My Asian boy (yes, he's ALL mine) Jer and I were continuing our Asian persuasion restaurant visits because, let's face it, we live for that (well, I know I do!). We had been meaning to go to Otto Yakitori Isakaya and had actually tried but it was closed for a private event. DAMN IT!
Anyhoot, I've been to this address before, when it was another Asian resto that served up a LOT of body parts. Jer bear used to have these evenings called Strange Meats where we'd eat kidneys, ears, hearts, the whole shabang. Ugh. As a food blogger, I would LOVE to be able to eat, like, chicken feet, or eyeballs (ugh, I just puked in my mouth a little bit), but I just cannot. I CANNOT.
The place itself is a bit on the dark side, with some very vibrant drawings on the walls, and lots of reggae music. Yes. Reggae. Basically, songs that have been reggae-ed. Not an uber fan of this genre. Especially not in a Japanese restaurant. I mean, what???
We started with a salad and miso soup. The salad was... meh, mesclun. But you know what, it was fancy mesclun. Don't ask me what that means but it wasn't as bad as usual. Maybe because it was uber fresh, I don't know. There was yuzu vinaigrette which was just very pleasant and not overpowering because they put just the right amount.
The soup was very.. fishy. They had obviously put bonito flakes in there. I like fishy but this was a tad too much. A nice surprise was that they make their own tofu which was really soft and tasty.
Chicken skewers, skin skewers and chicken BUTT. Hahaha, butt. The chicken was marinated and grilled and it was just perfect. You know, that perfect chicken? Ya, this was it. The skin: let's just say we're getting a bit too close to strange meats here, but I actually really enjoyed it. Obviously I only had a couple bites and left the rest to Jer bear because he can handle it more than me. Ya, he can handle SKIN. The butt. As Sir Mix A Lot once said: I like big butts and I cannot lie. I just had to put that in there. The butt was, wait for it, PACKED with flavor! Hahaha! Mmmmmm!!! SO good!
Pork tonkatsu and chicken curry. I've never had curry with more than one meat, so at first, I must admit, I found it whhheird. Jer was like 'meh, just put in all the meat. ALL the meat!'. The tonkatsu tasted great and was surprisingly not that fried. There wasn't that much chicken, but the pollo (yes, I'm goin' international, baby!) that was in there was full of chickeny flava! The rice was on par and the sauce was very tasty, on the thick side-o-things. Put a bit of nanami (Asian chili flakes) on top and you got yourself a winner! I have to say though that it was a big portion and it was quite heavy. Quite.
Service was great, quite unlike any other Asian resto, I must admit. We got water quickly and she even asked how we liked our meal. Dang!
And now, the scores!
My goal is to try every isakaya in town so I doubt I'll be going back, but certainly not because I didn't enjoy ma meal!