Thursday, November 29, 2012

New York: Yakitori Totto

For dinner on Halloween, we went to Yakitori Totto, the sister restaurant of the super popular ramen spot in NY, Totto Ramen.  We didn't have a reservation, and they almost denied us, but eventually they let us dine if we can finish within one hour.  Not the ideal situation, but we took that offer haha.

Yakitori Totto claims to be the best yakitori place in NYC.  I'm a huge fan of yakitori, especially with so many near where I live, so definitely excited to see if Yakitori Totto can live up to its hype and the Totto brand name.

Yakitori Totto
251 W 55th St 2nd Fl
Between Broadway & 8th Ave
Midtown West
New York, NY 10019

Entrance is stairs leading up to the second floor.  There's Jimmy doing the fob sign.

The sign outside.  Japanese Hiragana but in Chinese, it literally translates to "Bird Man."

Where the grilling happens.  Very small place.  There's the bar near the kitchen and only a handful of tables.  No wonder you need reservations...

Front of the menu. They have a full menu on their website.

Rather than going with the usual Sapporo, Kirin, or Asahi, we got Ebisu!

Their policy.  $20 per person at least.  Trust, very easy to hit that amount.

tuna sashimi
First up was Maguro Zuke, which is tuna sashimi in garlic flavored soy sauce.  You can see the edge is browned from the marinade.  Very light though.

tako wasa
Tako Wasa.  Raw octopus seasoned with wasabi.  I'm not a huge fan of wasabi so I didn't care much for this.

shirauo karaage
Shirauo Kara-age.  This was an awesome appetizer.  Fried small silver fish with matcha salt

matcha shio
Yup, salt flavored with matcha, the ground up tea powder!  Very unique!

kawa (skin)
First skewer up, Kawa, which is chicken skin!

Wished it was a bit crispier, but still tasty. 

ton toro (pork neck)
Tongue.  Everybody likes beef tongue except for me haha.  Pretty good though!

hatsu (heart)
Gizzard.  I think?  Hahaha

kamo negima (duck & scallion)
Kamo Negima.  Duck + scallion?  Yup.

Tsukune.  Chicken meatball is my favorite yakitori items.  We got one of each, sauced and salt-seasoned. Not bad, but not my favorite (Torihei in Torrance).  Definitely like the sauced one better.  Nice sweet soy glaze.

pork mustard
Now... this one is pork for sure... but I forget which one =|  Maybe just pork loin?  Pork mustard?  Kurobata pork though!

Negi Pon (pork loin w/ scallion & ponzu)
Negi Pon.  This one was memorable haha.  Pork loin topped with scallions and ponzu.  Love the acidity. 

hiza nankotsu (soft knee bone)
Hiza Nankotsu.  Soft knee bone, aka chicken cartilage.  Crunchy and chewy! 

shishito peppers
Shishito peppers and miso paste.

eringi bacon
Eringi Bacon.  Mushroom + bacon is a combo well received.

harami (skirt steak)
Harami.  Marinated skirt steak.  Nice sauce.  A little overcooked though!

yaki onigiri (grilled rice ball - miso)
Yaki Onigiri.  We got this sauced and salt-seasoned to try both.  I actually prefer the salt version better this time.  It's like a chewier mochi!

sunagimo (gizzard)
Hatsu, chicken heart.  One of the most popular yakitori items anywhere.  Chewy.  Still sorta bloody?

Everything was good and we got to try a lot of things since we shared among 6 people, but man, it was really pricey.  Average for a skewer there was around $3 while most places is $1.50-$2.  I can see why it is so popular though since Totto does yakitori right and for NYC, it's something a lot more unique.  If Totto was in LA, especially South Bay area, it'd have a tough time :P


Kaede NYC said...

Seeing this blog during lunch time makes me sooooooo hungry!