Yazawa (Beverly Hills, CA)
9669 S Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 8/6/16
Yazawa is a chain of restaurants based in Japan specializing in Japanese wagyu beef. The restaurant group has locations in Singapore and Milan in addition to Japan, but this is their first in America. As the server described it to us, what differentiates Yazawa is that they are also a distributor of wagyu cattle; they butcher their own beef in-house and are not required to freeze their meat before serving. As a result, Yazawa serves the largest variety of wagyu I have seen in America. They have some domestic beef varieties too, as well as some chicken and pork cuts all grilled up at the table. A handful of appetizers and side dishes, many of them featuring wagyu, are available too.
You can order a la carte, but there are a few levels of omakase available between $100 and $160. We went with the second tier omakase ($120), adding a few a la carte dishes to round out the meal.
There’s no binchotan here – the grills are all gas.
Knowing a lot of beef was to come, we paired it with a cabernet from St. Helena.
2013 Sinegal “Estate” St.Helena Cabernet Sauvignon
Wagyu Toro Sushi
This ‘toro’ sushi was a rich and luscious piece of wagyu atop rice in a nigiri-style. The beef was delicious although I would’ve preferred just a little less rice.
Wagyu Tartare with Egg Yolk, Uni, Black Truffle
Tataki Ponzu Sauce
Next was a trio of appetizers. The braseola was a highlight, tender with a touch of Parmesan and truffle oil. The tartare was very good albeit slightly chewy; the uni and truffle flavors came through with nice balance. The tataki was the simplest of the three, showing off the pure beef flavor contrasted by some raw onion.
Yazawa Cut Tongue
Yazawa Cut Harami outside skirt
Our first pieces of meat on the grill were both domestic. Apparently, it’s against US regulations for the restaurant to serve tongue from overseas so they serve the best domestic variety they can find – Snake River Farms American wagyu. Both of these cuts were excellent. The tongue had a delightful chew with great beefy flavor while the skirt was juicy and flavorful.
This was a real treat. This cut, from the sirloin, is a specialty at the restaurant for its extreme marbling. It was seared very quickly and dipped into an egg wash. The result was a piece of meat that was so rich, delicate and with a great mouthfeel.
A selection of five cuts of Japanese wagyu was next. I didn’t quite get all of the Japanese names but I believe we had chuck/shin, round, ribeye, bottom shin, and one other I can’t recall. Outside of the ribeye, these weren’t cuts I would normally order but I honestly couldn’t even tell – everything was tender with a lot of rich, beefy flavor.
Oxtail soup was well-seasoned with a hearty, savory flavor.
Garlic Japanese Wagyu Rice
This rice dish had a wonderful crispy texture to pair with slices of the wagyu. A very nice dashi was served alongside.
Green Tea Ice Cream black sesame
Green tea ice cream with a nice black sesame topping completed the meal.
Yazawa was a real treat. Everything was pretty delicious and the beef was a true highlight. The quality and variety of Japanese wagyu is unmatched in LA and this was a unique experience for a beef lover. I will definitely return.