Sage advice indeed
AKA skip lunch and take an afternoon nap.
Whatever he was charging the profit margin must be small. Just like Sushi Yoshizumi, when he first opened 4 years ago, the basic omakase was $85, now it is $158 with the extended going for $250 and up. The extended was $135 at some point. Then he started getting very premium ingredients nobody else was using or even if they didn’t, they did not have the skill to prepare and serve it properly…and applied techniques that added so much value to what he was doing (but you needed to have that level of appreciation to totally get it).
Eventually the ideal situation is that $240 gets you a more improved experience overall despite the price hike and not just status quo, gotta up the game with all these expectations and demand. And in the future an option for either extended or the same dinner but with even more lavish and exquisite ingredients (hopefully not truffle, wagyu, and toro…but the true seasonal delicacies that are more signature kaiseki focused… wild unagi, premium matsutake from Japan and not China or Pacific NW, Matsubagani, and premium super high end fish like shiro amadai, hoshi karei or matsukawa karei).
Hope he ups his sake offerings and I don’t mean just Junmai Daiginjo (sorry if this offends anyone)… I get why he won’t allow corkage on sake, but he could do a lot better with his selection…and his suppliers/wholesalers can give him access to a portfolio that is untapped with more potential, unique, and far better pairing choices. The road often traveled is just boring. So much opportunity and potential here to literally make it even better than the sake choices of say, Saison, or the other Michelin sushi restaurant in SF… There are far better sake built for kaiseki than what is being offered right now (at least he is carrying one of them so kudos there).
what time do these bento box resy’s go live? Midnight night before? Noon day before? Other?
I believe it’s midnight 27-28 days in advance.
Update #1 (5/15/19):
Since I arrived at the ROW an hour early, I decided to do a little pre-gaming:
chocolate walnut cookie at The Manufactory
Very crispy…chocolate-y with hint of nuttiness
clams from somewhere at Rappahannock
oysters from somewhere at Rappahannock
They’re a dollar each since it’s happy hour but they’re flavorless…
Note: Special thanks to Chef Go for providing me description of each course
Summary: Another fun dinner that’s almost flawlessly executed. On a second thought, why can’t other simple cooking be as good as Hayato’s?
- hokkaido scallop and chrysanthemum greens with tosazu jelly
- kobashira and udo tempura
- tai, santa barbara spot prawn, hokkaido uni sashimi, fresh nori
- nodoguro and lotus root
- harrys berries, kinako cream
Welcome sake is sweet and floral
totally forgot what champagne this is
Course #1: hokkaido scallop and chrysanthemum greens with tosazu jelly - Highlight
Excellent balance between sweetness of the slightly charred but rare scallop and acidity in the jelly. The dashi braised greens further echo the dish’s ocean salinity.
Course #2: kobashira and udo tempura - Highlight
I would liken the surf clam abductor muscle’s flavor to a more savory and pleasantly chewy scallop or perhaps even the flavor of a dried scallop. The young udo shoot, on the other hand, reminds me of a tender and mild tasting asparagus. Both tempura are simply shatteringly crispy.
Course #3: kasugodai bo-zushi
The soft and vinegar-y baby red snapper melds very well into the bed of toothsome shari mixed with minty shiso. But I do prefer Chef Go’s aji bo-zushi since the fattier aji coats my mouth with its delectable unctuousness.
Unfortunately, there’s a small scale on my fish.
Course #4: dungeness crab suimono
The feather-light clear dashi pairs well with the inherent sweetness of the dungeness crab meat which is ever so lightly bound together by kanimiso (crab innards).
What are the chances? I ended up with 3 pieces of cartilage mixed into my crab meat.
Course #5: tai, santa barbara spot prawn, hokkaido uni sashimi, fresh nori - Highlight
Excellent. Shoutout to the live spot prawn that has an incredibly snappy texture.
Course #6: katsuo tataki
The early season lean bonito has a hint of smokiness from the charred skin and the use of soy and various aromatics like grated ginger, citrus, and daikon radish really brought out the delicate tuna flavor.
Course #7: nodoguro and lotus root - Highlight
Hayato’s nodoguro’s still one of the best piece of fish I’ve ever had. Its combination of clean oily flavor, soft, flakey flesh, and charred crispy skin is dangerously intoxicating. The side of soy brushed lotus root is grilled over binchotan for over 40 mins to achieve a slightly crisped yet chewy exterior while retaining its inherent snappy texture inside.
Course #8: kisu in fava bean ankake
The expertly fried kisu is quite lean and delicate in flavor so I’m glad it’s paired with a equally light but thickened dashi that’s amped up with a just touch of grassy note from the chopped fava bean.
According to Chef Go, this A5 Omi Wagyu he uses is much beefier in taste than A5 from both Miyazaki or Kagoshima and cost roughly 30% more. The slices in the picture are about $20 each.
Course #9: a5 omi gyu shabu shabu, komatsuna, bamboo, shiitake
The wagyu is incredibly buttery and beefy but the star of the dish is actually the dashi. Bonito flakes in this dashi are steeped at a higher temperature and for much longer so the broth carries an intense flavor that’s able to withstand the wagyu.
Course #10: konoko (sea cucumber ovaries) and sake
This rare delicacy is lightly salted and carries a very unique flavor that I liken to a cross between an intensely briny uni and Chinese salted fish. Texture wise, it reminds me of a slippery sausage casing. Super interesting indeed!
Course #11: sawara yuan yaki rice pot, miso soup, pickles
I ended up with 4 bowls with each one getting progressively bigger. The distinctly aromatic sansho leaves offer bursts of freshness to lighten up the fish and soy meshi. According to Chef Go, he prefers a roughly 1 to 1 fish to rice ratio.
Course #12: harrys berries, kinako cream - Highlight
Bar none the best strawberries I’ve ever had. They’re superbly tender with just enough acidity to balance its intense sweetness. The kinako (soybean flour) cream, while not as light as pastry cream, has a touch of toasty flavor that made its pairing with the strawberries really unique and fun.
Extras…all ended up in my belly
Banana Cream Tart from The Manufactory
Post-Hayato bang at home. It’s glorious.
Nice pics. Thanks for sharing the knife he wields - Tsukiji Masamoto.
What a wonderful meal…sorry about your couple of mishaps. I need to try to get in, again.
Stepping up your photo game! Great pics!
Shame about the oysters. They look really good and full of water. Surprised to hear that they were flavorless.
Killer photos and report!
Nice, your welcome sake is none other than the highly sought after Juyondai which every Asian sake drinker over there lusts over and pays premiums to pursue.
Full name is Juyondai Honmaru Tokubetsu Honjozo Namazume 十四代 本丸 特別本釀造 生詰. It has distilled alcohol added (otherwise it would be a Tokubetsu Junmai/pure rice), and the sake rice used is Gohyakumangoku, polished to 55%. Delicious and smooth for this unicorn brewery offering for sure, and crisp/clean. It is actually the baseline / “cheapest” offering, although on the black market you are looking at a minimum of US$350 in Japan, which means it commands higher in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, if somehow made its way there. Typically only sold in 1.8 L bottles…possible this was gifted/brought over when Ishikawa san visited (apparently he came during a recent weekend, and then went back to Tokyo).
Ding ding ding! We have a winner!
Apparently, there is a single seat open at Hayato in the next 3 nights. If you haven’t been or are itching to go again…
Remember, price is going up by 20% very soon.
This also includes the bento boxes
either you’re andy gavin or this is fucking blatant plagiarism. i hope you know a good lawyer.
WHAT THE FUCK?! YA GOTTA BE FUCKING KIDDING ME! Who in their right mind would plagiarize off me?! LOL!
Anyone know this Andy Gavin guy?
wow that’s pretty blatant.
Andrew Scott “Andy” Gavin (born June 11, 1970) is an American video game programmer, designer, entrepreneur, and novelist. In the video game industry, he is known for co-founding the video game company Naughty Dog with childhood friend Jason Rubin in 1986, where games such as Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter were released to critical acclaim. The sophistication of Naughty Dog technology is often credited to Gavin’s background in LISP at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
What a weird thing to do!
File a DMCA takedown notice @moonboy403
Andy Gavin was a video game designer that made a bunch of money and was one of the partners in the doomed Ramen Roll in Culver City.