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Yakitori Totto -- recommendations please

e
emgoodman Jan 26, 2007 09:08 AM

Hi everyone, I'm headed to Yakitori Totto and would love some recommendations. I have both the NY Times and Nosher's review. Also, we plan on just walking in either tonight or tomorrow. Anyone think it'll be a very long wait? Thanks!

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9507E6D6113BF930A25753C1A9629C8B63
http://www.nycnosh.com/?p=236)

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  1. Miss Needle Jan 26, 2007 12:42 PM

    Depends on what time you walk in. Early enough, it should be okay. But after 7:00 or so you can expect a wait anwhere from 20 minutes to about an hout. It's a very small space. But so worth it.

    One of my favorites is the chicken heart. It's surprising because I usually hate chicken hearts (I don't use the word "hate" unless I really hate it). But at Totto, I think they must tenderize it or something because the texture is quite soft and silky. It's my favorite dish there. The kobe beef tongue is also on my list. The texture is unreal. Try the grilled shishito pepper as well. I've always wanted to try the knee bone, but they're always out of it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle
      j
      jmax Feb 1, 2007 10:28 AM

      How do you eat the knee bone?

      1. re: jmax
        k
        kenito799 Feb 2, 2007 09:30 AM

        chewy/crunchy, part fat, part meat, part cartilage. The breast bone cartilage is drier, more crunchy, less chewy. The flavors are really good and provide more textural contrasts with the other parts...creamy liver, chewy gizzard (really absorbs a smoky taste), juicy thigh meat, chewy, succulent, slightly gamey heart. Super delicious grilled fat in the skin or even better, the tail. Probably the least flavorful is the breast, which is why it is served with a great spicy Korean-style hot sauce or wrapped around asparagus. It was so good raw...I wish they would bring the sashimi back...

    2. Nosher Jan 26, 2007 03:09 PM

      If you're looking for recommendations, I'd say don't miss the chicken meatball, the chicken skin, the nebaneba, and the ebi (giant prawns). Those were my favorites from the meal and the post you linked to in your query. It's all pretty fantastic though!

      Nosher

      NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

      1. p
        POTsticker Jan 26, 2007 06:05 PM

        i've been here several times, here's some of my favorites:

        tori dango - steamed rice dumplings w/ chicken meatballs inside....
        gyoza - yes, their gyoza is just as on point as their chicken.
        as for yakitori - negima, teba, tsukune (both salt and tare are good, dip in raw quail egg w/ a sprinkle of shichimi red pepper), kuruma ebi.
        end the meal w/ either totto soup or sake chazuke.

        if totto is too busy.. you can always go to TORYS which does take reservations. menus and quality are identical, although i still prefer Totto.

        1. nyufoodie Jan 26, 2007 09:07 PM

          the chicken soup and the pork kubota skewers are also good...and the pannacotta like dessert with strawberry sauce is a good way to end your meal.

          1. e
            emgoodman Jan 29, 2007 06:32 PM

            REVIEW! We finally got to Yakitori Totto. We went on Friday night (2 people, 8:30) and the wait was 30-45 minutes, so we decided to give a shot tonight (Monday). The wait for 2 people at 8:45 was only about 5-10 minutes. We got seated at the bar so we got to see all the action by the grill. It's great because you literally watch the meat come off the grill, get served up and then see it placed in front of you. Also, the waitress was very sweet and helpful. The meal was amazing and definitely lived up my expectations. Here's a rundown:

            - Chicken meatballs (we got them all three ways) dipped in quail egg were UNREAL! So tender. I think my favorite was the mirin-and-soy glaze, but they were all so good that it's tough to pick a favorite.
            - Beef sirloin (special) skewer that was amazingly tender; served with onion and pepper.
            - Chicken heart (neither of us have ever had) was good; I'm definitely glad to have tried it although I dont know that I need to get it again.
            - Liver was the only item we weren't crazy about. The smoky taste was nice, but I had a bit of trouble with the consistency.
            - Fried tofu was delicious; even my husband, an avowed tofu-avoider, admitted it was good.
            - Tori dango (steamed rice dumplings w/ chicken meatballs inside) were terrific. The chicken meatball is so good, and when combined with the piping hot rice on the outside, was really surprising and tasty.
            - Chicken with egg, onion, rice and served with a side of some vegetable (I cant remember) was very good (again, the chicken carries the day)
            - We each got a glass of shochu (Japanese vodka) and fresh orange, which they serve with a juicer and they put the fresh juice in. Neat presentation and it tasted pretty good. Only complaint is that there was too much ice in the glass, so the drink was very watered down by the end.

            We ended spending $71 for two of us. It's not a cheap Monday night out, but definitely worth it. I can't wait to get back and try more items!

            1. t
              twobrain Jan 29, 2007 06:42 PM

              i liked the liver at yakitori toto

              ive gone at 5:30 right when it opens and never had to wait =)

              i heard they opened another restaurant on teh east side, same management

              1. w
                winebarb Jan 29, 2007 06:49 PM

                anything that "swims" on the menu?:)

                1 Reply
                1. re: winebarb
                  e
                  emgoodman Jan 30, 2007 07:45 AM

                  I'm hoping to try the East side location (Torys) soon. I believe that location takes reservations. I'm not sure about what swims on the menu. We were pretty fixated on the chicken last night.

                2. k
                  kenito799 Jan 30, 2007 09:44 AM

                  I can't connect you to my link on this subject I have posted reviews of both Totto and Tory's. Totto accepts reservations but the latest time is 7pm. Fridays I have arrived at 8 without reservation and waited up to 90 minutes for 4 people. Therefore I always make a reservation; also the tail, knee bone and breast bone are usually gone by around 7:30.
                  They have a very few items with seafood but definitely not the focus of the place. Glad you liked it!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kenito799
                    k
                    kenito799 Jan 31, 2007 10:28 AM

                    here's the link to my posts, now that the search function is working for me:
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/340086

                  2. t
                    thecurdnerd Jul 10, 2007 02:40 PM

                    Anyone have any guesses what the wait will be for 2 at 11pm on a Saturday night?

                    1. via jon Jul 10, 2007 02:44 PM

                      We always order "chicken tails". I know it sounds incredibly gross, but they taste so good we always order by dozens!

                      1. m
                        mimi7eater Feb 15, 2014 08:12 PM

                        I ordered "torinegi-don".
                        It is served with "onsen-egg".
                        It was worst chicken-don I have ever eaten in my life.
                        It tastes just only Sake.
                        I can not taste any chicken,but Sake.
                        I complained about it.
                        But waitress answered me "This is Mirin taste not Sake."
                        I am Japanese,
                        I know what the difference of taste and smell between Sake and Mirin.
                        I am sure that is Sake.
                        And also my family business in Japan is Sake store and Sake factory.
                        They can not fool me.
                        Even they must not fool customer like that way.
                        If always they serve like that, they must explain that "It serves with mixing of Sake." or change the name itself as "Sake-don with chicken and onion".
                        Sake has strong taste like destroy all any other flavors.
                        Specially, this meal was sprinkled with uncooked Sake.
                        Or, they have just abused me( I am just one customer.) by that way, haven't they?
                        I want to tell you all that In Japan, we don't have any meal sprinkled by uncooked Sake to destroy flavor.
                        If any Japanese restaurant served meal with full of smell of Sake, it means to hide any other unwelcome taste from it.

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