251 W 55th St, 2nd floor
(between Broadway & 8th Ave)
New York, NY 10019
Midtown is a bore. It’s where people work and where tourists comb through on their way to Times Square and a Broadway show. The only time you’ll ever catch me willingly headed towards that direction is when I’m heading to Totto Ramen (which I still have yet to blog because I don’t have good enough photos to do this place justice!!) and its sister restaurant, Yakitori Totto. I recently had lunch at Yakitori Totto and already can’t wait to go back. The food is great and they have that cool lit up egg display (see above)! Yakitori, technically means chicken skewer in Japanese, but also refers to all skewered foods in general. I would definitely come for lunch over dinner because they have an amazing special that gets you three yakitori over a bowl of gleaming white rice, salad, and miso soup, all for $9-$12. For dinner, you have to order individual yakitori for $3-$5 each (though you do get many more yakitori options).
I present to you the Yakitori Don with negima, a type of yakitori that is made with chicken (thigh in this case, I believe) and scallions. A light layer of yakitori sauce is brushed onto the chicken, adding to the already flavorful, tender, and moist chicken. I was googling yakitori sauce recipes and it seems that real yakitori sauce is made by boiling chicken bones, soy sauce, sake, sugar, pepper, scallions, garlic, and ginger. No wonder it is so damn fragrant…
ALSO, each rice bowl comes with a lightly poached egg that you can mix in with your chicken and rice. The egg yolk makes each chicken + rice bite creamy and extra delicious. The bowl also comes with a side of vinegary and crisp Japanese pickles, pairing very well with the slightly sweet yakitori sauce and creamy yolk. LAW hates pickles so I happily finished two portions.
Being all man and stuff, LAW of course got the beef one – the Karubi Don, which consists of 3 perfectly charred skewers of short rib. Typically I am not the biggest beef girl (taste preferences and looks) but could tell that this was some high quality stuff. The thin slices of short rib were very tender, flavorful, and tasted amazing with the rice. Actually, come to think of it, I’m not sure of which one I prefer… chicken tasted like, well, chicken… but this short rib certainly had that nice MEATY flavor. I’m definitely coming back for more.