Hayato Restaurant is starting 2021 with a fresh outlook. During this pandemic era, when our collective health is taking center stage, Chef Brandon Go is rolling out a concept which he’d actually been considering for quite some time: Nabe.
As Go-san describes, nabemono (or Japanese hot pot) is something “that can be luxurious and healthy at the same time - so comforting for me.” The Hayato nabe takeout set is currently still on its soft open phase, but I was lucky enough to get a chance to try preparing it at home on this chilly January evening.
The customer could choose to use his/her own burner and donabe (clay pot). Or, (as I did) one can purchase a high quality set directly from Hayato with the nabe order ($35 each for portable burner and donabe; comes with 1 can of butane fuel). The whole kit works seamlessly, and is completely reusable for future home cooking.
Food-wise, what comes with the Nabe Set? Well, inside that beautiful wooden box, replete with seafood and veggie goodies to put into your hot pot, there are also some appetizers (including my favorite chinmi: Candied uni, a reprise from the Hayato Orizume), an assortment of sashimi, somen noodles (to cook at the end of the hot pot meal, to finish off that rich broth), dessert, and a package of Hayato’s special green tea to cap off the meal. There are also 2 one-liter aliquots of Chef Brandon’s wondrous, umami-laden House Dashi to use as broth starter. Clear instructions make the whole experience quite easy, even for a hot pot newbie. I gotta say, this dashi is magic! There are a few personal customizations and hacks I made to my broth as it matured in the donabe (hacking is encouraged!) - I might share those later on with you all…
Everyone eats nabe in their own different way, so I’ll let everybody explore the endless permutations which abound. My standout bites included the turnip, amadai, takenoko, anago, matsutake mushroom, kinmedai sashimi, awabi with daikon, and persimmon. True to the Hayato ethos, the utmost care goes into the ingredients in their Nabe Set. The soft open will run through this weekend. Ordering from Tock will become available next week - The final Nabe Set rollout may include different flourishes and ingredients, so it may not be exactly the version featured in this write-up. It’s only January, but Chef Brandon has already made my 2021 that much better.
Nabe by Hayato
1320 E. 7th St., Suite 126
Los Angeles, CA 90021