So I've been meaning to try this place for quite some time now...ever since a friend of mine forwarded me articles about Chef Kaz almost a year ago. I didn't really put much effort or thought into it since I knew it was an exclusive "invite by chef only" type of place. Until..I was racking my brain to think of places to eat near the Westside Pavilion since we had a movie screening to attend that evening.
So on a whim I gave the restaurant a call the evening prior. I spoke with a woman with a thick Japanese accent (who I later learned was Chef's wife). I gave her my Japanese name and phone number and she said Chef Kaz would call me back the following morning. Well he certainly did and invited us to dine their that night!
As you've seen from my photos and others it's an unassuming building labeled "Teriyaki House Pico" nestled between a shoe repair store and a hole-in-the-wall music store. The shades were all drawn and the front door locked. You wouldn't even think twice about a restaurant even existing there. I barely even knocked on the door before we were whisked in by the woman I spoke to the night before. She greeted us in Japanese by name and promptly seated us closing and locking the door behind.
Now I knew that Chef Kaz was an avid wine enthusiast and I brought a bottle of '05 Kosta Browne PN "Kanzler Vineyard" for the raw beef courses and a '90 Beringer Reserve Cab for the cooked beef. I immediately asked for an additional glass to share with Chef Kaz. His wife brought us three glasses and thanked us over and over again for the glass. Chef Kaz came out a few minutes later and thoroughly enjoyed the glass of KB with us. We talked for a few moments about our favorite wines in Napa/Sonoma before he thanked us again and graciously excused himself back to the kitchen.
A few seconds later his wife brought out the amazing first course which included many different Japanese vegetables, mountain fruits, and some sashimi. Everything was so beautifully prepared and the pairings of ingredients were absolutely incredible. This portion was quickly followed by the raw portions of filet mignon, tongue, outside ribeye, inside ribeye, short rib and skirt. Everything was executed in perfect time and order.
Next came the beautiful Japanese charcoal oven. It was a warm day in LA that night and the combination of no A/C in the building and the charcoal oven inches from my face made it a bit warm for my taste but it was absolutely worth it! Chef Kaz's wife continued bringing out dish after dish of different Kobe cuts that tasted so amazing with the shoyu, lemon and sweet sauces. She will advise you what sauce to use with which cuts but pretty much everything stands on its own!
We opened the bottle of '90 Beringer Reserve and again insisted Chef Kaz and his wife have a glass with us. She bowed and thanked us and Chef Kaz came out moments after his wife brought him the glass. He was impressed with the Beringer Reserve and said their reserve Chard is one of his favorites and that he sincerely appreciated us bringing in this botlte of Cab.
After the cooked meats we had a bowl of a spicy beef soup followed by the dessert course of ice creams and sorbets. We chatted with Chef Kaz and his wife before we left and couldn't thank them enough for his amazing cooking and hospitality. It truly felt like we had stepped into their house somewhere in Japan. I told Chef Kaz I will be bringing obaasan (grandma) back on our next visit!
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.