Photo: Eater LA

The 4 month old izakaya in Virgil Village has been buzzing ever since it launched – from collaborations with influencers like h.woo, coverage in every prevalent food magazine, to their recent announcement for Makanai Mondays, Budonoki is looking like it’s going to be an LA staple for years to come. Makanai translates to “staff meal” or family meal, which is the meal the team eats before the shift. As a service worker for the last 4 years, family meal is one of my favorite parts about working at a restaurant. It’s never anything super fancy, usually simple dishes using ingredients that the kitchen has excess of or product that needs to be used before it goes bad. But there’s something so intimate and bonding about sharing a home cooked meal with your team before working a long shift.

Budonoki’s decision to extend this privilege to the public is something I’m a big fan of. It aligns with their identity, which is rooted in nostalgia and hospitality, and is extremely accessible to the public – for $12, someone can get a delicious meal that rotates every other week. Makanai Mondays start March 4th and will repeat every other Monday with rotating drink specials.

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Photo: Budonoki

Makanai Mondays almost remind me of Happy Hour, having affordable food and drinks. However, what Budonoki is doing feels more personal and community-based. I’m a big fan of it and you should be too. Catch me at the bar on March 4th and join me over a yummy cocktail and their Hambagu Plate.