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Yakitori Boy

I’m usually pretty lazy when it comes to trying out new places. I let everyone else do the trying out, and then I’ll roll around after everyone and their grandmother have been there. Well folks, I’m changing it up a bit! I headed out to Yakitori Boy on a Friday night, the week they finally got their liquor license.

It’s really quite an attractive restaurant. All dark wood, everything is brand spanking new, and tastefully decorated. So there’s a bar downstairs, where the main dining area is. There are stools around the sushi bar. There are booths in the middle and there are some tables to the side. There are also more private rooms with rice paper doors. Upstairs, there is a lounge (21 and over only) along with an additional bar. And the karaoke rooms are here too. Ok, onto the food!

So they bill themselves as a “japas” restaurant – japanes tapas. It’s all about the small plates here. Many, many, many small plates. Between the five of us, there were probably 30 plates. Seriously. So what exactly is yakitori? Technically, yakitori is bird on a stick, but really, it’s basically grilled meats and non-meats on sticks. They gave us complimentary edamame… it was quite fine. Above? Squid legs. I dug this.

We ordered a crapload of stuff – yakitori, sushi, noodle soups, other appetizers… There is essentially no beef available on the yakitori section of the menu, except for the “karubi”. I think this is a bad romanization of korean kalbi, it is rib meat, but it didn’t taste like kalbi. It’s just plain meat on a stick, with essentially no seasoning. A little fatty. It was alright, but I wouldn’t order this again. Behold some eggplant, mushrooms, chicken, chicken and scallion, broccoli, corn, asparagus. Sorry, didn’t taste any of this, except for the corn. But it was probably all just fine. As for the corn? Not that exciting. But it’s corn. Hard to screw up grilled corn.

Here’s where the fun begins. H/A ordered this little fish on a stick. Don’t know what kinda fish this is… some thing sardine-esque, I think. Ok, from fish down: chicken liver, pork belly, chicken gizzard, chicken heart! T, adventure man, ordered all these innards. So the chicken liver was freakin good! It had some kinda sauce on it (most of the other things on sticks did not really have any seasoning or flavoring at all). Pork belly was alright. Chicken gizzard? Good! Chicken heart? Gross. It was crunchy and mushy. So so unpleasant. Do not get this!

Ok, so we also got other stuff… H/A got some sushi… and chicken ball yakitori. This chicken ball stuff was mmm, mmm, good!

A bazillion rolls… various stuff… rainbow roll, philly roll, volcano roll, mexican roll, green river roll. I ordered the green river roll, and it sure was tasty. And pretty big, even though it’s only 3 pieces.

H/A got the mini udon and I got a mini shrimp tempura soba (shrimp tempura came out separately, oops). These were good. Nothing extraordinary, but still good. The bowls were certainly pretty! The shrimp tempura, when it eventually came out, was quite good. Fresh, hot, full of grease. Yum!

Ok, so I can’t remember what these were called, but it was a chicken appetizer. Basically, tender pieces of chicken (not white meat), battered and deep fried and served with some kind of spicy sauce. The batter probably had a bit of spicy in it as well. Loved it!

As for me, I’d been craving takoyaki for awhile. Once when I was in SF, a japanese native made us homemade takoyaki. It’s a fascinating thing to watch really. It’s dough, with pieces of octopus thrown in, with a brown okonomiyaki sauce and bonito shavings on top. These were hot (temperature hot) and good. It might sound a bit gross, but it’s really delicious. Trust me!

All in all, quite a fun meal. And that’s what Yakitori Boy is, fun. The food isn’t particularly great, but it’s tons of fun, and there are things to eat here that you can’t find in other japanese places. And sometimes, being adventurous is just amusing. The service here was pretty good. Your food just comes out when it’s done, there’s no coursing at all. It just comes out… in droves…

One note… while waiting upstairs in the lounge area at the bar, the blonde bartender tried to pour a Sapporo and the tap was tapped… and it splattered beer all over me. Ok, it wasn’t terrible, but point is, it did land on me in several places. And dude, the girl did not even apologize to me. She didn’t offer me a napkin either. I had to ask the other bartender. Note to the bartenders at Yakitori Boy… if you spew beer all over a patron, apologize. Even if wasn’t your fault, it’s still your fault, so just do it. Because if you don’t, she’ll certainly blog about it…
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Homemade Belgian

Last Saturday, E turned 40. Whoa. The big 4-0. To celebrate, M threw him a Belgian themed par-tay. After all, he’s Belgian. Makes sense, eh? For starters, a smoked salmon appetizer on pumpernickel mini toasts. I’m not that into smoked salmon normally, but I dug this stuff. I think it helped that I’d fasted all day in preparation for this gorgefest.

The main course on the menu was forced meat chicken. E had been craving this dish. What does forced meat chicken mean? It’s chicken, stuffed with a ground meat type stuffing. I’m not sure what was in it, but it included meat as well as pistachios. And it was tasty whatever else was in it. The chicken was cooked very well, not dry at all, and not pink!

Also served was a pureed carrot souffle. This was light and delicate, and didn’t really taste like carrots much. That’s good, because I’m not a fan of cooked carrots. This was cooked in ramekins in a water bath. Way too complicated for me. This was served with a butter sauce to put on top.

M also cooked up cranberries and oranges and then served it in orange halves. Sweet, tangy, and delightful.

There were a few vegetarians in our midst, so M also prepared a tempeh salad. This wasn’t quite belgian. It had tempeh, mangos, and pickled red onions, with a vinaigrette. I loved it! I’m gonna definitely get the recipe for this one.

And the piece de resistance? Belgian waffles! One of the guests brought a waffle maker over, and made fresh hot piping waffles. He had the special sugar for these, which had been shipped to him from Belgium. It was an unexpected highlight to end this fabulous meal.

Holiday Get Together

M and E had a small post xmas holiday get together. There were about a dozen of us there. M had two food stations for us – make your own fajitas (spicy pork, non-spicy pork, or tofu) and make your own gingerbread cookies.

The fajitas were great. Especially the spicy pork, tender and full of flavor. It had quite the kick. She made the pickled red onions again, which I just loved from when she made fish tacos. M, I wish I could cook as well as her!

The gingerbread cookie station, delicious also. But we realized that kids and artificial colored decorations do not mix well. But the icing and the sugar did made the cookies taste that much better. Then I forced everyone to play Guitar Hero!!!

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