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Nov 21, 2011 12:27 PM

Izakaya Bincho serving yakitori again?

Hi everyone,

I saw Tomo-san starting some binchotan charcoal and he had his yakitori menu out with some cooked skewers as a display. Unfortunately, they didn't start serving until 6:30 p.m. and I had somewhere to go before then. When did he start doing this again? How is it?

--the F-man

Izakaya Bincho
112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

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  1. this saddens me only because I would rather them find a new location already....

    1. Hi! I was about to post about this and then saw yours. Yes, he is serving yakitori again, and it is wonderful! It's his true passion, and it really shows. Luckily, he's still serving some izakaya favorites like spicy chicken wings, braised pork belly, karaage, and most notably, his exemplary agedashi tofu. I had almost every skewer, and they are delightful. For those who were lucky enough to have his yakitori before he had to change to izakaya only, he is back in top form. He himself has a new energy about him - you can really tell how proud he is to proclaim that he is a true yakitori master and to be able serve it again. The standouts for me were the chicken thigh and gizzard and his tsukune meatballs which are even more delicious grilled over charcoal.

      He was very busy, so I didn't get a chance to ask him how or why he was able to do yakitori again - and in fact, the restaurant did end up getting very smoky while I was there. But he is back at it, and is grilling with bincho-tan.

      I can't wait to go back!

      5 Replies
      1. re: heinous

        did he get a new ventilation system or what?

        1. re: ns1

          I don't know - I didn't get a chance to ask him about that. Like I said, the place did end up getting pretty smoky inside, so I don't know about the ventilation. Then again, I think he was shut down before because there was too much smoke outside and the other businesses complained. So maybe now he's just keeping it in. :)

          In any case, get down there as soon as you can in case he has to stop again!

          1. re: heinous

            Seriously, can he just move to a place more conducive to yaki'ing (and parking, and seating) already? Like, AWAY from the stinkin' boardwalk?

            1. re: TonyC

              I do wish for his sake that he could get a place that would get him more business so that he could really make full use of his talents. But I've kind of grown fond of this location. Parking is easy, and I've always been able to get a seat right away. And since the food is so consistently good, I don't mind a little smoke in the air - it's no worse than Korean BBQ. In any case, I'd follow him wherever he goes, but in the meantime, I personally think it's worth a trip to the boardwalk anytime. Especially when you can walk a few steps in one direction and down a few oysters to start off before dinner and then walk a few in the other afterwards and have 80 great beers on tap to finish the evening.

              1. re: TonyC

                Agreed, I wish he would move elsewhere but since I never got the chance to try his yakitori before I won't miss this chance now!

        2. Just returned from an epic night of yakitori at Izakaya Bincho (or should it be re-renamed Yakitori Bincho now?). We made a reservation for 7pm on a Thursday and found ourselves the only guests in the restaurant, which made for an awesomely up-close-and-personal experience.

          Tomo-san told us that he was able to start grilling again because he removed a large window fan which blew smoke out towards the pier. Now the smoke just drifts lazily around the room, but its mostly insignificant when compared to most KBBQs. There has also been some price increases on the menu, since the yen has fallen significantly against the dollar in the past few years, the imported bincho-tan costs twice as much as it did in 2008.

          It's all worth it though.

          The smoky tsukune meatballs are still mind-blowing. The skewers of sliced heart coated in Japanese salt are impeccable. The chicken breast dapped with sour plum and shiso leaf is unmatched. (Unfortunately he's not grilling cartilage or skin yet because he's concerned about the amount of smoke they produce). The zosui is not longer on the menu, but he will make it if you ask nicely.

          I concur with heinous is saying that Tomo is definitely back on his game.

          Izakaya Bincho
          112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

          4 Replies
          1. re: losangelicioustimes

            thanks for the confirmation and update

            1. re: losangelicioustimes

              "...since the yen has fallen significantly against the dollar in the past few years..."

              Actually, the yen as risen significantly against the dollar, which is making the bincho-tan charcoal a lot more expensive.

              1. re: Tripeler

                and everything else from Japan more expensive which sucks since I really wanted to travel to Japan in the near future but I hope it returns to at least 90 to 1.

                1. re: Tripeler

                  Oops, got that backwards. That was what I meant...

              2. Great news. Have only tried it sans yakitori, so time to go back now.