Hayato - ROW DTLA

Chef Brandon Go has been making excellent takeout bento boxes for the past 7 months and is finally opening his kappo ryori style kaiseki restaurant, Hayato, for dinner. Hayato is pretty small and intimate with only 7 seats at the counter and a four seat tatami room planned for the future.

Chef Brandon trained under Ishikawa-san at his eponymous 3-star kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo. This is a true kappo style restaurant where everything is cooked right in front of you. Each course begins with a tray of ingredients brought from the back by one of Brandon’s two assistants. Brandon-san will then slice, cut, cook, and plate each dish and was eager to talk about everything from the finer points of japanese kaiseki cuisine to where to take his mentor, ishikawa-san, when he visits LA (i believe the consensus was Langer’s).

The almost all seafood menu is very light, clean and seasonal. With the exception of the frying oil there were no extra fats or oils used. Brandon-san showcases all of the japanese cooking techniques–grilling, steaming, frying, simmering and sashimi.

Summer Menu

live santa barbara spot prawns, fava beans, okra and shiso flowers in tosa zu jelly
served cold, light and refreshing

corn, hokkaido scallop and mitsuba kakiage tempura

wild aji bo-zushi
holy aji, i could eat 30 more of these. highlight of the night, softer than the lakers’ defense. chewing is optional.



live dungeness crab suimono with junsai and baby kabu
another favorite. the soup showcased a golf ball sized dumpling of sweet dungeness crab infused with its own brains, delicious #brainfood

wild tai (sea bream) sashimi
textbook


steamed central coast abalone with liver sauces and broth jelly
tender but not too soft, that abalone jelly was a surprise umami bomb.

binchotan grilled nodoguro (blackthroat seaperch), gobo
simply grilled with a hint of smoke, crispy skin, and flaky flesh


anago tempura with ginger ankake and tokyo negi


nabe

aka mebaru (rockfish) nabe with bamboo shoots, chrysanthemum greens, mitsuba, and shiitake
delicous dashi and fish

kamasu (baby barracuda) kamameshi, mitsuba, pickles, miso soup

rice x3

miso soup

dessert

chilled farmers market peaches in ginjo sake

not toto

Overall a great experience. It was a pleasure to watch and converse with Chef Brandon and I admire his passion and dedication. the food is as traditional and expertly prepared as you can get without having to get on a plane to Japan.

Hayato
1320 E 7th St
Ste 126
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 395-0607
http://www.hayatorestaurant.com/


Rappahannock Oyster Bar

Pre-dinner snack @ Rappahannock Oyster Bar

central coast oysters

bay scallops, yuzu, burnt orange, poppy seed, tarragon

uni-corn - sea urchin, corn, piquillo hot sauce, cotija, smoky mayo

not toto

Rappahannock Oyster Bar
787 Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(323) 435-4004
https://rowdtla.com/collective/rappahannock/


Winter Menu

had another fantastic dinner at hayato. besides not having the bo-zushi, i enjoyed everything more than my previous meal.

tatami room
almost ready

seared hokkaido scallops, dashi soaked chrysanthemum greens, kimizu sauce (egg yolk, dashi, rice vinegar, mirin), yuzu yest
great start, loved the balance of the kimizu sauce and yuzu

nagasaki sea eel, harrison’s california chestnuts
awesome, chestnuts were great too

seiko gani (female matsuba crab from hyago prefecture), uchiko and sotoko eggs, crab meat, sushi rice
this replaced the bo-zushi course which i enjoyed more but this was still damn good.

owan - nodoguro (the king of white fish), matsutake (oregon), mitsuba

wasabi

tai (japanese sea bream), aji (japanese spanish mackerel), salt, soy sauce, shiso, myoga (japanese ginger bud)
why isn’t soy sauce and salt served with all sashimi? I loved the slight texture contrast with the salt.

sake steamed abalone, abalone stock, abalone liver
loved the abalone stock, i think it tasted more of abalone than the actual abalone

binchotan grilled kinki, lotus root
wow, highlight of the night. the lotus root was slow cooked over the fire for about 45 minutes which gave it a nice chewy texture. the kinki was perfectly crisp, smoky, and so oily that it increased oil production and lowered gas prices. i need to eat the whole fish.

wakasagi (freshwater female smelt with eggs), turnip greens, ginger ankake
If you smelt it, hayato delt it.

alaskan king crab nabe, matsutake mushrooms, napa cabbage, yellow yuzu
the matsutake were cut thicker than in the owan course to give it a chewier texture.

buri daikon meshi, pickles, miso soup

rice x4

k & j orchards nashi pear, sake jelly, sea salt x3

not toto

broccoli

Hayato
1320 E 7th St
Ste 126
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 395-0607
http://www.hayatorestaurant.com/


pre-dinner bang @ rappahannock oyster bar

baja california mission oysters

fried oysters, lemon, comeback sauce

shrimp cocktail, achiote cocktail sauce, lemon

smoked trout deviled eggs, house hot sauce

Rappahannock Oyster Bar
787 Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(323) 435-4004
https://rowdtla.com/collective/rappahannock/


Spring Menu

sakizuke - binchotan roasted hokkaido scallops, dashi soaked chrysanthemum greens, tosazu sauce, cucumbers
Nice combination of sweet scallops, vinegar-y tosazu sauce, and slightly bitter greens.

baby udo (japanese spikenard) sprouts, kobashira (hokkaido surf clam adductor muscles)
I don’t think I’ve ever had udo, but I want more. It tasted like a tender string-free asparagus. The fried kobashira were crisp and springy like baby scallops.

bozushi - kasugodai (hyogo prefecture baby red snapper), shiso rice, lemon, salt, wasabi
I love chef go’s bozushi, this one was very good but was less of a wow than his aji bozushi.

owan - live santa barbara dungeness crab suimono
Huge ball of unadulterated crab, with kanimiso (crab brains) as the only binder holding the whole thing together. fucking delicious.

sashimi - tai (kagoshima sea bream), live santa barbara spot prawns, salt, soy sauce, wasabi, fresh nori
textbook. the prawns were sweet with no slimy texture you get with raw shrimp. the fresh nori was interesting and was meant as a palette cleanser.

tataki hatsu katsu (seared, first of the season bonito), daikon, radish, citrus (daidai, sudachi, kabosu), myoga (japanese ginger shoots), fresh ginger
this replaced the abalone course. the skin was seared to a nice crisp char and the lean katus had a strong iron-y flavor that stands up to the various toppings.

nodoguro, lotus root
the nodoguro was smoky, fatty with delicious crispy skin. the lotus root was cooked over binchotan for 45 minutes that gave it nice soft and chewy texture.

kisu (japanese whiting), ankake (thickened dashi), fava beans, ginger
one of my favorite fried fish, the meat is lean, clean, and white. Like the jerry seinfeld of fish.

omi a4 rib eye, bamboo shoots, komatsuna greens (japanese mustard spinach), shiitake
fatty but still had that beefy flavor.

chinmi - kuchiko (sea cucumber ovaries)
Tasted more like salty fallopian tubes to me, but what do I know.

sawara (king mackerel) meshi, kinome leaves, pickles, miso soup

rice x3

harry’s berries, kinako (roasted soy bean flour) whipped cream x2
Nice twist with the kinako, it gave the whipped cream a nutty flavor that wasn’t too sweet.

Overall another great meal at hayato, chef go is still executing at a very high level. He mentioned that the la times is about to come out with a review soon and a very conspicuous michelin inspector (french dude, in a suit, dining solo, writing down very detailed notes) has already been by. So get your reservations now while you still can.

hayato_20190407_220718

Meanwhile, in other news, this man has been spotted roaming around ROW DTLA.
d04


Summer 2019 Menu

hayato is one of the best dining experiences in la, the food is excellent of course but what puts it over the top is the incredible service, hospitality and the ability to interact with chef go and his team. Being able to ask questions, share anecdotes and eating adventures just makes for a very fun and enjoyable evening. One story chef go shared with us was the time he went to felix. since he doesn’t go to the westside too often he wanted to try as much as he could so he crushed three appetizers and four pastas… by himself #notallheroeswearcapes. i think chef go can give @J_L and @moonboy403 a run for their eating money.

notes:
dinner is now $240 with a 16% service charge
chef go is considering releasing a month’s worth of reservations on the first of the month starting in july. this should make it easier for people to get reservations instead of having to stay up until midnight every night.

sakizuke - live santa barbara spot prawns, seared over binchotan, okra, tosazu jelly (rice vinegar, dashi, white soy sauce, mirin), shiso flowers
the tart tosazu jelly is nicely balanced with the sweet medium rare prawns. fun fact: the japanese plates for this course are 250 years old. so old @linus was eating off of them as a kid.

kakiage tempura - hokkaido scallops, corn
Salty, crunchy deliciousness

bozushi - aji (hyogo japan, spanish mackerel), chive rice, ginger
soft and lush with just the right amount of fat. highlight.

(new) owan - somen noodles, amadai (tilefish)
the amadai was sweet and had a firm and flaky texture that was incredible. chef go’s dad’s favorite fish. highlight

sashimi - tai (kagoshima sea bream), inada (kagoshima wild yellowtail), akagai (korean ark shell),
salt, soy sauce, wasabi, raw nori, myoga (japanese ginger shoot), shiso

another akagai alert @Chowseeker1999, @Sgee, @beefnoguy, @BradFord
chef go may have shed some light on the recent akagai sightings. he said there’s a new seller at the market that ships akagai pre-shucked, so maybe that’s how they’re able to ship them to the us.
hayato_20190621_200140_1

the notorious B.H.G.

sake steamed abalone, abalone stock cubes, abalone liver sauce, wasabi
excellent

binchotan grilled nodoguro (ishikawa prefecture blackthroat seaperch), maui onions, dark soy sauce
holy shit this was good, chef go mentioned this was the fattiest nodoguro he’s seen and as great as all the other ones i had were this was the by far the best. cooked perfectly over the fire as always and literally dripping with fat. when i was done there was a pool of liquid fat on the plate. the maui onion was another highlight and had the sweetness of caramelized onions but still had slight bite. highlight of the year.

(new) anago (yamaguchi prefecture sea eel), ankake (thickened dashi), tokyo negi (japanese leek)

shabu shabu - a5 omigyu ribeye (shiga prefecture), komatsuna greens (japanese mustard spinach), shiitake mushrooms
rich and tender with tons of beefiness.

chinmi - konoko (salted sea cucumber ovaries)
brininess of oysters with a hit of umami

(new) japanese rice set course - miso soup, pickles, hojicha tea, dungeness crabs, kanimiso
this was only the second time chef go has made this dish and the first time serving it to customers. the meat and brains from three whole dungeness crabs were used for this dish and it was probably the best version of his rice course that i’ve had so far. highlight.

hayato_20190621_210701_1

x3

harry’s berries gaviota strawberries, kinako (roasted soy bean flour) whipped cream, sencha matcha green tea

washington rainier cherries
sweet and snappy

pre-dinner amuse bouche

first stop was closed

second stop


2019 Fall Menu

i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, everything at hayato, including the service, hospitality, thoughtfulness, ambiance, guest interaction and of course the food, make it the best dining experience i’ve had in la. with only one seating a night you basically have chef go and his team’s undivided attention for the entire evening. c’mon what over restaurants only have one seating a night? (hint: not many). it’s almost impossible not to have a great experience.

this is a special place and we’re lucky to have it in la. i’m already planning my next visit.

santa barbara spiny lobster seared over binchotan, kimizu sauce (egg yolk, dashi, rice vinegar), green yuzu zest, sea salt
like a large langoustine cooked to the perfect tenderness

agemono - harrison’s chestnuts, hokkaido scallops isobe age
i wish i got a better shot of the nori batter, loved how it gave the scallops a nice pop of umami.

sabazushi, sesame seed rice
first time having this and i knew it would be epic just looking at it. i was salivating just watching chef go make this. like a piece of battera with super crispy nori. Favorite bozushi so far. highlight.

And if you don’t know, now you know… the notorious B. H. G.

hayato_20191109_194025_2

owan - nodoguro (black throat seaperch), matsutake mushrooms (oregon)
dashi was incredible

sashimi - aji (hyogo prefecture spanish mackerel), akagai (ark clam), tai (kagoshima sea bream), salt, soy sauce, wasabi, raw nori, myoga, shiso
everything was pristine

sake steamed abalone, abalone stock cubes, abalone liver sauce, wasabi
I could just smear some of that abalone stock jelly on a baguette and be happy

kinki (hokkaido), sea salt, lotus root, dark soy sauce
Outstanding. Loved the texture contrast between the soft fatty fish and the crunchy, meaty lotus root that was slow roasted over binchotan for 45 minutes.

anago (sea eel, yamaguchi prefecture) simmered in sweet sake, japanese turnip, ankake (thickened dashi), baby ginger
Soft and fatty with a great balance between the sweetness and the baby ginger.

bonus course - matsutake mushrooms, fresh panko, sudachi citrus
Loved the fantastic crunch from the fresh panko.

shabu shabu - zuwaigani (hokkaido snow crab), shiitake mushrooms
Highlight. Sweet and meaty.

chinmi - karasumi (dried mullet roe)
Dense and briny like a caviar candy bar.

gohan - kinmedai (chiba prefecture)
My favorite gohan I’ve had at hayato. Loved the fatty, flaky, kinmedai. Chef go remembered how much of a glutton I am and served me a little bit extra x3. Highlight.

Inhaled three of these bowls

k & j orchards nashi pear, sake jelly, sea salt

extra extra course
does getting an after-dinner bento box make you look fat? #askingforafriend

Hayato
1320 E 7th St
Ste 126
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 395-0607
http://www.hayatorestaurant.com/

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Nice post! Cost? Looks like I might leave a bit hungry? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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No. My fantastic dinner at Hayato (my writeup here is pending) left me sated.

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It’s $200 plus tax and tip. Yes, unless you fill up on the rice course you may require a second bang. Even with my pre-dinner snack and three helpings of rice, I could have gone for an after-dinner ERB burger if it wasn’t so late but I’m a glutton.

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The junsai in the Dungeness crab soup was something I’ve never had before.
It was also one of the highlights of my meal

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I should mention they are still in their soft opening, so maybe things will change. I’m hoping they’ll add a meat course and maybe larger portions.

yeah that was unique, but didn’t add much of a flavor more of a slimy texture if anything.

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Yeah, I liked that whole dish and the junsai was an element that I wasn’t expecting, might not have added a lot of flavor but the texture was very interesting to me

Wow congrats LA and LA FTC, legit kappo kaiseki! Look and feel reminds me of places like Goryu Kubo and Aoyama Ichita in Tokyo.

Might be interesting if he eventually adds on a pricier course featuring more expensive (imported) ingredients like they do in Japan. I can see a bunch of ballers bringing in their Salon, Jacques Selosse, Krug, Pierre Peters, DRC, and maybe that guy from Yelp with his Pomerol, Latour, Born Chogin or Dreams Come True, and Juyondai with this stuff.

Great report and photos, thanks! Delicious looking aji bousushi too! Awesome grin by the chef’s assistant pouring the soup.

(Would also love to see what their sake list looks like, if someone who is going soon could take pictures and post :slight_smile: )

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Still being curated. Chef Go asks that the list not be released yet. I shall respect that request.

No problem, though eventually people will upload pictures of their bottles (BYO or not) on social media. Can already see the Dönnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling 2007 in two of the pictures above :wink:.

@PorkyBelly Is it true that Chef Go is part of the Koi Restaurant family from Seal Beach? I think I read that somewhere when his magnificent lunch bento boxes debuted.

You are correct. Koi is his father’s restaurant where he worked before training in Japan.

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That’s amazing! I frequent Koi a couple of times a year for my omakase fix. I adore it. I’ll have to make a point of trying Chef Brandon’s place downtown. Thanks!

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Yes indeed.

That was one of the best bites of the year for me. Loved how the negi was mixed into the sushi rice.

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That’s because before Hideki Ishikawa, Goryu Kubo also trained Chef Brandon! In fact, Kubo-san opened the door for our chef to apprentice under Ishikawa-san. A majority of the ceramics now used at Hayato also comes from Kubo-san. In more than one way, Hayato would not be here without Kubo-san.

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Goryu Kubo is one of my top favorite places in Tokyo. If you haven’t visited yet, please consider doing so. Awesome place and excellent service, very intimate. Doesn’t matter to me that they are 2 star (vs 3 for the others).

Though I haven’t been to the likes of Ishikawa and Kokaku. Some say that once you’ve had the best of the best in Kyoto (e.g. Ogata) you will find Ishikawa to be not quite up to par, and Goryu Kubo is one of few places in Tokyo that supposedly can satisfy that, and is far more accessible and easier to get into than say, Kyo Aji. Seizan is supposed to be pretty good too, but you will have to pull some strings to sit at the counter though for the best experience.

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Good to know. I went to Kohaku, thanks to help with Chef Brandon for the reservation, and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal but I’ve yet to try the top tier kaiseki in Kyoto.

Michelin stars don’t mean much to me in Japan though, I’ve had some mediocre starred meals and some amazing hole in the wall meals.

BTW I went about two weeks ago as well, excellent food and execution with the same menu. I’m eager to see how it will evolve over time as I hope to see him become more creative as he settles into his space and gains more confidence in his customers trust.

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So true. Many of the truly stellar chefs in Japan neither want (nor need) the recognition.

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