a trip down to south bay with danny, remil, cathy, vern, and d proved to be a most delicious belly adventure. although i did not attend the epic gorge fest that occured that day with 7 stops total, i was able to drop in for the last leg of the south bay eating frenzy at torihei, a japanese eatery specializing in kyoto style oden and yakitori. hubba hubba, my belly was so excited for some grilled eats!
since torihei is an excessively popular place, danny made reservations for us in advance so that we can avoid the wait. once we were seated, he feverishly marked the many slips of paper tucked into a glass cup. we were then instructed to spoon a bit of shichimi togarashi (red colored) and sansho pepper (green colored) for flavoring onto our plates. personally, i love my yakitori with just a hint of salt and don't normally use either, though i'm sure they went fabulously well with the grilled goods there.
one of the first grilled skewers to arrive was the chicken heart ($1.80) which was tender and delectable. one of my favorite parts of any bird. i heart the heart.
the chicken skin with ponzu ($3.95) was tangy with its ponzu dressing and thinly sliced raw onion strands. each bite was tart and fatty and rather delectable. i would absolutely order this again.
the squid marinated in salt "shio-kara" ($4.95) was my least favorite item of the night. the fishy funk was overwhelming and definitely unpleasant to put in my pie hole.
the homemade chicken liver paste with bread ($4.95) was served with honey and was delightful to eat. pairing the silky, savory pate with the sweet, sticky honey resulted in a harmonious medley of flavors for the tongue. when we tried to order it again and was told they were out, an audible, disappointed sigh escaped from all of us. so sad...too bad. i want :(
chicken tail aka chicken ass ($2.30). as nasty as it sounds, this clucker's ass has just the right amount of fat and chars quite nicely on the grill. come on now, you probably can't ignore a good piece of ass either.
the garlic wrapped in foil ($3.95) were wonderfully tender and the sting one normally gets from raw garlic was eradicated during the cooking process. in between nibbles of grilled eats, i suggest popping one or two of these babies into your mouth.
the grilled liver ($1.80) was also cooked to perfection. each bite was creamy and dreamy. another favorite offal of mine.
the chicken karage ($6.95) had a thick coat of crunch but the chicken protected inside was moist and flavorful. a wonderful snack when one fists a mug of sapporo as well.
the half raw egg with ikura ($1.95) in dashi broth was simple yet intensely flavorful. the dashi broth at torihei has been the best rendition i've tasted by far. simply craveable.
the torihei meatball ($1.80) was rather tender and crumbled in in my mouth as i bit into it. the second order we ate revealed an interesting incorporation of cartilage in the meaty balls. yumz.
the chicken skin ($2.30) was also grilled to perfection. a must order when one favors the fatty, smoky flavors of grilled chicken skin. obviously, i am not one to shy away from skin. are you?
the beef tongue ($2.30) was thick and the dots of wasabi instantly cleared up my nose when i consumed it. i LOVE tongue as much as i love blogging. does that explain my love enough?
the chicken cartilage ($2.30) was crunchy and the meat that clung to it gave each bite a smokey, savory flavor.
the chicken breast with plum ($1.80) was tasty as well. the plum which i suspect to be a an umeboshi paste added an extra dimension of sour and tart flavor profiles to the chicken.
we finished off the night with the whole tomato ($2.80) which was topped off with a piece of mozzarella cheese in dashi broth. AGAIN, the dashi broth was crazy good and transformed this rather plain, somewhat cooked tomato into something rather magical. i wish i can slurp that dashi broth again.
and as you can see, the skewers says it all. it says, come hungry, leave happy (i might have just quoted IHOP) and i will most certainly come back hungry to torihei and i will fist a few skewers and guzzle that dashi broth until i pee in my pants. thanks danny for introducing us to another fantastic meal!
*priced per skewer*