Yakitori Taisho is an intimate Japanese yakitori restaurant that opened towards the end of last year, operated by the owners of Yakitori Yakyudori and Hinotez. It’s gotten a lot of positive feedback from my fellow San Diego blogger friends (links to their posts at the end) and is also on Eater’s 38 Essential San Diego Restaurants.
Mr. K and I finally had a chance to visit for an early dinner a few weeks ago. The cozy restaurants seats about 15, with most of the seating around the bar area.
The meatballs were tender, moist and flavorful. This was one of our favorites of the evening.
Butashiso (pork belly, shiso leaf)
This was our absolute favorite item from our dinner. The slices of pork belly roll resemble pinwheels with a dollop of pale pink shiso paste in the center. (Shiso leaves come in two varieties, the green ones which are often used with sushi and the purple ones which are used for pickling and create a natural pink dye.) The pork was tender and only lightly seasoned. When you reach the middle, you’re hit with a burst of salt, sour and minty sweetness from the shiso paste, much resembling the flavor of umeboshi (dried plums). It’s a pleasant surprise that works very well with the belly.
In addition to the regular menu, there was a board of specials and the beef tongue was one of the specials listed for that evening.
One order had about 6 slices of grilled beef tongue. I do wish that they were sliced a tad thinner, as I found them a little hard to bite.
Uzura Tamago (Quail Eggs)
I’ve always adored quail eggs, so I couldn’t resist ordering these. While the flavor is nothing special, I did like that the yolk was still slightly runny.
I actually make this a lot at home, though I blister mine on the stove rather than over a charcoal grill. We both enjoy the simplicity of the peppers, brushed with a little oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
This was a last minute addition after I was informed they were out of tebasaki (chicken wings), the item I had been really looking forward to, especially since Yakyudori makes a good version of it. I wasn’t very impressed with the beef, finding it a bit too fatty.
Overall, we had a good experience here. The atmosphere was cozy, the staff was attentive and the food was enjoyable. Mr. K has already mentioned wanting to return soon.
Tip: They are only open for dinner and reservations are highly recommended since it is such a small space.
5185 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92117