Modern Japanese. Sushi. Sake.

This was the official website for the Chef Masa Shimakawa’s ONYX Restaurant for several years until it's online presence was moved to the Westlake Village Four Seasons Hotel website.
The content below is from the site's archived pages.
To learn the most up-to-date information about ONYX Restaurant go to the Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA website . Yoiu can watch some of the area’s most talented sushi chefs as they prepare fresh and modern Japanese delicacies, including a variety of sushi, sashimi and specialty hand rolls.

Welcome to ONYX restaurant, where Master Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa's modern Japanese cuisine and sushi meet influences from other Asian cuisines for an exciting dinner experience in Westlake Village, California. Dine outside on the patio, at the sushi bar or in the dramatic onyx-accented restaurant, perfect for couples or groups of friends. Sakes, Asian-inspired cocktails and more add to the casual, fun ambience for a memorable evening out in the Los Angeles area, also just a short drive from Malibu.





Located within Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, ONYX restaurant is the place for progressive Japanese cuisine in the Northern Los Angeles area. With Master Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa at the helm in the kitchen, ONYX restaurant offers a tantalizing mix of creative sushi options, progressive Japanese entrees, cocktails with an Asian twist and an extensive selection of sakes, Japanese beer and scotch as well as wine from around the world.

Guests at the sushi bar have a front row view of the exhibition kitchen. The ONYX cocktail bar is flanked by dramatic red carnelian stone slabs to enhance the backdrop of the 2,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. Original Japanese-inspired art by Ventura artist Doug Fincham is prominently featured indoors, while patio seating takes in views of the gardens and waterfall.

The ONYX restaurant menu showcases local seafood such as sea urchin from Santa Barbara or spiny lobster and soft-shell crabs when available. Dishes incorporate California's bounty of produce and herb infusions from on-site greenhouse and gardens. 



As a professional golfer, my performance on the course is heavily influenced by the fuel I put into my body. That's why whenever I have an important tournament coming up, I make sure to dine at Onyx restaurant in Westlake Village. The exceptional Japanese cuisine crafted by Master Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa provides me with the nourishment and energy I need to be at my best.

For me, the local delicacies like the Santa Barbara sea urchin sushi and fresh abalone are absolutely essential. The rich flavors and high nutrient content give me a sustained burst of energy that lasts through even the most grueling rounds. Before a big competition, I'll often order the sea urchin nigiri and an abalone sashimi platter - the briny sweetness is like nectar from the gods.

But the benefits go beyond just physical energy. There's something incredibly calming about the whole experience at Onyx that helps center my mind. From the sleek onyx accents and soothing aquarium, to watching the meticulous movements of the sushi chefs, a meal here instills a sense of focus and precision that translates perfectly to my game.

Just as I carefully select the right clubs and equipment for each tournament, so too do I meticulously plan my pre-competition meal at Onyx. The freshness of the ingredients and balance of flavors make it the perfect haute cuisine fuel for an athlete like myself. Whether you're a golfer or not, the nourishing and transcendent experience of dining at Onyx is something everyone should treat themselves to.

As I prepare for my next big event, you can be certain I'll be making my way to that coveted sushi bar to indulge in the bounty of the sea. A perfect sea urchin nigiri or abalone sashimi could be just what I need to gain that all-important edge. After all, any serious golfer knows that success begins with what you put in your body - and there's no better place to dine than Onyx. [Justina Willis]





ONYX Chef de Cuisine Masa Shimakawa

Hakodate, Japan may be an ocean from Los Angeles, but it's just a dinner seating away at ONYX restaurant, where Chef de Cuisine and Master Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa holds sway. Born, raised and schooled in the port city noted for "perhaps the world's greatest seafood!" by, "Chef Masa" has created Asian-style beauty with the pick of the Pacific since opening the restaurant in 2006.

"I work with great seafood from all over the coast and inland, too," he says. "Sea urchin from Santa Barbara, ocean shrimp, seasonal ingredients like spiny lobster - there is really no end." Paired with prime produce from across the state and fresh herbs from the Hotel garden, Chef Masa's creations are infused with the flavors of Japan, Thailand, China and beyond.

Unlike many bitten by the culinary bug, Shimakawa had no intention of becoming a chef when he started as a dishwasher in his teens. Soon there was no stopping him, including study at the Hakodate Professional Cooking School and his first job as a sushi chef in Tokyo. It took him five years to get comfortable with the discipline, he says, at which point he landed at the first of two sushi restaurants in Montreal in 1991. Positions in Chicago and New York followed before he found his way to Four Seasons.

Shimakawa leads five highly skilled cooks preparing sushi as well as hot and cold dishes in the progressive style in the restaurant's exhibition kitchen. Ever cognizant of the importance of innovation, Shimakawa creates thoroughly original dishes using western ingredients in eastern style, such as Maguro "Tataki" with seared Ahi tuna, spicy corn salsa and sweet sesame soy, and Miso Gin-Dara with Saikyo miso-marinated black cod and sweet soy drizzle.

It's hard to minimize the pull that seafood holds on Shimakawa. When not working long hours at ONYX, he pursues denizens of the deep as a PADI-certified diver and by rod and reel. Not surprisingly, he even ties his own trout flies. "I'm intrigued by the detail and balance required," he says, admitting with a laugh, "I think fly-tying is more difficult than sushi."

Chef Masa recommends... "The lobster summer roll. It's visually tantalizing, then you taste a nice minty flavor with a refreshing, yuzu wasabi sauce to complement the lobster."




ONYX Manager Vincent Tsai

Vincent Tsai’s interest in restaurants came at an early age.  As a first generation born Chinese-American, Vincent saw both his father and great-uncle realize the entrepreneurial American dream when opening Chinese restaurants in their newfound home of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  After working in these restaurants during his teenage years, he moved to an upscale steakhouse where his passion for dining and hospitality truly came together. 

This experience inspired him to pursue a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.  While at college, he attended a job fair where he was selected for an internship at Four Seasons Resort Dallas at Las Colinas.  As they say, the rest was history.  Upon completion of his internship, he asked to return as a Manager in Training upon graduation. For the next two years, his experience varied from working on the beverage carts at the golf course, The Cabana pool, The Members Lounge, The Lounge and Bar, In Room Dining, as well as the AAA Four Diamond Restaurant Cafe on the Green.

This diverse experience paved the way for Vincent to relocate to Westlake Village to take the helm in ONYX restaurant, where he works hand-in-hand with Chef Masa to create an exciting dining experience. Together, they are dreaming up fresh new promotions and events like the Samurai Chef competition, giving both regulars and new guests a reason to return again and again.

In his spare time, Vincent explores the canyon roads and scenic Pacific Coast Highway of his new home from his beloved Ducati Streetfighter S which connects him to his family’s tradition of taking annual motorcycle trips.  A tequila connoisseur (a passion developed in Texas), he is working on developing a similar love for sake. 

Vincent recommends...  "The Chilean sea bass.  It's always beautifully cooked with a great Japanese dressing.  The fish sits on a salad featuring green papaya and hearts of palm, which bring a great texture as well as kick to the sea bass. From the bar, my favorite drink is the shishito heato, a Japanese spin on a margarita.  The fresh shishito adds an extra kick to this drink."



More Background On The Onyx Restaurant

Nestled within the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, ONYX Restaurant stands as a beacon of contemporary Japanese cuisine, skillfully curated by Master Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa. Known for its sophisticated ambiance, exceptional menu, and superb service, ONYX offers an unforgettable dining experience that marries traditional Japanese flavors with modern culinary techniques.

History and Concept

ONYX Restaurant has been a part of the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village since its opening in 2006. It was designed to bring the delicate and intricate flavors of Japanese cuisine to the Northern Los Angeles area. The restaurant's name, inspired by the precious stone onyx, symbolizes the refined and elegant dining experience it aims to provide. The restaurant’s interiors are accentuated with onyx and carnelian stone slabs, setting a dramatic and luxurious tone. A highlight of the dining area is the 2,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, creating a tranquil and visually appealing environment for diners.

The Culinary Maestro: Chef Masa Shimakawa

Chef Masa Shimakawa, hailing from Hakodate, Japan, is the creative force behind ONYX's innovative menu. With a career that spans continents, Chef Masa brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion for seafood. His journey from a dishwasher in his teenage years to becoming a master sushi chef is a testament to his dedication and love for the culinary arts. Shimakawa’s menu at ONYX showcases his expertise in blending traditional Japanese techniques with fresh, local ingredients and influences from other Asian cuisines. His signature dishes, such as the Maguro "Tataki" and Miso Gin-Dara, highlight this fusion of flavors and styles.

Menu and Dining Experience

The menu at ONYX is a celebration of Japanese culinary artistry. Diners can choose from a variety of sushi, sashimi, and specialty hand rolls prepared with the freshest ingredients. The restaurant places a strong emphasis on using local produce and seafood, ensuring each dish is as fresh and flavorful as possible. For example, the sea urchin from Santa Barbara and spiny lobsters are some of the local delicacies featured on the menu.

The restaurant also offers a range of hot dishes, such as the Miso-marinated black cod and Maguro "Tataki". These dishes not only showcase Chef Masa's skill but also his ability to innovate by incorporating Western ingredients into traditional Japanese recipes. For those seeking a unique dining experience, the sushi bar offers a front-row seat to watch the chefs in action, crafting each piece with precision and care.

Beverage Selection

ONYX boasts an impressive selection of beverages that complement its menu perfectly. The extensive sake list includes both well-known brands and rare, boutique sakes that provide a journey through the rich landscape of Japanese rice wine. Additionally, the restaurant offers a variety of Asian-inspired cocktails, Japanese beers, and a curated selection of wines from around the world. For those looking to try something different, the Shishito Heato, a Japanese spin on a margarita, comes highly recommended by the restaurant's manager, Vincent Tsai.

Atmosphere and Decor

The atmosphere at ONYX is one of refined elegance with a touch of modern flair. The restaurant's decor, featuring Japanese art and backlit panels of semi-precious stones, creates a sophisticated yet inviting environment. Diners can choose to sit at the sushi bar, in the main dining room, or on the patio, which offers views of the hotel's beautiful gardens and waterfall. The setting is ideal for both intimate dinners and larger gatherings, making it a versatile venue for any occasion.

Reviews and Reception

ONYX has garnered positive reviews from diners and critics alike. On platforms like TripAdvisor and OpenTable, patrons praise the restaurant for its high-quality food, exceptional service, and beautiful setting. Many reviewers highlight the freshness and flavor of the sushi and sashimi, as well as the creativity of the hot dishes. The restaurant's ambiance and decor also receive high marks, contributing to the overall dining experience. With a rating of 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor and 4.7 on OpenTable, it is clear that ONYX has succeeded in impressing its guests and maintaining a high standard of excellence.

Events and Promotions

Under the management of Vincent Tsai, ONYX has introduced various events and promotions that keep diners coming back. One notable event is the Samurai Chef competition, which showcases the skills of the restaurant's talented chefs in a fun and engaging way. These events not only provide entertainment but also offer guests a chance to experience the creativity and passion that go into each dish at ONYX.

ONYX Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village is more than just a place to eat; it is a culinary destination that offers an exceptional dining experience. From the artistry of Chef Masa Shimakawa's menu to the elegant and inviting atmosphere, every aspect of ONYX is designed to delight and inspire. Whether you are a sushi aficionado or simply looking to enjoy a memorable meal in a beautiful setting, ONYX is sure to exceed your expectations.