Hayato (Downtown L.A.): A Pictorial Essay

@CiaoBob 7PM

Just throwing this out…
I could make 7 PM tomorrow if someone has to cancel last minute.


Thanks, @FoodRogue, for being cool dining partners and for sharing the Wing of Japan with us last night. We hope you enjoyed our Dassai 23.
This is probably the first time I’ve ever had dinner with literally just 4 people in a restaurant. It felt both homey and like a luxury all in one shot. Fabulous meal and experience.


Just got some good news from Chef Go. Resy finally fixed the “no availability” issue so you will see some open slots now.

I’m locked in for 8/24 at 7:00PM!

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On a side note, any of you experienced FTCers can give a comparison between n/naka and Hayato? I know it’s not apple to apple as the former is kaiseki and the latter being washoku but I’m still interested in seeing your thoughts besides the more simplistic elements of Hayato’s cuisine! @PorkyBelly @J_L @attran99 @FoodRogue

Chef Niki & Chef Carole serve a modified kaiseki at n/naka which they term “modern kaiseki”. By applying Western cooking techniques, yet all the while maintaining Japanese rigor in the back kitchen (i.e., not an open kitchen concept), they are able to make this fusion concept work. The sacrifice here is the loss of the chef-customer interactions which an otherwise kappo-style dining room would afford. But by using a more Western dining room layout, it is possible to serve more covers per night. The very traditionally Japanese kaiseki precept involving the sourcing of as many local ingredients as possible is also a guiding principle at n/naka. Ironically, this means that over 80% of the starting material for a standard n/naka menu originates from California, and not Japan or elsewhere.

Hayato is traditional Japanese kaiseki, period. The techniques used by Chef Brandon here are no different than what you’d find in any reputable kaiseki establishment in Japan. Every detail of the meal, including the layout of the dining area, the sourcing of ingredients, the oils used for frying, the binchotan charcoal for heat, and the even the ceramics for the food and drinks, are consistent with “old school” kappo kaiseki. In addition, the kappo etiquette at Hayato allows Chef Brandon to finish the final steps of cooking every course right in front his customers. This practice avails the opportunity for an open discussion between diner and chef regarding the provenance and details of each dish, thereby enhancing the personal aspect of the experience. One more word about sourcing: Currently, Chef Brandon’s ingredient costs for each $200 meal amount to more than an average of $110 per diner, because much of it must be ordered in advance from Japan. After accounting for labor, overhead and the fact that there is a very limited number of seating per night, the only way Chef Brandon can make a go of it at Hayato is to hope that his customers also order alcohol. So please please please, by all means - Order some sake to enjoy with your transcendent Hayato kaiseki! :slight_smile:


Wow! Thank you for the elaborate response. Much appreciated! I’m looking forward to my meal there in a few weeks!

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& compare & contrast Okuda during your NYC trip

I already have SGO, Le Bernardin, EMP, and Brooklyn Fare planned for the 3 nights I’m there so I ran out of meals for the dinner only Okuda. :slightly_frowning_face:

Hi @moonboy403,

You will soon realize what you describe can be done in 1 night of dining by @J_L and @PorkyBelly. With enough training, perhaps one day, you, too, can master the Bang x 4. :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:


@Chowseeker1999 :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:rofl

Little padawan must learn from Jedi masters

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Even if I got the training down, my wallet can’t support the extravaganza! Price is x2 for me at every fancy meal! :joy:

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And what makes you think it’s not that way for me? :wink: #happywifehappylife


The difference is that I can’t sustain this lifestyle. LOL.


Dump Le Bernardin. Sucks now, IMHO.

What’s SGO?

Society of Gynecolgic Oncolgists?


I love seafood and Providence so I can’t miss out on Le Bernardin.

Sushi Ginza Onodera


But please do not replace it with NYC Japanese which also kind of lags behind LA in so many ways.

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Cool. Thanks.