Aug 2018

{swoon} Bento Lunch at Hayato

Hayato Bento Box

My friend Sarah and I were lucky enough to snag one of Chef Brandon Hayato Go’s highly-coveted bento boxes ($46) for lunch the other week. Aside from being a tremendous feast for the eyes, the bento’s panoply of small bites are the very definition of swoon-worthy.

It takes an entire day for Chef Go to make two dozen bento lunches because producing portable meals presents some unique challenges. For starters, the food is largely consumed at room temperature. As a result, Chef Go gravitates toward ingredients that naturally have more fat and sugar to ensure that each dish is palatable at any temperature. Additionally, serving an entire meal in a box means that the diner chooses the order in which each component is consumed, so seasonings are applied by Chef Go in a manner that harmonizes each dish with its neighbors.

Hayato Bento Box

As we gingerly untied the bento and lifted its lid, it was abundantly clear that each dish was carefully thought out and beyond meticulously prepared. The highlights included spears of succulent seared duck breast, irresistible cross-sections of eggplant prepared agedashi-style, and caramelized black cod saikyo yaki. Contrasting with the richer items were cucumbers with sesame and salt, as well as pickled daikon namasu. To fill us up beyond the small bites was a generous serving of Koshihikari rice with root vegetables.

The following morsels rounded out the bento: Dashimaki Tamago, Datemaki Tamago, Satsuma Sweet Potato mitsu-ni, Snow Crab Tofu, Wild Mexican White Shrimp Shinjo, Dried Shitake Nimono, Grilled Hokkaido Scallop Shioyaki, Honshimeji Mushroom Ohitashi, Chrysanthemum Greens with Sudachi Citrus, Winter Melon in Ginger Dashi, and Snow Crab Claw Sunomono.

Hayato Bento Box

Bentos are available by pre-paid advance reservation every Wednesday to Saturday. Pickups are available at 12 PM and 1:30 PM. All orders are placed via Resy.

Hayato
1320 East 7th Street, Ste. 126
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Phone: 213-395-0607

One year ago: Delicious Food Corner – Monterey Park
Two years ago: 
Yang Chow Restaurant – Pasadena
Three years ago:
 Burritos La Palma – El Monte
Four years ago: 
{swoon} Vietnamese Chè at Bambu
Five years ago: 
Elena’s Greek Armenian – Glendale
Six years ago: 
Route des Grands Crus – Burgundy
Seven years ago: Coop’s West Texas Barbecue – San Diego (Lemon Grove)
Eight years ago: José Andrés Washington D.C. Restaurant Tour: Minibar, Café Atlántico, Oyamel, Jaleo, Zaytinya
Nine years ago: Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Eat. Run. Repeat.
Ten years ago: Bánh Tráng Trộn
Eleven years ago: Vegetation Profile: Longan

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