123 Onizuka St., Ste 203
Little Tokyo, CA 90012
Torigoya +

Garrett Snyder


  • Mon.-Sat., 6-11 p.m.
  • $$
  • Dinner
  • Beer/Wine
  • Takeout
  • Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Not Necessary
Japanese yakitori specialist Kokekokko was known as one of the most nepotistic restaurants in town. Unless you were familiar with the chef — or held one of the coveted black ceramic plates handed out to regulars — you weren’t getting your mitts on those grilled chicken hearts glazed with thick tare sauce. But now that the restaurant has reopened under new ownership as Torigoya, things are different. The plump Jidori chicken, butchered daily, is as pristine as ever, and you can work your way through what seems like almost every part of the bird in a single meal: wing, thigh, breast, liver, gizzard, tail, etc. — each skewer glistening and beautifully charred, dripping with juice and liquid fat, served with a dollop of sharp hot mustard or a paste made from pulverized ginger and green onion. The caveat, of course, is that the lines have increased as well. But once you’re perched atop one of the yakitori bar’s wooden stools with a tall frosty Kirin and an egg yolk–topped bowl of braised chicken over rice, you understand why diners were willing to put up with the elitism in the first place. —Garrett Snyder

Correction: A previous version of this review incorrectly indicated that former Kokekokko chef Tomohiro Sakata also is the chef at Torigoya. He is not involved. We regret the error.

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