Check out why you should make a reservation to Yakiya ASAP!
Last night I had the pleasure of dining with my good friend Jennifer aka @misspiggieeats on Instagram. She gets invited to all the really cool places and I was lucky enough to score the plus one spot. I did a little research on Yakiya before going but I had NO idea what it was really about.
Located in Hacienda Heights, California its a grey, very modern building in a very beige strip mall. It sticks out like a sore thumb, but will make sense as soon as you walk in. No need to come extra early for parking as there is plenty. As you walk thru the large doors in front you'll be greeted at a hostess stand and see the modern dining room. Its very sophisticated, but chic. Its modern, yet it has a comfy warmth to it.
Its a prix fixe menu that changes every 6 months. Its 100% beef based, so if you're not currently eating red meat this is not the dinner for you. Also it starts at $100 per person not including any beverages so you may want to save this for a special occasion. Just know, it is such a special place. And if you can afford to go at least once, I highly recommend it. The food was not only phenomenal but an experience. Last item worth mentioning it is 12 to 15 courses. Everything is bit size. You're not going to leave stuffed like you would at a steak house, however you will be full.
COURSE ONE and TWO
This is the A5 Ribeye topped with a ponzu jelly and arima sancho pepper. This was also served with a Yuzu juice (not pictured) that they recommend you drink as soon as you shoot the tartare. Amazing. As the meat starts to touch your tongue there is an explosion of flavors in your mouth. You can feel the ponzu jelly melt in your mouth. Your eyes will pop open and your heart skips a beat. Amazing.
This is the USDA Prime ribeye tartare with a quail egg and apple. The waitress will mix the egg, the apple with the meat for you in front of you. Its creamy from the yolk, its slightly sweet from the apple and the meat is so tender. Its a true experience.
This is the USDA Prime Ribeye Tataki with Ponzu and Japanese Cherry Blossoms. This is actually served under a glass filled with smoke. The smell was obviously smokey, but slightly sweet. I can't begin to describe the texture. The outside is slightly firm and the inside ever so tender. Slight crunch from the crisp cherry blossoms. So much flavor.
This is Chawanmushi with Blue Crab and Mushroom. Chawanmushi is a Japanese steamed egg custard. The texture was smooth and creamy. I took the first bite and I wouldn't swallow. I looked at Jennifer and said "This is amazing!" The next spoonful was half the size of the first. I wanted to save this dish. Even the mushroom was packed with flavor!
This is the beef cheek with seared onion, lima bean and oxtail soup. Its the least pretty of all 15 courses, but the beef check was so amazing. The texture of the meat was perfect. There was a crispness to the outside of the meat, but literally melts in your mouth.
This is the Veggie Sticks with miso paste. Seems simple right? No, the miso paste was magical. When it first hits your palate its sweet, then within seconds its slightly tart. Then you have the texture of the crunchy carrots and cucumbers. We got another bowl of miso paste. Yum!
This is the Angus Beef Tongue Steak with a lemon scallion Kosho (not pictured). I've never been a fan of tongue. I usually pass on it when I'm at the Korean BBQ. But when you're at Yakiya you don't say no. And I'm oh so happy I said yes! There was so much flavor in each and every bite. It was firm but it was so tender. The chef's scored the meat before grilling to allow more crispy edges to form. It was beautiful.
This is the Prime Ribeye Inside. To be honest, I'm not sure what Ribeye Inside meants but it was more tender than any ribeye I've ever had. It was only seasoned with salt and pepper and I savored every single bite.
This is the USDA Prime Ribeye Cap. The Rib Cap may be my favorite cut of meat. It has the perfect marbling. And the exterior crisps up nicely while the inside stays super tender and holds so much flavor. This was no exception. Amazing.
This is the marinated Tomato. I know it doesn't sound exciting. I immediately thought..."why are you interrupting my meal with a tomato?" However it was one of the best courses of the night. Its been marinating overnight in a sweet ponzu and is topped with black sesame and sea salt. Its chilled to perfection and the bites were so refreshing.
This is the Elderflower Cucumber and Jelly Juice. It's sole purpose is to refresh and cleanse the palate for the remaining three courses.
This course was actually in two parts. The first part was the USDA Prime Filet Mignon Gyudon served on top of Bone Marrow that has been roasted in the oven with a miso paste to hold in the moisture and flavor and a Kimchee hot pot bowl of rice. First of all I know you can't 100% tell, but that Bone Marrow was huge. It was scrapped into a bowl of rice, kimchee and dried seaweed and then turned until it was fully incorporated. At the same time the filet mignon was grilling with garlic. Once cooked to medium rare, the meat was removed from the flame and set a top our marrow rice. Then a slightly sweet ponzu was poured over the meat and into the rice. So perfect. I ate every grain of rice in that bowl. EVERY GRAIN.
A5 Japanese Wagyu NY Strip Loin. Served with a poached egg and Maldon Salt. As you can see in the first photo they brought out the authenticity certificate to show that were serving the real thing. Unfortunately, it was pretty dark by the time we got to this course so you can't really see the beauty in this meat but it was perfect. The marbling was perfect. The flavor was perfect. The poached egg was perfect. The combination of meat and egg was perfect. The meat almost has a smooth texture when it first hits your tongue. Then immediately melts in your mouth. Perfect. Please scroll through the above photos to see how it is served.
The final course was gelato. This is the one item that was not made in house. Originally, when they opened they made their own ice cream, but after trying this gelato, they knew it could not compete with anything they made. From front to back is the black sesame, matcha and peach. They were all awesome, but there was something about the black sesame that made me so happy. They were all smooth and creamy, but the sesame was slightly nutty and it melted differently on the tongue. It by far was my favorite.
I'm sure you can tell that I am a huge fan. There's nothing that you can say to me to change my mind. I would recommend this experience to anyone. To everyone. Even if its only for special occasions. Just be sure to take someone who will enjoy the process. Next time I probably won't bring my camera. I want to sit back and enjoy the entire experience without interruption.
I will definitely be back.
17188 Colima Rd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
The food at this restaurant was provided complimentary or at a discounted price, however all opinions are 100% mine. A free meal does not buy a good review.