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Review

Hayato is a tiny Japanese restaurant that makes very elaborate, pre-order-only bento boxes during the day, and elaborate traditional kaiseki dinners a couple of nights a week. For dinner, you need to reserve in advance, pay a $100 deposit, and be fine with having no idea what you’re going to eat. The food is good, but the meal is ultimately a bit of a slog. You’ll sit at a bar with five or six other people, and watch as the chef prepares around 10, mostly seafood courses. Dishes range from eel tempura and Kyoto-style sushi to dashi broth. It’s all very subtle and understated, but a meal here ends up being a bit stiff. There’s no music, which gives you the sense that you should probably whisper. All of that combined with the high price, this is a place for Japanese food die-hards only.

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