Tasting the Seasons of Japan - The Exquisite, Austere, Pure Kaiseki Cuisine of Hayato [Thoughts + Pics]


clean up on aisle 4, @beefnoguy is dropping some knowledge!


Now now… Don’t be a party pooper.

Oh wait I thought we were still on moonboy’s thing… Ignore the above.


What are the beer selections? I sure hope it’s not Canadian.


Hi @beefnoguy,

Thank you for the kind words and sharing your great knowledge of Sake again. :slight_smile:

Yah, I’m no expert but when I saw the kanji for “Juyondai” I already knew this was special. Then “Chou Tokusen” and no English label, I knew this might’ve been something really rare. We felt really special and welcomed by Chef Go and really appreciated the gesture.

Wow, it’s good to know the history on this bottle. :open_mouth:

You’re right, I’m seriously ruined on Sake right now. :cry: That Juyondai Cho Tokusen Junmai Daiginjo Sake was absurdly delicious, and it made the Born Yume wa Masayume seem “sort of OK” by comparison.

The Dreams Come True was $340 / bottle, which compared to True Sake’s retail price of $267 seem like a ridiculously fair markup by comparison. It makes it even more sad hearing @J_L’s recommendation for everyone to order some Sake at Hayato… he’s making so little off of each bottle compared to most places around town.

Like the Born “Nihon no Tsubasa” Wings of Japan was selling for only $172.50 and True Sake retails that for $142! Crazy.

Thanks for the warning on the Banshu Yamadanishiki Junmai Ginjo Bessen, we’ll have to skip that one if we ever see it.

I agree that it’d be great to see rarer, interesting Sake to pair with his food on the menu in the future. Thanks again. :slight_smile:


Hi @moonboy403,

1 bowl was enough for me. :sweat_smile: I thought it was a perfect amount. Note that I’m still a lightweight and only a newbie here on FTC. You have to look to @ipsedixit @J_L @PorkyBelly @bulavinaka and the other OG FTC’ers for serious eating. They can bang x bang and impart the knowledge you’re seeking. :wink: In our group I think the most someone comfortably ate was… 2 or 3 bowls?


Hi @PorkyBelly,

Thank you! It’s all thanks to your report and @J_L that we were able to know about it and try it! :blush: The Saba was indeed wonderful. :slight_smile:

Bento Box: No! :cry: The Weekdays Lunch Only thing makes it really hard from the Westside. I wish he served this on Weekends as well. I really want to try it one of these days.


Well you’re in luck, he serves his bento boxes wed-sat now. And they’re just as delicious as his dinners.


Hi @CiaoBob,

For you, but definitely try some Sake as well! :wink:

  • Sapporo
  • Coedo “Ruri” Pilsner
  • Coedo “Kyara” India Pale Lager
  • Orion
  • Hitachino Yuzu Lager
  • Hitachino White Ale



I was hungry after a few hours despite having 3 bowls!


We went during the soft opening and, taking a tip from previous FTCers, hit up Rapahannock for a pre-dinner snack. That did the trick. Allowed us to fully savor our incredible dinner without feeling too ravenous. And Chef Go was generous about serving more rice to those who wanted it (we each had 2 bowls), also more of those lovely peaches.

Our dinner at Hayato was one of the best we’ve had in Los Angeles–ever–and I say that having grown up here! Unlike anything else I can think of in this country, and the luxury of having essentially a private chef (and one both so knowledgeable and approachable) for the evening made us feel very spoiled. Can’t wait for our next visit.


Hi @PorkyBelly,

!!! :open_mouth: FInally, Saturdays as well! :grin:

And of course next Saturday’s bentos are all taken! :cry: LOL. We’ll have to check back periodically and hope to get one next time it opens up. This is great news though. Thanks.


Hi @happycat,

Glad to hear your dinner went well also. :slight_smile: I definitely agree that for L.A. this is already rocketed up to a standout, exemplary restaurant. I might try that Rappahannock bang x bang the next time we bring more people again (so I can sample a few small bites before or after Hayato). :grin: I don’t think I’d be able to try that if it was just 2 without our friends. :sweat_smile:

What was your favorite dish?


That’s a hard question to answer, I had so many favorites and nothing I didn’t like. The aji bo-zushi was amazing, the Dungeness crab soup was pure and elegant, and the grilled nodoguru was a complete revelation…as I remember it while writing this, maybe that was my favorite…I’ve had seared nodoguru sushi many times, but had no idea the cooked fish could be so luscious (and Chef Go told us they were especially big fish that night, don’t know if that made a difference), with the burdock acting as a perfect counterpoint. So simple, yet so amazing. And while I do not know sake, I thought the Miyosakae Tenmi we ordered was just great with the meal (and when we asked Chef Go if we could take the cool-looking bottle home with us, he laughed–said his girlfriend does the same thing).


Hi @happycat,

Wonderful descriptions and I know the feeling; I had so many favorites on my visit as well. :slight_smile:

Oh! Our group was curious about the Miyosakae Tenmi Junmai Daiginjo as well. Was it pretty dry? More floral / aromatic? Just curious how it was. Thanks.


What’s the difference between Kappo vs. Kaiseki?


They’re both typically multi-course meals, usually featuring seasonal (usually mostly locally sourced) ingredients. Presentation is important.

Kaiseki in the traditional sense is usually prepared out of sight for the most part, where the guests typically interact with waitstaff, who present and describe the prepared courses.

Kappo is where the food is prepared in close proximity to the guests - usually just a counter surface between chef and guest. This allows for direct back and forth between guests and the chef.


Needless to say Hayato is on top of your to-do list your next trip down to So Cal??

I am curious what a Foodie Jedi like you would think of this kaiseki meal and his lunch time bento




Fantastic reply @bulavinaka thank you. :slight_smile:

Would you also say that for kaiseki (compared to kappo), it’s more formalized with a specific order of courses (appetizer, something steamed, fried, sashimi, gohan (rice), etc.), where kappo can be less restrictive?


I think you nailed it. Also, the amount of prep going into a kaiseki meal is more extensive. The amount of effort put into the presentation of the majority of the courses is practically edible art.