A bowl of rice is just a bowl of rice until you dress it up with something delicious. However, with many rice bowls, that something usually isn’t anything worth wasting a drop of drool over — you know, like dry chicken or limp shrimp. But then there’s the wagyu yakiniku rice bowl served at Gyoro-Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise in Encino.
Wagyu, of course, is the famous, highly marbleized Japanese beef from a pampered cow, which is sought after for its exquisite tenderness. Yakiniku means “grilled meat” in Japanese and is similar in technique to the popular Korean barbecue when meat is quickly grilled on a gridiron or other surfaces.
Soy sauce, sake, and sugar are just a few of the ingredients used for the yakiniku marinade and is responsible for the golden-brown caramelization and savory-sweetness in the wagyu. Topped with freshly harvested daikon sprouts, the tiny veggies lend a spicy pop to every mouthful, leveling out the flavors.
And, oh, the texture of the meat, like miniature pillows of steak, is the raison d’être for this rice bowl. Each bite will confirm the Japanese cow’s coddled life of beer and back rubs, the marbled meat caressing your tongue. That lush life continues on in Gyoro-Gyoro’s succulent wagyu yakiniku rice bowl. But you’re on your own for the beer and back rub.
Gyoro-Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise, 17401 Ventura Blvd., Unit B-21, Encino, 818-205-9267.