Nestled in the heart of Malibu wine country, Westlake Village in the Conejo Valley is the perfect escape from the City of Angels. Just a short drive from the sparkling beaches of Malibu and perched in the rolling hillsides, the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village seems so far away from reality, yet so close to your senses.
ONYX, featuring the modern Japanese-influenced seafood creations of Chef Masa Shimakawa, will easily make you forget all your daily woes of city life as you indulge in their one-of-a-kind menu.
Attempting to choose libations off of ONYX's extensive beer, wine, sake, and cocktail list proved quite difficult, but in the end we finally landed on a couple of their carefully crafted specialty cocktails.
The Kemari (a Japanese Moscow Mule) featuring Hendricks gin, spicy ginger shrub, fresh lime, club soda, and a house-made thyme syrup, and also the Lychee Martini, a tasty blend of Grey Goose vodka, lychee liqueur, lychee juice, and St. Germain. Absolutely delicious.
As we relaxed and settled in with our tasty cocktails, we began to peruse the menu, while our wonderful and attentive server answered questions we had, in between offering up suggestions. We were beyond impressed with the level of professionalism and knowledge the staff possessed.
We started with the Sashimi 5, a seasonal selection of fresh sashimi served with a Togarashi sweet ginger avocado cream. It practically melted in our mouths.
Then came the Ahi Tuna Poke Tartare, served on a toast made of crispy rice and topped with avocado, wasabi aioli, and avocado sesame soy.
A perfect finger food to share with friends. Or eat alone— because it was just that good.
And finally the Seared Albacore Sashimi, per Chef Masa’s recommendation, featuring crispy shallots, mountain berry, orange oil, and a sanbai-zu vinaigrette.
Definitely glad we tried this one—because it was ahhmazing.
Next we decided to try out a few of their specialty hand rolls and sushi offerings, all of which are skillfully prepared by some of the most talented sushi chefs in California.
First up, the Crustacean Roll, a delicious blend of Maine lobster, Baja shrimp, red tobiko, avocado, jicama, a chili butter sauce, parsley oil, and lobster aioli. Tangy and sweet, it was a seafood lover’s dream come true.
Second, the Red Dragon Roll, featuring spicy tuna, snow crab, shrimp tempura, and drizzled with a house-made sriracha.
And third, the Hawaiian Volcano Roll, comprised of spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, pickled red ginger, and a house-made sriracha aioli.
AKA the best roll either of us have ever eaten in our entire lives. Seriously. Order it.
With so many amazing sashimi, sushi, and hand-rolled selections to choose from, it would be easy to stop there. But a couple of the entrees were calling our name.
We started with an item off of Masa’s Specialties menu, which features seasonal entrée choices. How could we resist Chesapeake Bay Soft Shell Crab? Served with watermelon, sweet corn, yuzu, spring peas, and a fennel-apple slaw, it was light and refreshing, a perfect choice for a warm southern California evening.
And then we also tried an entrée off of their year-round menu: the Five Spiced Chicken with Duck Spring Roll. The chicken was so incredibly moist and seasoned to perfection. Served with duck confit, Chinese broccoli, white asparagus, a yuzu balsamic reduction, and topped with an orange chili sauce, this dish was full of flavor and absolutely wonderful.
Of course, just like at any Four Seasons Hotel, a meal is simply not complete without dessert. With that said and without even looking at the menu, we asked Chef Masa to bring us whatever he recommended, and we definitely weren’t lead astray.
Each dessert was a complete work of art. We almost didn’t even want to eat them. But who are we kidding? Dessert is meant to be eaten—so we dove right in.
We started the Chocolate Ombre, a rich and decadent blend of black sesame, banana, and flourless chocolate cake. Chocolate lovers, this one is for you. Order it—you won’t regret it.
We ended with the Yuzu Bomb, an artful pairing of raspberry coulis, meringue, and almond pain de genes. This dish was the definition of “too pretty to eat,” but we managed, and are quite happy that we did. Just wow.
Every single dish at ONYX was absolutely incredible, and definitely worth the drive out of Los Angeles. So order a cocktail or two, and get ready for some amazing Japanese cuisine!
Always available by foot and Uber, but should you take the Bentley, $5USD valet parking is available.