What's your favorite under-the-radar place to grab a bite to eat in L.A. after you're leaving your restaurant?
Yakitoriya on Sawtelle Blvd. This place has some of the most authentic Japanese yakitori in LA.
How long have you been going there?
6 years. A good friend turned me on to it.
What are their specialties?
Grilled rare parts of chicken over Japanese binchotan (charcoal), along with vegetables, rice dishes and pickles.
YakitoriyaWhat are your favorite things to order?
Some of my favorites are the liver, which is served with this great spicy Japanese mustard sauce, and the gizzard, which has a clam-like texture. I also love the tsukune (chicken meatballs). It incorporates a very delicate grind of the meat and cartilage, giving the meatballs a unique texture. There's also a bit of hemp seed mixed in as well. The chef grills the tsukune over the binchotan, and finishes it with the mustard sauce. It's unbelievable!
Any funny stories or anecdotes from nights spent there?
I used to go there with my friends on my day off after a great day of surfing. It was always fun to sit back, have someone grill in front of you and just relax. Then other chefs show up, and the custom is to buy each other drinks. That goes on all night. Then when it's time, I taxi it home. I'm always a bit tired the next day because of the long night--but it's totally worth it.
Yakitoriya, 11301 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA; Mon, Wed-Sun, 6pm-10:30pm
Photo of David by Jenn KL