Torien (Yakitori) - NoHo

Best yakitori I’ve had in the US @jntcho @beefnoguy @formersushichef

First off Sake list. @beefnoguy to sommelier’s credit he did steer towards the Junmai even though it’s JD centric. If you are not sake inclined, some adequately aged DRC’s available too

Beverage pairing for the night - Kazuryu Junmai followed by Hakurakusei JG

All the classics. Everything cooked a yakitori appropriate à point. I.e pinkish hue, or slightly oozy for the heart. Highlights were the heart, neck skin, tsukune and veges (yes I didn’t expect it). But everything was very good. Only miss is the duck, I would have preferred it a touch rarer.

Optional carb course, choice between a saboro-don or tori chazuke. Opted for the saboro paired with a chicken broth which reminded me of the soup accompanying hainanese chicken rice.

Additional customer feedback. Would have liked another pickle option to enjoy over the course of dinner and a light dessert in addition to the hojicha to wrap up.

Properly kitted loo. Toto + Aesop


That is a badass sake list. Best I have seen at a restaurant. A sake drinker’s sake list.

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Really? Wow!

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Thanks for posting that sake list! Baller stuff! It is over the top for sure, although most of those higher ends are better suited for kaiseki or high end sushi omakase than yakitori.

Kudos to Matsumoto san for steering you the right way!

That Hakurakusei JG should be really solid, many high end respected Tokyo sushi omakase restaurants have it on their rotation (including Sugita and Amamoto). Kokuryu Kuzuryu is a right choice for yakitori (better a touch warmed), and maybe that Manzairaku Yamahai Junmai. Although my favorite would be Tatsuriki Kimoto Junmai which I’m surprised they didn’t put on the menu.

If you go back, try that Senkin Modern Kame No O. I had a taste of it at a yakitori izakaya and it was surprisingly fun and almost semi dry Riesling like (although the brewery is indeed making sake to drink more like white wine). Super affordable lower cost Junmai Daiginjo grade modern style sake.

Were you given an a la carte menu for yakitori after your course was over, and did they have exotic parts like chochin, shokudo, bonjiri, thigh oyster?


Both sakes were great pairings. From what I understand the Hakurakusei is only distilled once and aged with yeast resulting in a more full bodied sake but also maintains a floral/fruity aroma. The Senkin sounds very interesting, noted for a future visit.

There wasn’t an a la carte menu offered, just the single fixed menu and the closing carb options. A couple diners were served the oyster as a substitute for something else. No chochin, bonjiri, shokudo (what is this?) as far as I could tell. I was frankly pleasantly surprised they served the neck skin, heart and gizzard as part of the standard set. Assumed they would have just defaulted to more G-rated options. Hopefully they’ll expand the menu with more exotic supplements in the future.

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Maybe you mean single pastuerized, not distilled? That’s exactly how their Junmai, Junmai Ginjo, and Junmai Daiginjo are done. It seals in the flavor and gives it more structure, full bodied, and yet versatile with food pairings, but it’s also the way they brew it.

Shokudo I believe is part of the digestive tract or perhaps the esophagus but don’t quote me on that. This is partly surprising because those restaurants that are part of the Torishiki school of yakitori that do these yakitori themed omakase skewers, offer the exotic parts, with an option to add on even more (either that or “feed me till I cry uncle” which was the case at Yakitori Omino, chef apprenticed under the master for 7 years before going out on his own).

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Ha, I always assumed the different designations were based on polishing degree. Thanks for the clarification.

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