Yakitori Taisho, a 16-seat, dinner-only Japanese restaurant in a San Diego strip mall, is not what I’d describe as user friendly. Yes, staffers take reservations, but only during service, since they’re too busy prepping during the day. Walk in, but know that even if you’re first in line, you’re bound to eye empty tables held for reservations. That said, waiting for Yakitori Taisho was well worth it, since chef Takayuki Hirano grills stupendous Japanese skewers.
Chef Hirano uses binchotan charcoal to beautifully blister a wide variety of meats, seafoods and vegetables, which all require two orders minimum. A number of chicken parts luxuriate on the grill, but my favorite skewer starred Pork Neck ($2.40). Fat, fatty tiles of pork meat became crispy and molten when cooking over binchotan. The meat was great on its own, and even better when dabbed with spicy-tart yuzu kosho or dipped in shigimi togarashi.
Out front, the chef had written a fairly provocative sign that read, “Eat exuberantly or drink extravagantly. Please exhibit at least one. 🙂 For those who neither eat….or drink favorably and just occupy seats, I will become openly reluctant. 🙁 ” Be prepared to match Yakitori Taisho’s enthusiasm. with skewers like pork neck, that’s no problem.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.