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Favorites at Hiro's Yakko-San

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Nick Dec 12, 2006 05:17 AM

I'm slowly (ok, very slowly) making my way through the menu at Hiro's. Every time I go, I always wind up asking the people around me what they're having or asking one of the guys working the line what it was that they just sent out. I was wondering what everyone's favorite dishes were. I haven't had anything there I didn't like, but so far I'm most fond of the kimchi hot pot, the oyako don, and the chrysanthemum tempura.

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  1. lax2mia RE: Nick Dec 12, 2006 01:28 PM

    Pork Belly when it's on special (it's touch and go though, sometimes good, sometimes bad), pork w/ kimchee, crispy bok choy (greasy but good), whatever fish with scallion & ginger. My girlfriend loves the curries, but they're a little odd for me.

    1. Frodnesor RE: Nick Dec 12, 2006 02:55 PM

      Oh, boy, talk about a subject close to my heart. We go almost every week and I still find new stuff to try. An undoubtedly incomplete list of what we've tried, many of which are from the specials (I'm going to make the list and then put stars by some of my favorites):

      -chicken katsu (for the kids)
      *-spicy miso cod
      -flash-fried bok choi
      *-hamachi usuzukuri (very thin-sliced yellowtail sashimi, to which they'll add slivers of jalapeno and ponzu)
      -kabocha tempura
      *-maitake mushroom tempura (sometimes on the specials)
      *-hamachi kama (often a special - collar of a yellowtail broiled and served w/ ponzu; a little work, but worth it for the delicious meat)
      -salmon kama & belly (occasional special - outrageously rich and fatty; you'll feel like a bear fattening up for winter)
      -grilled eggplant
      -sauteed pork w/ eggplant and miso
      *-spicy chile shrimp
      -salmon ocha zuke (over rice w/ green tea poured over it - very refreshing)
      *-okonomiyaki (they call it a japanese pizza - an odd omelette type concoction with cabbage, fish, fish flakes and mayo - really rich and an excellent late night munchie)
      -uni & ikura pasta
      -udon w/ chicken and vegetable
      -fried chicken gizzards (not bad, but not sure what the point is)
      -seafood miso ae (they call this something a little different, but it's tuna, conch octopus and greeen onion with a mustardy miso sauce - really good)
      *-grilled pork belly (regular special - little slivers, nice and crispy)
      -sanma (like a big sardine, grilled whole including innards - sometimes a little dry but if you like strongly flavored silver-skinned fish like sardine or mackerel, etc. it's good; often a special)
      -steak w/ garlic sauce
      -tongue stew
      - clams sakemushi (cooked in sake)
      *-grilled fiji shrimp (they haven't had these for a while, but when they are on the specials they are absolutely delicious)
      -ikura onigiri (since they don't do regular sushi, this is as close as you can get - it's like a pyramid of sushi rice stuffed inside with salmon roe - or salmon or a couple other things - with a sheet of nori wrapped around it; almost as good are the little japanese pickles that come with it)
      -jack tataki
      -tuna tataki
      -jack nanbanzuke (sometime special - this was surprisingly good - jack, a somewhat strong-flavored fish, fried and served cold, sort of pickled with vinegar and peppers - almost exactly like a jamaican fish escovitch)

      I'm sure there are many things I'm forgetting.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Frodnesor
        j
        johnloomis RE: Frodnesor Dec 18, 2008 11:41 AM

        Man, Frod... I've wanted this list from you for months... just never thought to ask. Thanks!

      2. f
        fla gal RE: Nick Dec 12, 2006 04:37 PM

        Sounds like a great spot but WHAT city is this restaurant in?

        3 Replies
        1. re: fla gal
          hatless RE: fla gal Dec 12, 2006 09:48 PM

          North Micmi Beach, on southbound Dixie Hwy.

          1. re: hatless
            netmover RE: hatless Jan 5, 2008 09:28 AM

            Is this Hiro's place just north of Lorenzo's everyone is raving about?

            1. re: netmover
              t
              The Chowfather AKA sobe RE: netmover Jan 5, 2008 09:37 AM

              Yes. Net, you will enjoy it.

              -----
              Hiro's Yakko-San
              3881 NE 163rd Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

        2. Frodnesor RE: Nick Dec 12, 2006 05:48 PM

          North Miami. A few blocks north of 163rd Street on Dixie Highway.

          1. n
            Nick RE: Nick Dec 12, 2006 11:09 PM

            I plan to get the hamachi kama next time. The last time I went, the couple next to me at the bar got an order and then got another later in their meal. It looked pretty good. Cheek meat is the way to go.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Nick
              t
              The Chowfather AKA sobe RE: Nick Jan 5, 2008 09:05 AM

              Finally tried the Hamchi Kama last night. Great stuff, very flavorful, highly recommend trying it.

            2. c
              canned applause RE: Nick Dec 16, 2006 04:02 PM

              You must try their triggerfish jerky---really different and really tasty. Also highly recommended: kinpira renkon (sauteed lotus root). Even the more standard fare (standard in relation to the ecclectic specials, that is) rates well; I make a pretty good Zaru Soba at home but theirs is just that much better, if you know what I mean.

              Oh, and the Japanese Sundae rocks.

              7 Replies
              1. re: canned applause
                f
                FoodDude2 RE: canned applause Dec 15, 2008 12:35 PM

                Any new favorites out there??

                1. re: FoodDude2
                  Frodnesor RE: FoodDude2 Dec 15, 2008 01:59 PM

                  - takoyaki! (octopus dumplings; and there's a waitress who always says it like this, with the exclamation point, whenever I order it).
                  - spicy manila clams (a semi-regular special).
                  - crispy fish & onion salad
                  - local octopus ceviche (occasional special).
                  - black pork sausage
                  - motsuni (pork intestine stew, occasional special; not for everyone).
                  - kimpira gobo (sauteed burdock root).

                  1. re: Frodnesor
                    ankimo RE: Frodnesor Dec 17, 2008 05:14 PM

                    nasu buta miso itame (eggplant+pork) is always good

                    1. re: ankimo
                      Frodnesor RE: ankimo Dec 17, 2008 05:54 PM

                      yup (but that was already on my first list). Kimchee buta is good too.
                      Forgot to mention half-dried squid (occasional special).
                      Saw them making the grilled whole squid for someone recently, looked and smelled good.

                      Menu is available online now ->
                      http://yakko-san.com/

                      Anyone ever tried the spaghetti "Napolitano"? Apparently it's a Japanese "yoshoku" tradition.
                      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/26/din...

                      1. re: Frodnesor
                        f
                        FoodDude2 RE: Frodnesor Dec 18, 2008 10:39 AM

                        Had a great meal there the other night.

                        Crispy Bok Choy--AWESOME
                        Tempura Oysters--Delicious and still moist and flavorful on the inside
                        Takoyaki--(Fried Octopus balls) interesting and good but not something I loved
                        --Broiled Hamachi (Yellowtail) Cheek--I am not a big fish eater but this may have been one of the best pieces of fish I have ever eaten. I was picking at the bones. Delicious
                        --Su Udon soup with Shrimp Tempura-- Very good but nothing out of the ordinary
                        --Original Fried Rice--solid but nothing spectacular

                        Also, I love the crispy pork belly although I didn't get it on this trip.

                        Anyone have thoughts on the slice fish jerky, or the Angel Hair uni ikara or the grilled dried sardines I saw on the special list?

                        1. re: FoodDude2
                          Frodnesor RE: FoodDude2 Dec 18, 2008 11:18 AM

                          Some folks love the trigger fish jerky, I think it's OK, my wife thought it tasted like cat food. So I guess there's a range of opinions.

                          I like the pasta w/ uni and ikura though on a certain level I think it's a waste of good uni. But if you're on the fence about sea urchin or intimidated by the raw version, it's a good place to start.

                          I really like the various dried and half-dried fish items but they are not for everyone.

                          1. re: Frodnesor
                            f
                            FoodDude2 RE: Frodnesor Aug 31, 2009 02:13 PM

                            Had the trigger fish jerky on my last trip. Really interesting. Not exactly what I was expecting but surprisingly good. Not nearly as fishy as one might expect. Was not expecting it to be heated or grilled but it was nicely toasted (or some other method of heating) which was pleasant.

                            Love this thread so I figured I'd give it a bump up and see if anything new or interesting arrived at Hiro's in the last few months??

              2. Frodnesor RE: Nick Aug 31, 2009 03:28 PM

                - Tasmanian ocean trout sashimi
                - jack nanbanzuke (served cold, in a slightly sweet vinegar sauce w onions, etc. - similar to a Jamaican escovitch).
                - tuna carpaccio, garnished Western style with shards of parmesan, capers, olive oil (didn't expect to like this but did).
                - una tama tofu - omelette of eel & tofu, very light and fluffy.
                - New Caledonia blue shrimp - salt grilled whole, head on. Delicious. Had these a couple months ago, haven't seen on most recent visits.

                www.foodforthoughtmiami.com

                14 Replies
                1. re: Frodnesor
                  muushupork RE: Frodnesor Jan 10, 2011 09:01 PM

                  I always see the uni and ikura pasta going out but cant imagine paying 14 dollars for what i see on the plate. is this a good assumption on my part?

                  1. re: muushupork
                    Frodnesor RE: muushupork Jan 11, 2011 04:12 AM

                    Depends how much you like uni, and if you want it served that way. Uni is expensive - if you get the uni sashimi when they have it on special, it will run $15-20 a serving - and you get a decent amount in the pasta, so the price is not necessarily out of whack.

                    1. re: Frodnesor
                      m
                      michelleats RE: Frodnesor Jan 11, 2011 05:13 AM

                      I'd just be worried about the uni flavor being diluted too much after being mixed into the pasta and that they're using the frozen stuff in trays. If they serve it year round and not just in the winter, when uni is in season, I'd guess they're going with the frozen stuff.

                      Btw, the night we went, there was uni sashimi on offer for $19 -- but very sadly, they were out by 8 p.m. The waiter said they were sourcing from Santa Barbara.

                      On a different note... Frodesnor (and anyone else who wants to chime in), do you know of any truly good places for sushi / sashimi in Miami or elsewhere in the vicinity?

                      1. re: michelleats
                        t
                        tpigeon RE: michelleats Jan 11, 2011 06:25 AM

                        Naoe is the best by far - pretty expensive but worth it - it is a 3 hour sit down experience btw.

                        1. re: tpigeon
                          m
                          michelleats RE: tpigeon Jan 11, 2011 06:50 AM

                          Thanks, tpigeon. Since it you seem to visit NYC pretty frequently (I've seen a number of your posts on the Manhattan board), do you happen to know how Naoe compares to, say, Yasuda or Kanoyama? Also, what do you mean by "pretty expensive"? Pretty expensive is pretty relative. :)

                          (BTW, I should insert a disclaimer and apology for harping on NYC eats so much: I don't think NYC food is better at all in many ways; it just happens to be my own basis for comparison, since I live there.)

                        2. re: michelleats
                          Frodnesor RE: michelleats Jan 11, 2011 07:57 AM

                          I am fairly certain you can source fresh uni year round, it's just that in most places the quality is better in winter months - but there is no reason to assume if they are serving it year round that they are using frozen product (and at Yakko-San I would seriously doubt that). The fact that it's sold in trays is also no indication that it's been frozen.

                          I agree with TP that Naoe has the best sushi to be found in Miami and a unique experience. As for cost, the bento box is only $26, but if you go through all of the rounds of omakase nigiri you can spend >$100pp (still nowhere near the prices of highest-end NY places).

                          For a lower-budget and less time-consuming experience, I am a big fan of Japanese Market / Sushi Deli on the 79th Street Causeway. More info on that here ->

                          http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/20...

                          -----
                          Sushi Deli
                          1412 79th Street Causeway, Miami Beach, FL 33141

                          1. re: Frodnesor
                            m
                            michelleats RE: Frodnesor Jan 11, 2011 08:54 AM

                            Phew. Naoe sounds like a bargain if it is good. I would really like to try it. I'll sniff around Sushi Deli, too, since I've read a lot about Japanese Market more generally. Thanks very much for the tip.

                            I am not an uni harvesting expert at all, but I believe that in warmer water, uni tastes bitter. If it is being shipped from somewhere very far away where the water is cold, I'd guess that sourcing the fresh stuff would be very expensive. Even restaurants like Yasuda use frozen uni in certain seasons, I've heard, and certainly high end non-sushi restaurants do.

                            -----
                            Sushi Deli
                            1412 79th Street Causeway, Miami Beach, FL 33141

                            1. re: michelleats
                              t
                              tpigeon RE: michelleats Jan 11, 2011 09:15 AM

                              I think Yasuda is a little better than Naoe, but not much. I have not been to Kanoyama. Frod is dead on about the pricing. The bento box is moderately priced but the sushi afterwards gets more expensive. I am assuming you are eating lots of additional sushi and sashimi after the bento box. Pricing for the sushi seems similar to Yasuda.

                              1. re: tpigeon
                                m
                                michelleats RE: tpigeon Jan 11, 2011 11:50 AM

                                Thanks, tpigeon!

                              2. re: michelleats
                                Frodnesor RE: michelleats Jan 11, 2011 01:01 PM

                                Many higher-end sushi places (including Naoe and Sushi Deli) routinely ship fish and seafood overnight from Japan, even straight from Tsukiji Market, and so shipping overnight either from Japan or from Santa Barbara or Maine (the two most prominent US sources) I'm sure is not cheap, but not prohibitive either. From what I read, the Japanese and US seasons are somewhat reversed - Japanese production is best March-September, while Maine's harvesting season runs September-April; Santa Barbara harvests year round though I think winter is still thought of as the "season."

                                The best uni I ever had was at Naoe, sourced from somewhere off the Oregon coast. FWIW, that was in the dead of summer. You can see it here ->
                                http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/20...

                                -----
                                Sushi Deli
                                1412 79th Street Causeway, Miami Beach, FL 33141

                                1. re: Frodnesor
                                  Blind Mind RE: Frodnesor Jan 11, 2011 01:45 PM

                                  I usually get out of NAOE for somewhere in between $100-$200. The range has a lot to do with how much sake gets consumed (I happen to really like the $60 bottle) and how many options he has for sushi. The more he has, the more I eat. Chowfather and I once sat at the bar at NAOE and debated whether it's possible to just eat the bento and then leave? The verdict? It's not if you are normal. To our surprise, immediately after we reached our conclusion, a couple came in for the woman's bday dinner and left after the bento!! Only thought in my mind was that she needed a new boyfriend as there is no way I would allow someone to skip out on kickass sushi on their bday, regardless of its price.

                                  Oh, but back to the original point of this post. My favs @ Yakko are the takoyaki and the spicy manilla clams, fo sho!

                                  -----
                                  NAOE
                                  175 Sunny Isles Boulevard, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

                                  1. re: Blind Mind
                                    m
                                    michelleats RE: Blind Mind Jan 11, 2011 02:10 PM

                                    Hah. Great anecdote, Blind Mice. I don't have as much capacity as I'd like and am alas far from normal -- but I'm absolutely prepared to go to NAOE hungry!

                                    -----
                                    NAOE
                                    175 Sunny Isles Boulevard, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

                                    1. re: michelleats
                                      Blind Mind RE: michelleats Jan 12, 2011 05:50 AM

                                      Blind Mice? LOL

                                      1. re: Blind Mind
                                        m
                                        michelleats RE: Blind Mind Jan 12, 2011 06:47 AM

                                        Right. Blind Mind. My reading comprehension needs work.

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