Yakitori Toto - Midtown Manhattan

Yakitori Toto, New York, NY
After becoming aware of the mind-blowingly delicious phenomenon that is yakitori, I set myself on a mission to find the best of the best. Living on Staten Island at the time, my local options were non-existent. So I searched Manhattan and Brooklyn until I came upon this place: Yakitori Toto. The penultimate purveyor of skewered grilled meats and vegetables.

The Grub:

For those in need of enlightenment, yakitori is traditionally skewered chicken lightly seasoned and prepared over a special charcoal grill. The term can also be extended to other meats and vegetables which is then served in small-plated portions meant to be eaten along with beer in a tappas or tavern style manner. Toto offers a variety of cuts and rare bites that just have to be tried - crispy chicken skin, liver with salt, beef tongue, kobe beef, chicken heart, and shishito peppers with miso to name just a few. Honestly, everything on the menu deserves a try at least once, even if it might sound as though it falls outside your comfort zone. After ordering a beer and a few plates, you will soon feel that all is right with the world.

My Order:

- Negima, Kawa, Reba, Sasami, Harami, Hatsu, Negi Pon, Shishito, Asparagus Bacon and a Smoked Lamb Chop. If I still feel hungry I keep ordering.
- Beer. More beer.

The Digs:

Yakitori Toto is a 2nd floor restaurant above the Manhattan location of Soba Noodle Azuma. It is a small, but comfortable space that gives the feeling of being transported straight to Japan. A modern, clean setup that surrounds the open grill/bar where you can watch the cooks charring your meal to perfection. Service is always prompt and courteous. Might I suggest calling ahead for a reservation if you plan on going for dinner as they are usually pretty crowded. Be sure to take public transportation unless you feel like paying for parking or circling for hours looking for a spot on the street. 

The Nitty Gritty:

Deceptively simple, extremely delicious grilled things. Go. Go now.

Yakitori Toto
251 W 55th St,
New York,
NY 10019

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