123 Onizuka St., Ste 203
Los Angeles, CA 90012


  • Mon.-Sat., 6-11 p.m.
  • $$
  • Dinner
  • Beer/Wine
  • Takeout
  • Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Not Necessary
Before it moved from its corner spot on Second Street in Little Tokyo to the second floor of Weller Court early last year, Japanese yakitori specialist Kokekokko — recently renamed Torigoya — 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. Maybe it’s the new general manager, or perhaps master chef Tomohiro Sakata softened a bit with age, but things changed at the new location. 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

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