Hina Yakitori

i was a bit skeptical about this new modern “omakase” yakitori restaurant from chef tommy cleary and the ju-ni team and seeing the obligatory instagram-friendly wagyu and uni on the menu didn’t help. but this was surprisingly the best yakitori i’ve had in ca.

chef tommy apprenticed for a year in tokyo, uses pasture raised cornish cross chickens from pasturebird and cooks with a mix of wakayama kishu binchotan and kamitosa binchotan.

each piece was delicious and uniquely seasoned but they all were infused with the incredible smoke from the binchotan. and i actually liked the addition of the non-chicken items to change things up. even the breast meat pieces were incredibly soft and tender and juicier than a marathon of general hospital; some of the best i’ve ever had. the only thing missing was offal which they plan on adding in the future. highly recommended @Chowseeker1999, @TheCookie, @Bookwich, @attran99

highlights
wagyu tartare
tail and skin
kanpachi
oyster
nanban
moriawase
zuke
teba
shoniku
tsukune
yokashi

yukke - wagyu tartare, sesame leaf, hokkaido uni, nori

menchi katsu - chicken croquette, dijon mayonnaise

kawa - tail, skin, salmon roe, shiso

kanpachi - amberjack, konbu-jime, sakura salt

unagi, fresh water eel, tare, sansho

sot l’y laisse - thigh oyster, chicharron, osetra caviar

nanban - filet, sweet vinegar, tartar sauce

moriawase - drummette, inner thigh, rib, lemon

negima - breast, tokyo leek, lime

broccolini - garlic soy butter, karasumi

zuke - breast, kyoto miso, shichimi

teba - wing, tare, sancho, wasabi

shoniku - center cut thigh, cambodian pepper, yuzu kosho

tsukune - meatball, tare, yolk

donburi - soboro, corn, ginger, soy
save some of the tare and egg from the tsukune and use it for a sauce with the rice

torigara - bone broth, sesame

yokashi - hen egg custard, caramel

toto

Hina Yakitori
808 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
https://www.hinasf.com/

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OMG. I was seriously going to drive over there and force my way in tonight. Until I realized it’s in SF! :heart_eyes:

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I am so excited about this! Thank you for the recommendation.

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all booked up in january! :nauseated_face::face_vomiting::nauseated_face::face_vomiting::nauseated_face::face_vomiting:

Legit lookin’ place. With the glass heat & smoke shield etc.

I believe that stuff is required by code

Looks like that spring trip @attran99 & I talked about, chaperoned by @beefnoguy is shaping up. :wink:

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You going in January?

@TheCookie next Fall. We gotta hit up Sake Day SF 2020 and this place with the esteemed @beefnoguy.

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Not if Hina Yakitori is booked. :slightly_smiling_face: That is so my kind of place. Feb & March is lookin’ good.

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Oh sh_t. That’s right. Thanks for keeping me on track. We should definitely be able to get a resy by then!

They’ve been delayed for such a long time and it seemingly felt like it was not going to open, but glad they finally did.

Technically this is Hina Yakitori 2.0…it was ridiculously good when it was 1.0 in Oakland, but the location was not good (car breakin’s, once in a while car jackings etc), and it was strictly a la carte and very izakaya atmosphere back then. 1.0 was seriously some of the best yakitori I’ve had in my life and it even blew away a couple places I went to in Tokyo (Toriki and Ranjatai both held one stars, not sure if Toriki still has it now).

A few of us up here are loyal Tommy fans, though I personally have not been to 2.0 yet, as pre-opening friends and family pictures did not look as great less than six months ago (a lot more charring on the meats but now better controlled…although to be fair Tommy had not been grilling yakitori for a long time between 1.0 and 2.0). Since the Eater SF article came out they’ve been mobbed by the Ju Ni fans and social media influencers.

As this is a partnership with Ju-Ni (which I am not a fan of), there is the ambition from their part to get a star, hence this new format. Really really expensive higher end wines are prevalent on the menu put together by Ju-Ni’s sommelier (Alsace Trimbach Clos St Hune Riesling, Grand Cru level in the $400s with yakitori omakase and Red Burgundy Premier Cru and Grand Cru?), with maybe 3 to 5 (tops) sake unless they added some more recently. As nice as that yukke dish is, seafood and wagyu and caviar seems so out of place on a yakitori omakase menu… but that is the direction and justification to facilitate certain alcohol pairings also, and of course ambitious goals.

Tommy apprenticed at Tori Salon Tokyo, where that style was emulated by former apprentices or similar school/lineage, and some took that ball (directly or indirectly), ran with it and became insanely successful in Tokyo. I guess you can think of Tommy like the Brandon Go of chicken, but in a very different way. If only you all tasted Hina 1.0 without the fancy toppings!

Anyways, @attran99 @TheCookie we will figure out Sake Day 2020 and dinner activities around once your schedules are all decided, and for sure let me know if you are here even well before the fall. It is very likely Sake Day 2020 will be in SF Japantown again this year, and pretty sure after all that tasting we will all be rather plastered if we taste almost everything (let alone 3/4 of what is available to taste). If Hina falls through, perhaps hmmm… Sushi Yoshizumi or some other option… but I digress.

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Drop the wife off at union square and go solo. Boom. Problem solved.

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