Tamaen Japanese BBQ Restaurant

My latest yakiniku craving brought me to Tamaen, which had been on my “to-eat” list for a while now. The place was opened circa 2003 by Chef/Owner Masafumi Higashiyama, who’d actually worked at the original Tamaen in Osaka. Sometime around 2016, the restaurant was purchased by Kengo Kuba’s K&K International, a wholesaler of Japanese beef founded in 2001. Along with the ownership change came a remodeling of the space, as well as a fancier menu with a focus on genuine wagyu beef.

Right up front is the meat case, which highlights some of the restaurant’s Japanese beef selection. Note that the Miyazaki and Satsuma cuts on the bottom two shelves weren’t available this evening, as they were still aging. Note, also, the presence of Kobe beef. According to the official Kobe beef web site, Tamaen is one of only three restaurants in the Los Angeles area to serve the real deal (and nope, Shibumi wasn’t the first).

Menu-wise, Tamaen of course features a variety of beef choices, segregated into various grades–Japanese wagyu, American wagyu, USDA Prime–along with horumon (offal), pork, seafood, and veggie options. Not surprisingly, there’s also a wide range of accompanying dishes (mostly of Korean origin) to pair with your meat. To drink, you get your usual beers, some wine, shochu, soju, and sake, natch. Corkage was $15, and we were only charged once. Click for larger versions.


So, what do you think ?

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