|Rice balls, edamame, grilled squid|
|Grilled eel and avocado roll|
|Tuna tartare over rice|
|Sets A & B with quail eggs|
|Cold block of tofu|
My husband and I planned a blind double date for our friends, but had no idea where to go in the city. There have been too many new places popping up since we moved to NJ in 2007. For some reason, friends were unwilling to suggest places for us to go, so my husband and I just decided we'd have our own walk down memory lane while doing some matchmaking.
Our first stop was Yakitori Taisho. We used to go here after clubbing, lounging, or bar-hopping, hoping to fill our bellies with good meals before heading home. Because of the overpowering smell of the grill in such a tiny and narrow place, it was best to go there as a last stop. But on this night, we didn't care too much about the smell, and we were also hungry from a long drive to the city on a Friday night. I took control of the ordering for the four of us, with my girlfriend chiming in on dishes she wanted to try.
The wait was long and the dining is informal, so the food just came out as they were prepared. We snacked on edamame while drinking Sapporo on draft, followed shortly by the rice balls and grilled squid. The rice was stuffed with bonito and caviar. These are old favorites of mine.
My friend picked the octopus balls, eel and avocado roll, and the tuna tartare. I don't like raw fish, so I passed on the tuna. The octopus balls weren't anything special and the roll was interesting with the rice on the outside warm from grilling.
The main attraction here is the grilled meat, so I ordered sets A & B which include 10 skewers each. There was a variety of chicken, pork, beef balls, chicken livers, chicken skin, and scallions. We added quail eggs, which added a different texture and flavor to the entire meal. By this time, the cold tofu finally arrived, and so I ate my skewers with the tofu in place of rice.
Customer service is basically non-existent here, and so going here is really for the food and the experience of dining in a typical cramped NYC space, on uneven and mismatched wooden tables and stools.