There was a little confusion right when we came in, and it took a few minutes for our server to come over and take our order, so as an apology for the delay, they were nice enough to send over Ika (Squid) Salad and Seaweed Salad, both of which were quite good.
We ordered an Avocado Salad which was pretty straightforward, but fresh and tasty, with a good ginger dressing.
Pork Gyoza were also pretty standard, but very nicely fried to a good crunch.
Bacon and Eggs, well, Quail Eggs Wrapped in Bacon were very tasty. How could they not be? We were very amused when at the end of the meal, as plates were being cleared, one of our servers noticed a lone remaining egg, and jokingly scolded us: "don't waste bacon!" I'm thinking of getting a tattoo that says that...
Kimchee Don (pork with Kimchee) brought spicy Korean pickled cabbage studded with fried pork, some bean sprouts adding crunch. This was very tasty, and also provided some spice and acid to our array of dishes.
Tonkatsu had a very light, greaseless coating on the tender pork. There was a bowl of katsu sauce served alongside, which a server described as "like a Japanese A-1 sauce." Unfortunately, that was fairly accurate, it seemed closer to A1 than most katsu sauces I've had. Still, the pork was very nice, the sauce not bad.
Shrimp and vegetable tempura was excellent: light, greaseless, good crunch, a nice mix of vegetables and two large shrimp, mild dipping sauce alongside.
Our Yakitori selections were all strong this time: Chicken and Scallions, Chicken Meatballs, Chicken Skin. They all seemed to have a bit more of a flavorful, slightly sweet glaze, and a better grill char to them than before, I'm quite sure we'll get all of these again.
On this cold, rainy night, we'd actually been moved to return to Yakitori Boy to try the ramen we'd seen on the menu on our first visit. All the soups are referred to as "mini" and while they're not quite as large a portion as you would get at a ramen joint, they're not exactly mini either. It's a very nice size, presuming you're going to eat something else too: not a tiny serving like you'd get with a lunch special or combo bento box, but not a huge bowl that will completely fill you up either.
The sad news is that we didn't much care for the Ramen (pictured above.) The broth was bland and a little bitter, and the noodles were undistinguished. The good news is that the Soba (below) and Udon were much better. (Sorry I only have a soba photo here, the udon pix didn't turn out too well - ahh... it happens, I'm shooting by candlelight here!) Those soups had a rich, clear dashi-style broth with a pleasing smoky edge. The soba noodles had a good nutty flavor and firm texture, the udon a pleasing chewiness.
Boiled Spinach was simple, but just right, nice to have some greens amidst the meats.
We also got an order of Tatsuta Age (Fried Chicken) that somehow didn't get photographed amid the 800 other dishes. It was almost as good as on our first visit, and might have been even better if we'd jumped right on it while it was straight from the kitchen. And that brings up an ordering-strategy issue: this type of menu is really designed for ordering a few dishes, eating them, ordering some more... Our server advised us of this, and we intellectually understood it, but we have so little self control that we went ahead and ordered everything at once. As a result, we had a pretty crowded table, and we weren't getting to everything right when it was kitchen-hot. It would make sense to spread it out a little, so we'd advise ordering in batches, which gives you a little more control over what comes in what combinations too.
The highlights this time were the Ika Salad, all the Yakitori, the Tempura, and the (non-ramen) noodle soups, and there's still loads more to explore. There's an extensive sushi menu, and the sushi looks fine, but there's other stuff that's more unique to this place, so we're going to concentrate on that. Stay tuned...
211 N. 11th St