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Nov 16, 2007 10:56 PM

Yakitori...Vote Here

Where's your favorite Yakitori place in town?

My review of Oh! Taisho:

Contrary to what Yaeri S. suggests in her entry on Tori Shin, another yakitori spot, do come to Oh! Taisho with a huge appetite. If you arrive without one, that's alright, because it's likely that by the time you make your way through the exorbitant crowds that spill out of the narrow space, you'd have built a healthy appetite. Once you do, go nuts.

Granted, the overall quality of the food is just so-so, but I love reveling like a kid in a candy store at the huge array of tasty small plates (many of which are fried and accompanied by mayonnaise--score!). It's fun to just lose your self-control and pick up anywhere from 5, 6...heck, 10 items because they look so darn good on the menu!

This evening we ordered an array of yakitori including chicken liver, chicken meat balls, chicken skin, garlic, and the prawns. Do order the chicken skin (requested to be prepared "extra crispy," an idea I got from Top Chef winner Ilan when I overheard him order his this way), but skip the prawns since it was a pain to have to peel and spit out bits of shell. Plus it just doesn't look very sexy.

Next, came the fried fish cake with cheese and fried octopus balls--both of which were doughy and definitely looked better than they tasted. The kimchee yaki-udon was pretty good, though.

For an unpretentious and rowdy time, Taisho is always a good option. Just make sure you allot ample time for a potential hour-long wait and try to leave high expectations at the door. For the most part, items here look better than they taste...but for what you pay (a modest $20+/person, large bottles of Asahi, included), it's a fair deal.

For rating and pictures:

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  1. Appreciate the report.

    Since you're inviting a vote, I've gotta ask, how does this place compare to Totto or Torys uptown?

    Yakitori Totto
    251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

    Yakitori Torys
    248 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022

    Oh! Taisho
    9 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    2 Replies
    1. re: squid kun

      totto or torys is much higher quality...that said the chicken meatballs at oh! taisho are really good

      1. re: Lau

        Haven't been to Torys, but Yakitori Totto is definitely much better than Oh! Taisho. But it is a bit more expensive. Dinner for two at Totto usually runs us (with only one drinking alcohol) about $80-$100. However, we are big fans of the kobe tongue. At $8 for a small skewer, it can definitely add up.

    2. I have only been to Torys at lunch and never to Taisho but to Village Yokocho around the corner many times. I like both but Tori Shin is to yakitori what Yasuda is to sushi in my humble opinion.

      3 Replies
      1. re: guttergourmet

        Had every conceivable chicken yakitori last night at Totto. Very good, reasonably priced but you get what you pay for. Tori Shin is a whole different league.

          1. re: Lau

            Fantastic- greater variety than Torys or Totto. Let the chef choose for you.

      2. I've never heard anything positive about Oh! Taisho from Japanese friends, who usually characterize it as average. Village Yokocho, around the corner, is below average. Torys and Totto are owned by the same company that owns Aburiya Kinnosuke. The yakitori scene in NYC is pretty limited.