We usually flee Momofuku when there’s a line, but Yakitori Taisho is a different story: When you wait there, you’re treated to a spectacle of boisterous grillmasters blasting flamethrowers, sending fireballs up to the ceiling, and feeling no pain as they turn over sizzling chicken-gizzard skewers (trust us, it’s much better than blowing $70 on Fuerzabruta tickets). Next month Taisho will start serving its “Japanese soul food” an hour earlier, at 5 p.m., and while that may not seem like big news to those who aren’t members of the cult, an extra hour of fish balls fried in cheese fish balls fried in cheese is about as good a holiday gift as we could hope for. Sixty-ounce Kirin drafts all around!
Yakitori Taisho menu
We admit we never set foot into Hip Hop Chow, much as we do love us some chicken and waffles nonetheless we were slightly bummed to see it replaced recently by yet another Japanese restaurant off St. Marks Place. Still, the new owner and namesake Nori Nishida, previously a manager at Takahachi in Tribeca, is optimistic. “People told me to be careful,” he says, “but no matter where we go, there must be competition.” Nori says he’s still experimenting with unusual dishes such as the flounder burger. Good thing, because he’s going to need them to lure us away from the bull’s penis at Kenka, the deep-fried alligator at Natori, and Yakitori Taisho’s mysterious “chicken chunck” [sic]. Mmmm, chicken chunck.