Sona's Kuniko Yagi Hits Breadbar's Hatchi Dinner

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Maine lobster risotto at Sona Photo: Hadley Tomicki

David Myers recently broke the news that we'd be Sona-less for a few seasons. Like a culinary version of Michael Landon on Highway to Heaven, he and his staff are hitting the road to cook at different international restaurants, becoming apprentice journeymen again, or in the case of Sona chef de cuisine Kuniko Yagi, a journeywoman. We know this chef is up to new challenges, as Myers detailed the story of meeting Yagi randomly in the noodle house she's was working in last night at Starchef's Rising Star honors, and how he took her on at his lauded restaurant despite her total lack of experience. This native of Japan rose from the amuse station to sous chef in three years and finally made chef de cuisine in 2007. Now, before starting the journey towards Sona's re-envisioning, Yagi will prepare her own dinner at Breadbar's Hatchi series next Thursday. What's on the menu?

Named "Burning Sensation," Yagi's menu is sort of like a reverse Sona, replacing Myers' French-Cali core that goes heavy on Japanese influence and global ingredients with a foundation that is doubtlessly Japanese, but sees interplay with imported technique and international additions. Among the eight dishes, there's a harissa-marinated cod with celery root purée and crispy pig’s feet, and miso-marinated beef with charred Tokyo negi and burnt rice crisps, as well as two pastries coming from Sona pastry chef Ramon Perez. Her menu is below and, besides looking delectable and deft, might offer one of the last chances for SoCal to have Yagi to themselves once Sona shutters in May.

March 25th,
6-10 P.M.
Breadbar
Reservations at 310-277-3770, all dishes $8.

“Burning Sensation” Menu

Brulée of Seasonal Vegetables

Harissa-Marinated Cod with Celery Root Purée and Crispy Pig’s Feet

Miso-Marinated Beef with Charred Tokyo Negi (Green Onion) and Burnt Rice Crisps

Burnt Raw Ratatouille with Five Kinds of Grains and Geoduck Clam

Jidori Chicken with Burnt Shishito Pepper Purée and Wild Mushroom

Big Eye Tuna with Burnt Eggplant and Mitsuba Dashi (Japanese Wild Parsley Soup Stock) Sauce

Dessert course by Ramon Perez

Dessert course by Ramon Perez