Restaurants , Japanese Westside
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 (Photograph: Daniel Dy of
Photograph: Daniel Dy of

Quail eggs topped with uni and white truffle, ankimo (monkfish liver) encased in a dashi gelee, and asparagus with candied walnuts at Totoraku

 (Photograph: Daniel Dy of
Photograph: Daniel Dy of

Beef tongue Totoraku

 (Photograph: Daniel Dy of
Photograph: Daniel Dy of

Filet mignon at Totoraku

 (Photograph: Daniel Dy of
Photograph: Daniel Dy of

Alaskan king crab soup at Totoraku

Don't let the unassuming facade—the sign reads "Terriyaki House Pico"—on a nondescript block fool you. The tiny makeshift restaurant may not be much to look at, but once inside this clandestine shrine to beef, you'll be rewarded with sublime plate after plate. Chef Kaz Oyama starts the kaiseki-style dinner with delicate preparations of beef from seared tataki and marbled sashimi to a daikon and pine nut-flecked tartare and an enlightened version of tongue that's impossibly tender and complex in flavor. But the main event is yakiniku—grilled preparations of tongue, rib-eye, short rib and other varying cuts over a tabletop charcoal grill. DIYers can dig in, while BYOBers can cork bottles with no fee. The night will set up back $180 per head, but, of course, the real feat is scoring an invite.

Venue name: Totoraku
Address: 10610 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles
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