Hatch, a Japanese kushiyaki and yakitori restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles, serves food so delicious - you might just order the same dish twice.

As part of my monthly ritual with certain friends, it was a pleasure to pick Hatch for my dinner with Matt. Sometimes, I’m still in absolute awe of how he came into my life. It was literally me attending the open house event at Laguna Clay; which led to me asking someone about ceramics membership studios in Los Angeles and surrounding areas; which lead to me learning about Green and Bisque in Pasadena; which led me to take private ceramic lessons with Matt; which led me to having regular friendship dinners to discuss grief, art, creation and life in general.

There are some people you meet in life that simply feel like destiny. But, back to the food.

After exchanging our usual pleasantries and me admiring his incredible new work on his tattoo sleeve, I left him to order the evening’s menu.

To start, I ordered the EARL GREY HIGHBALL (earl grey infused roku gin, lavender honey, tonic, lemon). It was extremely light. But, allowed me to relax from the drive down to Downtown.

We started with the TSUKEMONO (daily house pickles). The dish was of average flavor, with the vinegar pickling offering more of a lighter seasoning.

Next up was the AVO TUNA TOAST (wild caught tuna, yuzu smashed avocado, crispy rice, green onion, house togarashi). This dish was incredibly unique and delicious. The crispy rice offered the right amount of taste on its own – along with the diced tuna. The flavor, especially with the fresh squeezed lime, was honestly worth the price for the four toast pieces.

But then, the excellence of Hatch came through. Hard.

The BACON ASPARAGUS (bacon, asparagus) and MUSHROOM PARTY (shiitake, button, oyster, seaweed flakes) arrived. We devoured it in a shorter amount of time than expect. Mere seconds that barely passed for minutes.

The UNAGI (freshwater eel, black rice puffs, furikake)? Gone within mere minutes.

The PORK BELLY (yuzu kosho)? We ordered it again.

For drinks, I enjoyed the HONEYDEW MELON COCKTAIL (melon, vodka) and the SAKURA LOVE (sakura strawberry syrup, St. Elder Elderflower liqueur, lemon, gin) over the course of dinner. These, in comparison to the earlier highball, were stand out stars. But, maybe I’m not particularly a highball connoisseur.

Hatch truly shines in the cooked over fire menu items. We watched the 12″ BONE MARROW (grilled bone marrow, house tare, house shiso vinegar, green onion, grilled garlic mochi bread) go out for table service a few times. It looked glorious. Definitely a must order next time.

Overall, the hours passed by in conversation and repeat ordering of our favorite dishes. Having dinner with Matt, who started as my private ceramics teacher at Green and Bisque and who has grown into a deeply respected, dear friend, gives me such life affirming joy.

After all – great conversation over delicious food?

What more can you ask for in a night out in Los Angeles?

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700 W 7th St, Ste G600
Los Angeles, California 90017
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