211 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
I was SHOCKED when I discovered that Yakitori Totto have only been in operation since 2003. Totto has the fantastic traditional YAKITORI restaurant feel, an incredible vibe, and a great menu. It’s a SOLID Yakitori restaurant with LOTS of the classics, including what could be viewed as the “delicacies”.
My absolute favorites are Chicken Oyster, BONCHIRI (Chicken Tail), KAWA (Chicken Skin) and the ALL-STAR… SUNAGIMO (Chicken Gizzard)! I can’t tell you how great the beef is, as I only enjoy rare, if not near-raw beef, but they served me only medium cooked beef. Also can’t tell you how great the pork is, as it was a follow up to the KAWA, an incredibly decadent burst of flavor.
Side note, the SAKE mark-up is a super palatable 68% (Dassai 23 – $160 at Totto, $95 retail, 68% markup)!
Our à lacarte dinner today:
- SORIRESU (“Chicken Oyster” – Rare part of chicken thigh **limited**) $3.50 – The BEST chicken skewer I’ve ever have. I was cutting up chicken the other day, and I think I know which part of the thigh this is. I can recognize it while raw, but I don’t think I would know how to pick it out cooked…. This was mighty yummy, that’s all I know…
- NANKOTSU (Soft Bone) $3.50, SESERI (Chicken Neck) $3.50, BONCHIRI (Chicken Tail) $3.50 (left to right):
- NANKOTSU (Soft Bone) $3.50 – Loved the texture, but this was BLAND, almost no flavor. Perhaps I shouldn’t have had it after the SORIRESU (Chicken Oyster), and DEFINITELY not alongside the chicken tail.
- SESERI (Chicken Neck) $3.50 – It was good, I loved the texture, and the flavors but I don’t know if my mind was playing tricks on me, but this tasted super fatty to me…
- BONCHIRI (Chicken Tail) $3.50 – REALLY GOOD! The best of the platter. Borderline better than the SORIRESU (Chicken Oyster)! The texture, the flavor, incredible! It’s got a nice little crunch!
- Ikura Don (Salmon Roe rice bowl) $12.00 – The IKURA was GREAT, and the rice was decently seasoned. Not Kyo Ya “don” type seasoning, but really good, especially given that this was not a sushi-ya! I think the IKURA to rice proportion was just a tiny bit little shy of being perfect though. I did enjoy the pickles!
- BONCHIRI (Chickent Tail) $3.50 – Repeat! We were only able to order two in total, and that was not for a lack of trying on our part. They ran out of this super quick!
- Shitake Mushroom $3.00 – For some reason, probably because I am Asian, I feel a NEED to have vegetables at every meal. To be honest, I don’t know that I have ever had great grilled vegetables at ANY yakitori restaurant, here OR Japan. I prefer their salads and pickles.
- KAWA (Chicken Skin) $3.50 – YUMMMMMM. This was fantastic. I know it’s a heart attack waiting to happen, but this was so savory, so decadent, so divine… I LOVE chicken skin! When I was little, like real little, like 7-10 years old little, I used to pick the chicken skin off everyone else’s chicken. I didn’t realize it actually affects your body till my teenage years. Sigh…. The effects of aging…
- Ton Toro (Pork Neck) $4.00 – This was good, very, VERY good, but it doesn’t follow too well after the KAWA. I don’t think anything would…
- Momo (Chicken Thigh) $3.50 – If you plan to order this, try it BEFORE the SORIRESU (Chicken Oyster). I’d like to think that this was fine, but having had
- SUNAGIMO (Chicken Gizzard) $3.50 – We had a total of 2 SORIRESU (Chicken Oyster) – because they ran out, 2 BONCHIRI (Chicken Tail) because they again, ran out, and FOUR SUNAGIMO (Chicken Gizzard), which they did NOT run out of, and it was just amazing. I am fairly certain I can make an entire meal out of the SORIRESU (Chicken Oyster), BONCHIRI (Chicken Tail), and SUNAGIMO (Chicken Gizzard). Maybe a chaser of the IKURA don. I am drooling typing this…
- Okura – Are you as excited as I am? Cuz I’m not. Blah blah blah, okura, blah blah blah. This isn’t a knock on Yakitori Totto though, the only time that I’ve ever enjoyed okura is when it was drenched in sauce, Mediterranean style, the likes of Turkish, Greek seasonings. I actually don’t even like it when it’s deep friend like tempura or Cracker Barrel style!
- GYU TAN (Beef Tongue) $7.00 – Love the texture of beef tongue. I think if we were able to get this seared, it would have been everything. But I really just don’t enjoy overcooked beef…
- Washu Beef $10.00 – Same deal as the GYU TAN (Beef Tongue)… overcooked. Boyfriend was super sweet, he ate it…
- Tomato $3.00 – This was boyfriend’s thing. I’m not a huge fan of cooked tomato in any which way, grilled sautéed, otherwise. I prefer just raw tomato, with seasoning.
- EBI (Shrimp) $8.00 – At 8 bucks each shrimp, it seems a bit steep, don’t you think? Flavoring was great, but why was the shell so hard to remove?
- HOTATE (Scallop) $7.00 – At 7 bucks a skewer, $2.33 per scallop, this was significantly more affordable than the EBI (shrimp). But the flavors did not compare. The EBI (shrimp) was annoying to peel, but DELISH, the HOTATE (scallop) was gummy, overcooked, yet not crunchy-ish shell, like that you would get from a pan-seared scallop…
Thus far, this is the BEST yakitori we’ve had in the city!