In just little under a month, Yakitori Taisho has become a regular part of our rotation. We like the mellow ambiance of the place, the rather cozy, somewhat intimate (12seats)interior....and of course the yakitori! The Chef is quite skilled, aided by just one helper and the waiter/server.......I can imagine it must be nuts if the place is packed......which it has not been during our visits. The Chef is a really nice guy, somewhat reserved, but very friendly once he gets to know you. He is from Nagoya,a classically trained Yakitori-man. Nagoya is quite significant here....especially for one of the dishes below. He really started opening up when we started chatting about Nagoya Cochin, the special breed of chicken Nagoya is famous for.....also for lively discussion on torisashi, basashi, okonomiyaki (he is a fan of Hiroshima style, while the Missus argues for Osaka style), and other things......
I'm going to list our favorites in descending order.....excluding the items I've posted on already. I will say, the buta-shiso, tsukune, and teba are at the top of our list, so hopefully you've read that post.
The Beef Tongue:
Shades of Tanyaki Shinobu, this wonderful piece of braised, then grilled tongue would fit right in....
All the classic flavors in one bite. The exterior of the tongue has a touch if crispness from being grilled over the bincho which also adds just a hint of smoke flavor. This is one heck of a piece of meat on a stick. They don't always have it since I was told it takes a bit of time to make. You'll find it on the specials board.
Aka Himo (chicken vein):
I love the slightly chewy texture and this is full of flavor from both the bincho and the dip in the tare.
Kimo (chicken liver):
I'm not a fan, but the Missus just loves this.
On the other hand, I love the....
For some reason, the gizzards here seem to absorb a nice amount of smokey flavor and it has just the right amount of "crunch" for me.
Not to be confused with the really good grilled vesion I posted on earlier. Nagoya is well known for their chicken wings....so when I asked if he served that style of wings....he said, of course.
No miso based sauce on this, but the other qualities of Nagoya-teba was present.....a generous amount of black pepper and sesame seeds. Fried very nicely, crisp and light, touched with a nice sweet-soy; what's not to like?
Well, of course. A bit lighter than the version at Yakyudori, this has a more pronounced ginger flavor.
A very nice rendition......
Was nice and meaty, the katsuobushi adding another layer of savory flavors.
The Aspara Bacon:
Was fine. Pretty much by the book.
Not quite sure why the Missus loves quail eggs so much.
Mekabu with quail egg:
Lovely gooeyness, with a mellow ocean flavor. I'm told that mekabu comes from the base of the sea flora from which wakame grows.
The one item which we felt did not quite reach the heights we wanted was the yaki nasu.
The eggplant just didn't seem to have absorbed any of the bincho flavor and was on the bland side.
Nagoya is known for their chicken, so we fully expected the yakitori to be pretty good....it's that beef tongue which really surprised us. In combination with the other items that are our favorite here, we have a pretty nice rotation going.
We enjoy the almost one-on-one experience here, it's much more personal. Though, like I said, I'm not sure how things are when they're busy. The robata dishes here tend to be less salty than Yakyudori and a bit more refined. And no, it's not a loud and roaring place to grab brews and meat-on-a-stick with coworkers.......which makes it nice for date night. Which we've been having quite often lately.
5185 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92117
Tues - Sunday 4pm - 11pm