Lukshon cocktails aren't as thoughtful... more along the lines of, let's take this exotic, Asian ingredient and throw it into whatever. The cocktails at Hinoki made more sense to me.

              3. Kind of an embarrassing question to ask, but is it possible to just walk up to the restaurant? I work a few blocks away, but I got the impression the condo was gated or secluded. Would rather walk there after work then drive my old beat-up car up to the overpriced valet and have all the bougies/elitists there look at me with their judging eyes...

                8 Replies
                1. re: chrishei

                  The condo is gated...the restuarant is not...walk-up. Someone might stop you if you tried to skateboard down the diveway, though. Biking should be fine and I doubt you'd need to lock your bike in that environment!

                  1. re: chrishei

                    My sentiments exactly. They would valet my jalopy to the fucking junkyard.

                    1. re: kevin

                      In that case, if you went to a drive-thru loose meat sandwich place, that would mean dining on a "sloppy jalopy Joe"

                      1. re: Servorg

                        :)

                        1. re: kevin

                          My cousin has some unusual cars. I remember he told me he once left his Lotus 7 (old English sports car) with the valet (at another restaurant) and after a bit, one of the other customers told him. "Do you own the green thing? The valet can't figure out how to start it." He walked to the parking area and started up his car. The valet stood there acting like he expected a tip.

                    2. re: chrishei

                      Personally, I'm a fan of valet-ing your car - the crappier, the better! Screw anyone who judges you on your car anyway.

                      The embarrassing part for me was that I had a really hard time figuring out where the door was and how to open it!

                      1. re: will47

                        You just have to channel your inner Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop when you valet your heap...

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Great scene.

                    3. That's a good question. I'll bet you could e-mail them and tell them you work in Century City and wondered what the entrance would be if you walked. I'll bet there are other people who live and/or work in the area and walk there.