Hatch: The hit record from The Yakitori Boys
It happens every few decades. A prodigy music group ascends on the masses with an album built to feed those who crave the unconventional. With a crack of a needle hitting fresh vinyl, a symphonic explosion splits the shell of the music industry into a thousand pieces — the scene forever changed.
Is this them, right here in DTLA? (cue screaming crowd) Is this the next supergroup that triggers tears from fans with the mere sight of their silhouettes on stage? Well, not exactly — this is food, Yakitori to be exact (pause screams). But, in the most stimulating sense of relation to chart-topping sound, the band of friendships between Chef Daniel Shemtob, Nara Latip and Akarad Tachavatcharapa are forcefully turning up the volume to rattle the static notion of what it means to experience, taste, and understand modern Yakitori (cue screams again).
Within the Bloc you will find HATCH, built under the insignia of what resembles a legendary record cover, a cracked egg standing on two tiny legs. Enter to melodic sounds of skewers hitting a grill within a setting as clean and perpetual as a beat from BECK. Sleek and minimalist with sharp wood accents, it caters to design-savvy diners. Nara believed in the significance to stand out, “Yakitori is served in a very traditional setting, we wanted to change the game.” Akarad agrees, “ We wanted to do something with Yakitori that hasn’t been done before in the States.”
A flame rises from the belly of the kitchen, Chef Daniel parts through smoke — the frontman has emerged. A bandana tied around his forehead propels the quaff of his esteemed hair as he hangs a coat that would make Perry Farrell envious. He stands proud, “Everything in here is a divine coincidence.” Daniel is well known in the industry, and his wide grin exudes the enormous passion he carries as a chef. “I think it’s important to always stay challenged.” The menu is Daniels ultimate track list gliding to the tone of “Japanese ingredients with a California twist.”
Openers on the menu are signature Bento’s like the Mick J-Egg-er or Yolko Ono. The Raw Bar is stocked with daily oysters and Hamachi that’s fresh to death. Then, the headliners. Sticks range from Skirt Steak, Bacon Enoki and Chicken Meatball, hand dipped into Egg Yolk & Tare Dip. Salivating yet? The encore of show-stopping entrees like Black Karaage — two day brined chicken thighs in black squid ink skin served with lime and black ranch dip — simply, bring the house down. Imported beers are ice cold, and finally — sake on tap.
Chef Daniel halts “Wait…have you heard of The Yakitori Boys?” A photo resembling a Rolling Stone cover of the three posing from a Mercedes G-wagon is placed aside black fried rice. It becomes real. The Yakitori Boys have arrived to change the tune of downtown cuisine. HATCH is friendship, detailed taste and brilliant personality, built for an ethos determined to break the yoke of the orthodox. Cue the lights, fog machine, sprint to the front row, and yes, scream — this Yakitori show is just getting started.
Written by Travis Platt | Photography by Rebekah Lemire