WHY Real shabu-shabu made with exceptional ingredients, notably the Wagyu beef. Best of all: When you finish cooking and eating your meat, seafood and veggies, they take the pot back to the kitchen and turn the now-rich broth into a heavenly thick soup with rice or udon.
WHAT It’s a modest-looking place, and shabu-shabu (meat, seafood and vegetables cooked at the table in bubbling broth) is typically pretty ordinary stuff here in the U.S. But Kagaya has brought it up a few notches, thanks to exceptional meats (including Kobe and Wagyu beef) and the elegant touches the Japanese do so well, like the lovely appetizers and the chrysanthemum leaves in the mounds of seasonal greens to cook in the pot. You pay dearly for this—$43 to $128 per person for a fixed-price meal—but it’s worth a splurge, especially if you get the good beef.
WHO Expense-account adventurers and beef lovers.
Neighborhood: Little Tokyo/Arts District
Features: Dinner, Essentially L.A., Quiet
Price Range: $25-$33, $34-up
Cuisine Type: Japanese