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Manhattan Beach Restaurant Earns Michelin Star

Sep 29, 2021 11:08AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo via Sushi I-Naba

Sushi I-Naba in Manhattan Beach has earned a coveted Michelin star. It is the first restaurant in Manhattan Beach to receive the rare honor. 

Sushi I-Naba is a two-person operation run by Chef Yasuhiro Hirano and his wife. And yet, "this tiny, unadorned spot is responsible for turning out some of the most exciting sushi in town," according to the Michelin Guide.

"The chef's particular magic lies in weaving together a few key components, including the exotic fish that he ages before blending with a host of ingredients. He’s able to master dishes that other, more established pros haven't—and to such precise, creative and polished effect," according to the guide.

"With such an intimate setting, diners are bound to be schooled in the process. Chef Hirano is clearly excited to share his methods and craft, and welcomes questions while he works. Then again, one may opt for silence to savor such delicacies as tender mantis shrimp glossed in eel sauce, or plump Kusshi oyster with ponzu gelée. Slow-braised monkfish liver may then be presented with a perfect sprinkling of black pepper, while sea bream is enriched by a dot of pickled plum sauce and shiso."

Chef Hirano expressed gratitude for the award on his Instagram this week. "This was only made possible because of everyone’s support and belief," he wrote. "Thank you for encouraging me through thick and thin. You are the reason I remain inspired in building my skills and growing my passion."

Hirano added: "Big thanks to the City of Manhattan Beach for being our home, and to the Sushi Inaba Team in Japan (my mom) for literally making this all possible. And a huge thank you to my #1 support and #1 fans - my family. I will keep working hard to give you all my best!"

While the restaurant looks for a new location, it is currently offering to-go orders only. To order, DM them on Instagram at @inabamanhattanbeach or call 310-545-3345.

The Coveted Michelin Star

The Michelin Guide conveys its restaurant reviews worldwide through two to three-line short summaries and an extensive system of symbols, the most revered of which are its globally renowned Michelin stars.

In all of California, there are only 68 restaurants that have earned a Michelin star. There are 16 California restaurants with two stars and only 6 with three stars.

In Manhattan Beach, Fishing with Dynamite, Love & Salt, MB Post, and The Arthur J are all recognized in the Michelin guide for California, although with different distinctions. 

Fishing with Dynamite, Love & Salt, and The Arthur J have all earned the "Michelin Plate" symbol, which means "Good Cooking." MB Post has earned the "Bib Gourmand" symbol, which means "Good Quality, Good Value Cooking."

(All photos via Sushi I-Naba)

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