After watching a rerun of Bourdain’s No Reservations: Tokyo, I suddenly developed an immense craving for yakitori. Thank goodness for Yakitori Taisho.My friend and I waited a good 20-30 minutes before we were seated at the bar in this minuscule joint. However, after being seated, you actually get a sense that you were transported to Japan and were scarfing down yakitori skewers in the heart of Tokyo. Traveling half way across the world with just 1 swipe of your MetroCard. It’s a great feeling.We started off with an order of Okonomiyaki, which is a Japanese pancake with squid, shrimp and pork doused with okonomiyaki sauce and mayo (the yummy Japanese kind) then topped with bonito flakes and aonori. The first couple of bites were wonderful, but as it went on, it felt like a chore. The heaviness and thickness of the sauce and mayo starts to get to you. When we finally reached the middle, which had all the delicious good parts, we had already grown sick of the okonomiyaki. Next came an order of Grilled Miso Salmon. I prefer the stronger taste of cod, but this will have to do. The salmon was still pretty yummy, especially the charred salmon skin. Add a little squirt of lemon and a dollop of the daikon and you’re good to go. Oh my goodness… look at that cornucopia of awesomeness. Where to begin? This behemoth plate of heaven consists of an order of Yakitori Taisho’s A special and B special. The A special is a chicken lover’s dream. And by chicken lover, you better damn near love a chicken to eat chicken uterus. Ok, I’m just kidding, there’s no chicken uterus, but the special does contain a double serving of chicken, chicken skin, chicken gizzard, chicken meat ball, and pork. Yummm.. I feel like Andrew Zimmern. The B special consists of a more conservative fare, chicken, chicken meat balls, scallion, shrimp and beef. Boring Boring Boring, but delicious.
The shrimp at Taisho is not bad, but the damn shell of the shrimp is near impossible to peel off. Isn’t yakitori supposed to be quick? I don’t feel like spending my whole time peeling shrimp. What’s that on the right you might ask yourself. Steak?Gyutan! aka Grilled Beef Tongue. Once you get past the fact that you’re almost making out with a cow, cow tongue is one of the most amazing things in the world. The odd texture keeps you baffled until the very next bite. Is it chewy? Is it tender? Is it tough? What is it? Well let me tell you, it’s delicious, that’s what it is.Back to the lovely chicken. On the left, you have your more traditional chicken skewer, on the right you have a grilled chicken gizzard. To be honest, it was actually pretty good. The gizzard has a rougher and tougher texture than regular chicken meat and also has a stronger and more bitter flavor.
Yakitori Taisho Scores:
Food: 7/10 – The yakitori did end up satiating my craving, but unfortunately the okonomiyaki did not.
Restaurant Environment: 8/10 – Although I don’t really physically fit in the size of the restaurant, the mental vacation to Tokyo was a delight
Service: 7.5/10 – The food was brought out quickly, but we could barely fit it on the little space we had. Thanks for just staring at us while we struggle.
Value: 8/10 – A buck for just about anything but a cluck.