Finally really feeling like Fall is here, I'm loving the weather!! Just really gets me in a good mood. :)
Taking a quick break from my Philly Cheesesteak-a-thon posts and wanted to share my friends and I's first impression of Yakitori Koubou that just opened up right next to Tsuruhashi (in the same lot with Sakura and Original Pancake House). We visited last night which is only their second day not counting the by-invite soft opening last Wednesday. (YK's menu here.)
I've only been able to find their Japanese website but from what I gather Yakitori Koubou is a Yokohama based yakitori chain. Supposedly Yokohama and San Diego are sister cities so the chain's expansion to the states here could be a natural first foothold?
A complementary shot of cold milk is given before your alcoholic drinks which I found interesting. Supposed to help lessen hangovers. Asahi's are on draft. Happy Friday.. Kanpai! ;)
Going through these quickly without referencing prices.. Skewers start from a $1.50 (each) and can go up to $3.99 for the premium stuff. The Hiyayakko was standard. Something I sometimes just gotta have. The premium Gyutan beef tongue seemed a bit pricey for a single skewer but when arrived was cut thick and pretty substantial. Was tender and seasoned well with salt. Pretty good! The negima wasn't bad either. The tare sauce was a bit young but I'm sure the mother batch will develop into something with more depth given time. My favorite Tsukune minced chicken meat skewer had a nice soft but medium coarse texture (as opposed to Yakyudori's which is fluffy and has almost no texture, both good in their own ways though). It had a nice flavor with again the same tare used maybe needing a little more time to mature.
BTW, as with Yakitori Yakyudori in Hillcrest they use Binchotan charcoal to grill. Seems to be burning cleaner here and less smokey. The Tebasaki wings were pretty good too. Curious to try their spicy version. The (pork) Shiso Maki lacked seasoning but was good with the accompanied flavored miso paste and hot mustard. The miso Nikomi Stew with chicken, pork and veggies was nice but a little young in depth of flavors. As with the tare sauce I'm hoping over time will develop into something deep, viscous and hearty. The Yakisoba was the only dud here (I'm guilty of ordering it). Nothing special that in fact I can make better at home. The noodles were limp and lacked any scorched texture.
The Tokusei Yakitori-don was ordered by the friend's missus. Looked pretty good and for the value a cheaper fill. Some of the a la cartes as with this and the yakisoba comes with a side of Miso Soup which was a satisfying bowl with lots of fresh green onions.
The friend got the Taco Rice. Man it's been forever since I had one of those. This dates me but I remember as a punky kid when the dish was invented and started popping up at places back home. I got to taste the meat sauce here, was tasty. I've never been a big fan of the Taco Rice but my friend seemed to enjoy it.
Chicken hearts, liver and gizzard weren't available this night. The bill was around $35 per person with tip. Prices are comparable with Yakyudori but many skewers were portioned larger. Value wise maybe averages out even. Yakitori Koubou definitely has the one up of convenience of easier parking. This chain's Yokohama style menu of beer grub isn't out of the ordinary exotic but I thought is a very fun welcome and great addition/option to have in town. Hope the best for these guys. So far they seemed to be at a good start. Too bad they're not open for lunch but definitely will be back again.
Yokohama Yakitori Koubou, 3904 Convoy St #108, San Diego, CA 92111