Enter the refined style of “kappo” dining: a front row seat to traditional Japanese cuisine carefully prepared and served. Diners are invited to for an up close look at the precision and elegance through food. Every slice, every shuck, and every drizzle is observed by eager eyes and it’s equal parts intimate and arousing. For Chef David Schlosser, Shibumi, is his idea of introducing DTLA to kappo-style and within six short months, the concept has made it’s way to #2 of Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants list.Nearly twenty years into his career, with stints at L’Arpege in Paris and acclaimed L’Orangerie in LA, David and a buddy spent a 2 day layover in Japan discovering and falling in love with Japanese culture. “I didn’t know anyone or speak Japanese, I had no connection to Japan but I was just in awe of the culture. It has such deep history with an insane amount of technology and it was mindblowing to me. I knew I had to figure out a way to get back there.” David says.After landing a job at Urasawa, which boasts an average tab of over $1000 for a table of two, Schlosser was able to learn and observe elite Japanese cuisine, “To start something at a high level, immediately all your expectations go up and your standards go up” and this marked the beginning of Shibumi. Shibumi’s menu is nothing short of exceptional featuring seasonal ingredients that’s artfully arranged.Order the Sea-bream sashimi and witness the transformational process of bony fish to blush pink portions kissed with ginger bud and pickled plum-irizake. It takes a skilled chef to create an entirely new perception of animal-to-food using only a sharp knife. For a cold, creamy, and delicate dish, order the Silky Egg Tofu and cut your spoon through the layers of wasabi, uni, silky egg tofu, and fresh nori. It’s slightly sweet yet sharp while the nori leaves a taste of lingering sea. Like any proper Japanese establishment, your cup should never run dry. The full bar has an extensive sake and Japanese whisky selection with some bottles so rare, prices lead up to three-digits. If you’re lucky enough, try the Miyosakae Tenmi for $256. Sip it, savor it, and let us know how it tastes.
Written by Janica de Guzman
Photographed by Oriana Koren