After two weeks in US, Princess and I had enough of steaks and Western food. We started to crave for some Japanese food and luckily for us, we were in LA and picked a yakitori place for dinner.
Located in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) in a modern development called The Bloc, Hatch is a modern Japanese grill that celebrates yakitori, creative plates and curated drinks.
The decor is bright, cheery and modern, unlike the traditional yakitori-ya in Japan. But there was still a great vibe in the place, with a hip crowd and hippier service staff.
Traditional Japanese cooking is fused with bold Californian flavors to deliver new takes on classic dishes. Chef Daniel Shemtob approaches food as he does with life; passionate, fun, and with a twist. By being spontaneous, he is able to constantly reinvent himself and the menu is an embodiment of that.
They have a full (and impressive) collection of Japanese whiskies. Some of them are quite rare and have a price tag as well.
The selection of yakitori was limited to what would be acceptable to the American palate, i.e. not much chicken rare parts or organs. After spending the morning in Warner Bros Studio, we had a big appetite and ordered 10 sticks.
- Beef Tongue
- Chicken Meatball
- Bacon Asparagus
- Mushroom Party
- Shishito Pepper
- Chicken Wing
- Chicken Heart
- Soboro Rice
After ordering the food, our drinks came. Classic Highball (toki whisky, soda, grapefruit zest) and Green Tea Highball (green tea infused haku vodka, tonic water, lemon zest) for me, and Kimino Yuzu Sparkling for Princess.
royal blue yellowtail, ponzu sauce, yuzu kosho, garlic seaweed salad
Started the meal with a sashimi, or more accurately some dressed-up sliced fish in the style of a yeoneojang (Korean style soy marinated sliced fish). Quite delicious.
Started with the classic yakitori with salt seasoning. Competent and good start to the 10 stick journey.
pearl onion, shiso lime sauce
This was not what I was expecting. In Japanese, gyutan is usually sliced thin and grilled slightly with chopped scallions. Or they will be small cuts that would be lightly grilled. Here, the beef tongues are big cubes that had been braised before finishing off on the grill.
I am used to gyutan grilled with nothing but salt and maybe eaten with yellow mustard, so the shiso lime sauce was kind of strange for me, not in a good way. Firstly, the colour looked off, and then the taste was unfamiliar.
egg yolk & tare dip
I saw the chefs working on this and told myself we needed to order these bad boys. Called tsukune or chicken meatballs, these are considered a test on the skills of the yakitori masters. And they passed the test with flying colours.
The egg yolk was from a sous vide egg. The creamy yolk complemented the savoury tsukune like ebony and ivory. However they added the tare into the yolk dip, so the overall result was too salty. They could have left the tare separate.
The American version with salty bacon instead of thinly sliced pork belly, this was surprising good eat.
yuzu kosho compound butter
Princess loved this so much that she took mine as well. Mental note to self – use soy sauce to marinate the corn at the next BBQ.
shiitake, button, oyster, seaweed flakes
Delicious and wonderful presentation.
sake, salted plum, bonito flakes
One in ten is spicy. We got at least half of them spicy. Lucky me!
house green togarashi, lemon
I wasn’t expecting the drumlets to be included on the skewer as the Japanese version of tebasaki only used the mid-joint. Perfectly grilled to utter crispiness.
And also there’s the house made green togarashi that consisted of dried parsley and other herbs, it was quite good.
house red togarashi
Fail – the heart was overcooked. But again this being America, you cannot risk serving undercooked chicken or its parts to customers.
mustard tare, white sesame seeds, garlic chips
Beautifully grilled broccolini topped with deep fried garlic chips and smothered with the yakitori tare infused with a bit of yellow mustard.
marinated ground chicken, quail egg
そぼろ丼 soboro don is a classic ending to a yakitori meal. There are many variations of the same theme, but it is always made up of grounded chicken on top of steamed white rice.
Hatch’s version was a generous bowl enough to be shared between Princess and I.
It was a wonderful dinner, the chefs were friendly and gave good recommendations on the drinks. The seats at the counter were really uncomfortable, so unless you really wanted to see how the things were cooked, I would recommend to be seated at the tables. Can get really busy later into the evening on the weekends because of a wonderful bar, so reservation recommended. I booked using OpenTable.
Hatch Yakitori + Bar
700 W 7th St Suite G600, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States
Tel : +1 213 2829070
Visited Feb 2023
@hatchyakitori #dtla #hatchyakitori #yakitori @hatchyalater #hatchyalater #hatch