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


Tokyo’s Goryu Kubo review (2016 visit) for those curious of one of Go san’s mentor’s restaurants


Crazy delicious meal at Hayato tonight.
Too tired to go into details other than to say it’s not really fair to compare what he’s up to to any other place in our city or - probably - country. Heads and shoulders above.


Hi @CiaoBob,

Thanks for the report back on a great dinner you had at Hayato. :slight_smile: What were your favorite dishes?


That’s so hard.
We had the same meal as you and all were great.
If I had to pick:
Amadai (Tile Fish) Nabe, Chrysanthemum Greens, Shiitake Mushrooms, Bamboo
Binchotan Grilled Nodoguro (Blackthroat Seaperch) + Gobo (Burdock Root)
Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns, Okra, Fava Beans, Tosazu Jelly
Dungeness Crab, Junsai (Water Shield), Baby Turnip Soup


No love for the bo-zushi?


Nothing but love for it. @Chowseeker1999 “made” me choose a few dishes. I could have chosen ALL dishes.


Not a single miss.


Hi @CiaoBob,

Great choices! :grin: Weren’t the broths just so delicate and pure? Just amazing.


Oh one note about Parking:

  • Validated Parking only cost us $4.50 for the entire evening.

Not sure if it’s because @PorkyBelly gave feedback and led to a nice social change (like with the APL Onions!), :wink: but that’s definitely more fair than the higher prices during those earlier visits.


Continuing the examples and virtues of Kappo Kaiseki.

Presenting: Aoyama Ichita (October 2017)


Or you can park along Alameda for free! It’s a mere 100 feet further than the parking structure.



Thanks for the updated info from @PorkyBelly and reminder, we finally got around to trying Hayato’s famous Bento Box (Lunch Only from Wednesday - Saturday).

Chef Brandon Go continues to be the humble host, warmly greeting us and thanking us for picking up a Bento Box.


Bento Box:

There is no other way to say this: The Hayato Bento Box is just classy, simply presented, but so professional, humble and appealing at the same time. :slight_smile:

Dashimaki Tamago, Wild Mexican White Shrimp Shinjo, Dried Shiitake Niimono, Chrysanthemum Greens with Sudachi Citrus, Pickled Daikon Namasu, Seared Duck Breast, Black Cod Saikyo Yaki, Japanese Cucumber with Sesame and Salt, Winter Melon in Ginger Dashi, Satsuma Sweet Potato Mitsu-ni, Datemaki Tamago, Grilled Hokkaido Scallop Shioyaki, Koshihikari Rice with Root Vegetables, Snow Crab Tofu, Agedashi Eggplant, Honshimeji Mushroom Ohitashi, Snow Crab Claw Sunomono:

It’s a stunning presentation when you open up the box, undoubtedly the most beautiful, prettiest Bento Box I’ve ever eaten. :blush:

One thing that should be noted: Try not to go into this Bento Box with any expectations if you happened to have tried Chef Go’s Kaiseki Dinner first. It is an unfair comparison, as everything at Dinner is prepared and cooked just for you and served immediately. The Bento Box - as luxurious and varied as it is - is ultimately meant to be a true “Bento Box”: Something taken To-Go, to be enjoyed on the go, at a park, back at the office, etc.

As Chef Go explains, every bite is prepared and cooked for bigger flavors, and the preparation is chosen to be able to withstand standing around for a bit (i.e., not eaten immediately). So there is real care and thought going into every single bite of this Bento Box.

There were so many interesting bites. Some of my favorites included the Chrysanthemum Greens with Sudachi Citrus: It was so fragrant and distinct, the Chrysanthemum Greens hearty enough to withstand sitting around for a bit, yet also big on flavor and the Sudachi Citrus elevated that bite even more. :slight_smile:

I loved the Dashimaki Tamago, still tender, moist and one of the best Japanese Omelette Rolls we’ve tried recently.

The Seared Duck Breast was a perfect medium-rare and so flavorful. :slight_smile:

The Agedashi Eggplant was outstanding as well.

Perhaps the 2 missteps were the Wild Mexican White Shrimp Shinjo: It was well-fried and still had a nice crusty exterior, but the Wild Shrimp was a bit too briny for my tastes.

Also the Black Cod Saikyo Yaki was overcooked slightly (rather unfortunate), but with great flavor.

Otherwise, everything else in the Bento Box was delightful and just a great little “To-Go Lunch Box” that kind of blew away any Bento Box we’ve had in L.A. :slight_smile:

I also adored the Koshihikari Rice with Root Vegetables! :heart: Perfectly cooked, distinct morsels, not overcooked in any way, with a subtle, beautiful earthiness. :slight_smile:

At $50, this is not a cheap Lunch, but it’s a lot of food, and it’s a great experience to try once in a while, or to give as a gift for family or friends that need cheering up or celebrating an occasion. :slight_smile: There is real care in sourcing and preparation and you get to try a bunch of beautifully prepared little bites.

(inside ROW DTLA (enter from Bay Street (see this link))
1320 E 7th Street, Suite 126
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Tel: (213) 395-0607



How satiating is this box?


Hi @Ns1,

I know I couldn’t finish 1 box, but I’m not that big of an eater. :sweat_smile: It was very satisfying, but note that it’s not very greasy or heavy so that’s one way to satiate oneself. It has probably… ~1.5 - 2 bowls of rice in there with the rest of the bites?

Perhaps check with @PorkyBelly and @J_L if they can tackle 2 of these boxes or not to give a better idea. :wink:


If the bento doesn’t fill you up perhaps you could try a second lunch at Rappahannock; the reverse of what someone else did for dinner haha. Or maybe Pikunico will be open by the time you go? I got to my dinner at Hayato early yesterday and saw it was listed in their directory but had no luck finding it before dinner time. Japanese fried chicken does sound nice…


I had an after-bento-box chicken sandwich.


How long did you have to wait in line?


1-1.5 hours on a friday afternoon.


Not very. At 50/box, it definitely suffers in the QPR category. But it is quite tasty, almost exquisitely so.


Can’t forget the variety! As Chowseeker noted there are like 1-2 bites of about 16 different items? Now I kinda want to go back and get it myself… :drooling_face: