Culinary Curation, which hosted a Japanese green tea event in 2021 and a tea shaved ice in 2022, will bring a series of Japanese tea pop-ups just in time for the early summer.
The first event is cha-kaiseki at Shibumi DTLA on May 28.
Cha-kaiseki is the origin of kaiseki cuisine, which has been popularized locally thanks to N/naka, Hayato and others. It is an intimate and exclusive gathering of meal and tea for five to six people, over a span of four to five hours while enjoying fine sake.
Cha-kaiseki is not a casual event. In Japan, it adheres to a strict set of manners for eating and drinking, and is invitation-only and planned specifically for the guests. The host hand-selects the meal and the room according to the season and to the guests’ liking. Because of this, no two cha-kaiseki are identical.
Shibumi and Culinary Curation have merged this rather formal way of dining with California casual, so that guests can enjoy without having to sit on tatami mats in kimono.
With COVID worries still hovering, no bowl of matcha will be shared among the guests.
However, the spirit of cha-kaiseki will be strong as Shibumi has prepared a seasonal seven-course meal that includes plenty of vegetables that the chef foraged from the nearby mountains, just as chefs did in days of old in Japan.
This May 28 cha-kaiseki is open to the public by reservation only, at www.exploretock.com/shibumi.
Servings are at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Shibumi DTLA, 815 S. Hill St. The cost is $200 per person.
Future events in the series will be a Japanese tea tasting June 3-4, followed by a June 11 Japanese sweets tasting in Sherman Oaks.