From conveyor belt sushi to duck confit with kabocha ravioli is a big step. And that is what has happened at 340 N. Canon Drive in Beverly Hills, where Tiger, a contemporary Japanese restaurant, has replaced Luckyfish.
The clean, woodsy, almost stark, lines of the space speak of subtle, high end Japanese food. Part of the long room is open to the street (with warmers, so it's comfortable at night). A glass partition and door keep the street noise from the main dining room and sushi bar.
Contemporary Japanese means fusion, apparently, and so sea bream sashimi, or tai umami jime, has a Thai basil vinaigrette, while seared kampachi comes with yuzu soy, caramelized shallots, wilted watercress and chanterelles.
Tiger offers plenty of sushi , but also more rarefied concepts such as a spoonful of monkfish liver pate decorated with marinated salmon roe.
Presentation (a silver bowl lined with long papery leaves on a charcoal grill) dominates short ribs cigar leaf. What really matters, though, is this is the most tender short rib meat that you are likely to encounter. A large chunk that looks impossible to attack with chopsticks falls into shreds at the mere approach of the sticks. The cooking juices, veal stock and a little teriyaki, plus some input from the leaves make it even better.
The chefs are Taketora Mizuta (hot dishes) and Jonathan Maza (sushi). The menu is mostly Japanese, but there are steak and jidori chicken for plainer tastes. With a couple of exceptions, desserts are totally western, like rhubarb cobbler, apple strudel and a chocolate and peanut butter soufflé. Even the inescapable tres leches cake does a turn here, thanks to pastry chef Laura Gonzalez. .
Tiger: 340 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills; (310) 274-3200.