L.A.’s seen its fair share of haute Japanese cuisine, but there’s something special happening at the Michelin-starred Hayato. This is fine dining done the Japanese way, or more specifically, done chef-owner Brandon Go’s way: The space is intimate and almost reverent, the ceramics are handcrafted and imported from Japan, and Go’s precision and technique come by way of training under some of Japan’s top chefs, clear in his execution of every course on the dinner-only kaiseki menu. Steamed abalone with an unctuous liver sauce; an owan course of delicate crab meatball soup; and fresh fruit coated in a salted sake jelly might all arrive before you, with Go and his team working ar the counter all the while. For a takeout taste of the restaurant, Hayato offers exquisite bento boxes for lunch, in December, a new and elegant Orizume dinner set.
When out-of-towners hear the phrase “L.A. fine dining” they might scoff, thinking it’s an oxymoron considering how casual this city is, but the truth is that Los Angeles is home to some of the best tasting menus and fancy restaurants in the country—you just need to know where to look.
When you want to dress up for a romantic dinner or splurge on your birthday, there are some stellar spots; at the best fine dining restaurants in L.A. you might sit down to an elegant kaiseki dinner, a tasting from one of the world’s most famous chefs, or a seafood-centric meal filled with artistic flourish, and you can be sure servers won’t try to slip you their headshots as they present perfectly plated entrées.
Before you dig in, a brief note: All of these restaurants are currently open in some form, though these days are strange days for restaurants and some might only be offering takeout service or limited menus. Call or look online to check menus and availability before stopping by.
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