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Yakitori Torys

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Soba Totto’s Chef Is a Yakitori Goddess

Given the macho atmosphere of most izakayas, with their clientele of hard-drinking salarymen and meat-centric menus, it might come as a surprise to learn that the chef of three of the city’s best — Yakitori Totto, Torys, and the brand-new Soba Totto — are all under the control of a woman. Mika Ohie is a first-class cook and kitchen manager who runs all three restaurants with an iron hand, says her boss, owner Ryuichi “Bobby” Munekata. “I hardly go in the kitchen at Yakitori Totto,” he says. “I leave it all up to her.” But Ohie admits kitchens are not the friendliest places. “Kitchens are very tough. You need to accept the challenge of running one,” she tells us. “I love to cook, but restaurant work is definitely tough.”

Two Angles on Cafe Cluny; Meehan Devours ‘Avian Oddities’

Loud, crowded and unimaginative, Cafe Cluny still hews closely enough to the Balthazar mold in both the front and back of the house to earn one star from Bruni. [NYT] Paul Adams likes Cluny even better, calling the food "impressive," and laying off the cultural context. He's just here for the duck. [NYS] Meanwhile, Peter Meehan is fascinated by the "avian oddities" served at all-chicken spot Yakitori Torys and writes enthusiastically, though not exactly convincingly, of the joys of eating chicken bones and necks. [NYT]