Tasting menus can sometimes feel like a punishment, three hours at the table without any free will, all in order to leave with a stomach too full and a wallet too thin. Kato is here to change that. Jonathan Yao, chef and owner of this miniature restaurant, has almost no culinary experience (apart from an internship at Coi and Alma) and therefore hasn’t undergone any gastronomic formatting. Here it goes: smoked hamachi with pickled cucumbers, crab and uni porridge, a warm brioche filled with burrata and fresh truffle shavings — by far the most decadent dish of 2016. The eight-course menu (for only $45, which is literally a Black Friday bargain every day of the year) is impeccable, but you will have to ignore other details like uncomfortable stools, deliciously inexperienced staff, lack of liquor license…

 

Where? 11925 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

When? Thursday-Monday 5:30-10PM

What? katorestaurant.com

How? OpenTable

Style: Japanese / Taiwanese

Price: Tasting menu $49

Neighborhood: Santa Monica

Best for: Dinner