I finally got there tonight and dragged along my wife and kids who brightened when there was something more than a hole in the wall behind the front door. Shumai started us off, and we then went to Yakitori : chicken thigh with green onion, chicken breast, okra, shiitake mushrooms, and finally pork. My son had beef ramen, my daughter fried tofu, and I countered with salmon sashimi. Everything was superior. Each taste was individual; the seasoning subtle and superb with mostly the correct amount of salt and pepper. The salmon sashimi was more tender than any cooked salmon I've had outside the northwest while being a huge portion for a heck of a lot less
Than what they charge in Seattle where they do you a favor to let you partake of the local catch. Not only is this the best Yakitori I've had in so cal, but it's the best Japanese food I've eaten in San Diego. And since every dish was amazing down to the ladies desert choice of fried mochi, it might be the best restaurant of any kind north of Tijuana and south of LA.
Yakitori is definitely their strong point. They use bincho (imported white charcoal) which gives a great smokey flavor. The owner has done this for a long time (originally from Nagoya, then Hillcrest, now Convoy) and it shows. Ramen is good for San Diego.
For a period of time, my son was addicted to yakitori and this and yakitori koubou made great family meals. Yakyudori has better yakitori but koubu is easier to get a table, has other specialities, and is pretty good as well.
<"The salmon sashimi was more tender than any cooked salmon I've had outside the northwest...">
Why am I not surprised. Fish raw is always a lot softer than fish cooked. Perhaps I missed something in your description?
This sounds like a really good family-style Izakaya. I am curious as to how they do the okra.
Really good report on this place, thanks for writing it.
Okra is simply seasoned and grilled. It's baby okra and there is a crunch to the skin and then a tenderness to the inside without being mushy. I usually eat okra boiled or fried, so this was a real game changer for me. As to the sashimi, in many places, I find it soft, but chewy. Not here.
I was at Yakitori Yakyudori a year ago. Good solid yakitori, though I only had a skewer or two (think it was just the standard thigh and I forgot what the other item was) and their shio ramen is decent, even if simplified by Japanese (or Taiwanese) standards. Not the best noodles but for a place that has everything common Japanese under a roof, it's convenient.
Great atmosphere too. Someone in my party ordered sashimi (think it was saba) and that was worse than the store bought kind.... Focus on the yakitori, and ramen and you'll be fine. But I think it's more of a yakitori themed izakaya, than it is a ramen restaurant despite them doing this pretty decently.