Wagyu schmagu

Am I the only one who bemoans the dominance of wagyu at upscale restaurants?

I enjoy a piece of wagyu nigiri as part of a sushi meal, but if it’s going to be grilled I’d rather have old-fashioned grass-fed, corn-finished, dry-aged beef.

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Wagyu is delicious. And I’m not talking about Japanese A5.

I’m talking about A5.



A5 is too rich imo. Only good in small quantities.

So what other kinds of wagyu aren’t too rich and who serves them?

Some places serve A4 for these purposes.

Tamaen in Lomita serves a thick cut American wagyu gyutan which is absurdly tasty. They also have a thin cut A5 Miyazaki ribeye that you can grill and eat with white rice which may be one of my most guiltiest of all pleasures. Miyazaki is my preferred prefecture for wagyu beef.

Wagyu burgers and braised short ribs make no sense to me.


With your handle, A5, I’ll go with your advice on beef.


Many Japanese people have expressed the same opinion to me.

Highly marbled beef, regardless of where it is from, is not enjoyable in large quantities for most people.

I don’t even know if I could finish a 16oz wagyu ribeye. But a 16oz USDA Prime corn-fed ribeye? Ooh boy. I will be pounding my fork and steak knife on the table.

On the other hand, there is a place for highly marbled beef. In a well-balanced menu, a small piece of wagyu can be magical.


Most high end steakhouses now serve American and Australian wagyu. Marble score of about 5/6 is the sweet spot. Bourban Steak serves an Australian tomahawk ribeye that’s amazing.

Only 16 oz.? Were you ordering from the children’s menu?


This might be a dumb question b/c I don’t really cook, but is a braised wagyu short rib also a “waste” b/c a less expensive type of short rib should be more than tasty enough when braised? Can I also assume from your post that you think BBQ wagyu short ribs makes sense?

Correct. The braised short rib is more about the melted down connective tissue as opposed to inter muscular fat where a prime short rib has sufficient amounts of inter muscular fat. And just because a piece of meat has a good amount of inter muscular fat doesn’t mean it will taste good. I have had many wagyu where a nice choice beef tasted better depending on the farm it came from. Meyer Ranch red angus prime beef is one example where the flavor of the beef is amazing compared to say some random wagyu with tons of fat.

A good cook can make a choice short rib taste amazing. Maybe using wagyu is more forgiving because of the amount of fat and restaurants can charge a premium.

I have had really amazing smoked brisket made from prime Creekstone beef and thought to myself why anyone would want more fat for so much meat to be consumed.

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American Wagyu is a cross-breed of Japanese and Angus cattle that has a propensity for more marbling than typical Angus. The result is that you can have grass fed versions of American Wagyu that are comparable to corn fed prime Angus in terms of marbling. If you are inclined towards grass fed beef (as I happen to be), then American Wagyu is a good solution.

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I don’t need a big steak of it but sukiyaki or shabu shabu is great.

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