Mako - Black Beef - imported Wagyu (Kobe style) from Japan
After reading that Mako was selected for Best Picnic Box by Los Angeles Magazine's Best of Los Angeles issue, I went to Mako tonight to order a Bento Box for Saturday Night concert pick up. While waiting for the hostess to take my order for our Bento Box, I kept on seeing these yaki-tori skewers flying out of the Kitchen. Finally, I stopped a waiter to ask what these skewers were all about. It seems that Mako got a shipment in of 5-A grade imported Black Wagyu Beef (Kobe style beef) from a prefecture of Japan called Gunma which is one of best place in Japan to raise Cattle. OK I was weak, the smell of that dish as it was coming out of the kitchen was just too much. So ... had to ask... how much does imported beef from Japan cost these days? $25.00 per skewer a waiter said. OK so once I got over the sticker shock, I went for it: while my skewer order got placed, Mako came out for a few minutes very excited to explain how different this beef was from the Americanized Wagyu. He was right. This was a WOW moment. It was so rich, buttery it literally melted in your mouth - unlike any cut of beef that I have had before. His skewer was cooked in true Mako fusion style - perfectly medium rare, it was served with a light soy, 5 spice infused red wine sauce and a Tokyo Negi.
Apparently he has a special "Wagyu" Black Beef Omakase Menu but he said it is only for serious eaters and needs a 24 hour notice. If that skewer was any indication... I may have to indulge in this serious dining moment.
Great post! I'm going to Mako tonight & called ahead to save us some of the Kobe(I saw the Kobe being delivered when I was at lunch their on Thursday). You should go back and try his sake salmon & the duck - great dishes & over the top with a great pinot. Cheers LAJay
This weekend's WSJ has a writeup about Japanese Wagyu beef. It does sound as good as the original poster described, i.e. as good as the hype. $20/ounce at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant Cut.