S.D.'s first robatayaki in North County?
I find the help wanted section of the Japanese newspapers to be a great place to get some intel on the goings on in the Japanese restaurant scene. Anyway I recently came across a chef wanted ad for a new robatayaki in North County. Anyone else in the Chowsphere pick up on any additional information regarding this new project?
Robatayaki, often just called robata, are typically boisterous eateries where you are seated at a counter in front of the chefs, with an expansive and impeccable display of fresh ingredients in between. The chefs also man a fire fueled with bincho-tan, a high-fired and almost glass-like natural charcoal unlike any used in the U.S. Traditionally robatas lean heavily towards seafood of all kinds, but will also feature various meats and vegetables as well. One might think of them as yakitori-ya on steroids gone to sea...
They're modeled after the simple charcoal grilling that fishermen would do amongst themselves after bringing in their catch. For this reason one characteristic can be the use of long wooden oars (paddles) to deliver the cooked goods to the customer. Depending on the extravagance of the ingredient display the customer may be seated quite far from the chefs, at least when compared to, say, the seating at typical sushi or tempura bar..
Closest to SD where one can start to get a flavor of this style of eatery is at Shin Sen Gumi in Fountain Valley.
In addition to Kaito and Yumeya, a robata would be a nice addition to our growing North County collection of Japanese specialty eateries...