When it comes to dining in Century City, let’s be honest… there isn’t much to try! And in an area full of LA’s business people and corporate professionals, you would think there would be a bit more dining variety! Well, thanks to Hinoki & The Bird, Century City residents and professionals have a hotspot to check out. The atmosphere of Hinoki is chic and sophisticated. The food is delicious and you will absolutely enjoy your experience…
To start, I highly recommend the yellowfin tuna and hamachi. Both were incredibly flavorful and the fruity flavors were the perfect touch. We also ordered the octopus (a nice, filling portion that is a definite must-order) and the kale salad. The kale salad with curried almonds and red wine vinaigrette was unlike any other kale said that I have had. The kale was roasted and it crumbled in your mouth; it was so good! We also ordered the caramel braised pork belly, and like all other dishes at Hinoki, it was excellent. Given the restaurant’s Japanese influence, many of the dishes at Hinoki & The Bird are pre-marinated in soy and therefore are not gluten-free. From the simply grilled section, gluten-free orders include the NY Strip and skirt steak as long as you ask for no ponzu, and the skate wing. The sides are a necessary addition to your meal, and all are NOBREAD-approved except for the rice which is gluten-free as long as you ask for no soy! The roasted yam topped with bacon bites was amazing and one of my favorite dishes of the night!
The outdoor patio at Hinoki is SO pretty and I highly recommend enjoying your meal outside. Oh, and I can’t forget about the cocktails! The cocktail list at Hinoki is fruity and creative, and I highly recommend the Tommy #2. My table and I ordered ROUNDS of this margarita and I am very pleased we did.
UPDATE: We revisited Hinoki a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING. They have a brand new menu with tons of gluten-free additions. This time, we tried the Crispy Suckling Pig which comes alongside sauces and other toppings to assemble your own lettuce wraps.
Another favorite was the Octopus Rice. This was listed as a side dish on the menu, but was easily the size of an entreé! Made with black rice, and served with beautiful pickled onions, crisp green onions, a poached egg, and some of the most tender octopus we’ve ever eaten.
We also tried the White Seabass which was settled in a beautiful pekin duck broth and served with tender greens. This broth was luscious and bursting with flavor. The richness was complimented by the crispy seabass skin and easily was a highlight of the meal.
Last but not least, we tried the “Unfernetable” cocktail toward the end of the meal, which functioned as a tasty dessert. Made with vodka, fernet branca, espresso, vanilla bean, and orange, this cocktail was insanely delicious.
Hinoki & The Bird is one of those restaurants that is constantly evolving and we LOVE IT! They also change their menu fairly frequently. We can’t wait to go back to try again!