Yakitori Totto

Restaurants , Japanese Midtown West
Recommended
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(2 user reviews)
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 (Photograph: Alex Strada)
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Photograph: Alex Strada

The most coveted seats at this raucous yakitori joint are at the L-shaped bar, behind which a bandana-clad chef presides over a charcoal grill. Meat is the thing here: A dedicated Japanese crowd scarfs down juicy kobe beef tongue, delicious chicken hearts and other innards. Standards, like onigiri (balls of rice stuffed with salmon, pickled plum or cod roe) and juicy gyoza (pork dumplings with crisp skins), are just as good. If you crave something raw, try the takowasa, a tiny bowl of slippery octopus infused with wasabi.

Venue name: Yakitori Totto
Contact:
Address: 251 W 55th St
New York
10019
Cross street: between Broadway and Eighth Ave
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 5:30pm–midnight; Fri, Sat 5:30pm–1am; Sun 5:30pm–11pm
Transport: Subway: A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th St–Columbus Circle.
Price: Average small plate: $3. AmEx, V
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Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|2
NaN people listening
mattscheetz
tastemaker

The first time I came here I was early, so I grabbed a seat at the bar until my friends arrived. I had to contort my body to keep the waiters from nudging me as they wizzed by in the narrow corridor leading to the kitchen. It was at this point the hostess said to me "I'm so sorry. But this place wasn't exactly built for tall white people."


Racial stereotypes aside, this place is a bona fide Midtown gem. Who would have guessed that hiding across the street from daily performances of "Jersey Boys" is a yakitori spot that's as cool as it is tasty. Upon entering you'd think you were at some trendy spot in Soho- not a stone's throw from Times Square.


And for the menu- pretty standard yakitori, but done very well. And for those unfamiliar with the cuisine, yakitori can be summed up in 3 words: Meat. On. Stick. Technically I think the term only applies to chicken, but if you haven't gathered already... I'm not Japanese.

mimi

I ordered "torinegi-don". It is served with "onsen-egg". It was worst chicken-don I have ever eaten in my life. It tastes just only Sake. I can not taste any chicken,but Sake. I complained about it. But waitress answered me "This is Mirin taste not Sake." I am Japanese, I know what the difference of taste and smell between Sake and Mirin. I am sure that is Sake. And also my family business in Japan is Sake store and Sake factory. They can not fool me. Even they must not fool customer like that way. If always they serve like that, they must explain that "It serves with mixing of Sake." or change the name itself as "Sake-don with chicken and onion". Sake has strong taste like destroy all any other flavors. Specially, this meal was sprinkled with uncooked Sake. Or, they have just abused me( I am just one customer.) by that way, haven't they? I want to tell you all that In Japan, we don't have any meal sprinkled by uncooked Sake to destroy flavor. If any Japanese restaurant served meal with full of smell of Sake, it means to hide any other unwelcome taste from it.