Friday, July 4, 2008

Yakitori and Yogurt

Do you like meat on a stick? Or any food on a stick? Then you will love yakitori, which is Japanese grilled items on skewers. Mr. Monkey's family and I went to Yakitori Koshiji for dinner on Wednesday.
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Before you get your meaty sticks, you are served raw vegetables and a sweet and ever-so-slightly spicy peanut-based sauce. Simple but refreshing.
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Cold sliced cucumbers and seaweed also precede your meat.
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We shared an appetizer of salmon skin salad. The salmon skin was thin, crisp, and delicate, even if the plate was ridiculous and completely out of place.
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Skewers a la carte range from $2.00 to $5.00. At dinner, there is a minimum order of five skewers per person. You may also opt for a set combination, which is what I did, for $22.00 to $25.00.

From left to right: chicken meatballs, juicy pork belly with shiso leaf, chicken with green onion, and asparagus with thin pork. Each and every bite was delectably smoky and drool-inducing.
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Mr. Monkey's father order some grilled unagi and rice. I love eel. This was very well prepared and had a lovely charred sweetness.
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Here is the soboro rice that came with my combination. Soboro is seasoned minced meat, chicken in this case. This was so great and reminded me of childhood.
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Mr. Monkey and his brother shared some grilled garlic. Yes, just plain garlic!
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Soup. It was just a clear broth. I could take it or leave it.
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The toumorokoshi ($3.75) was a-MAIZE-ing. Get it? Get it?! Stop groaning. Seriously, though, the corn was my favorite of the night. It was so sweet and fresh, and the corn's natural flavor was perfectly complemented by the smokiness of the grill. Just posting these pictures makes me wistful. Oh. So. Good.
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From left to right: shrimp, beef with ginger miso sauce, Japanese eggplant, and spicy chicken wings. Awesome. If you're a spice wuss, stay away from the eggplant and wings.
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From left to right: smelt fish, enoki mushrooms and onions, duck breast with miso sauce, and more spicy chicken wings. These were not my skewers, although I did sample a bite of each. The duck was hands-down my fave from this array.
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Lamb chop ($5.00). Very big. Very lamb-y. I think I will pass next time.
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After dinner, Mr. Monkey and I headed to the new Yogurtland nearby.
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If you haven't been to Yogurtland, its selling point is that it is self-serve, and you can have as much or as little yogurt as you want and top it off with as few or as many toppings for $0.30 an ounce.
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Mr. Monkey got a smorgasbord in a cup: plain tart swirled with blueberry tart, strawberry tart swirled with New York cheesecake, and peach swirled with mango topped with strawberries, kiwi, blackberries, mochi, coconut, and Gummi bears.
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Frankly, his bizarre concoction looked disgusting to me.

I tried every single flavor of yogurt offered. If there had been other customers waiting, I wouldn't have done so, but business was slow, so I went for it. It took me several minutes with my little tester cups. After all that, I decided that I still liked plain tart the most, even though Yogurtland's offering was really icy. I got plain tart with strawberries and mochi. Classic.
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But even bad yogurt is still good. And the self-serve aspect was nice. We spent a lot less than usual, even with Mr. Monkey's odd and massive conglomeration!


  1. corn, even if we eat too much of it in our western diets, is quite amaizeing (har har again) when fresh and simply grilled, i agree.

    this intolerant biatch hates spice wusses. she takes it personally, almost.

    the salmon skin plate looks like upscale casino with bad carpet from the late 80s to early 90s. yikes.

    i like grilled garlic at kbbq. they usually bring some peppers and garlic to throw on the grill next to your meat. yum. although it makes for pungent burps later on. sorry, not poo-related.

    yep, i think that's the same yogurtland with bad lighting and no customers i've been to. i like that i only spend $2ish rather than $5, but yeah, the yogurt is subpar and fruit toppings not quite as sweet and fresh, for some reason.

  2. Mmmmmmm it all looks so good! I love yakitori.

  3. Tsukune and unagi and grilled corn? I honestly did not think that these dishes were served in restaurants on this side of the Pacific Pond. I am drooling and incredibly jealous. You can't see me but I am sticking out my tongue at you right now. Please Fed Ex me some tsukune? Thank you.

  4. we all know how i feel about food on a stick.

    dude, the soboro rice scared me. that shit looked like it had a big ass spider sprawled all across the top of it. i literally yelped and rolled away from the desk.

  5. oh, and have i mentioned that the ce fiore in claremont that i went to is also self serve?


  6. Good God, it's SEAWEED.
    What kind of Asian are you?!

  7. I am truly scared/horrified of/at Mr. Monkey's yogurt.

  8. fiance would LOVE this place. he's a sucker for any food that is presented on a stick. so very barbarian of him.

  9. Oooooh. I would so love this place.


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