Monday, October 15, 2012 at 1 p.m.
Celebrating this year's Best of L.A. issue -- now out in print and online -- we're counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
31: Bonjiri Yakitori at Kokekokko.
If you're looking for a temple of fairness and equality, then Kokekokko might not be for you. It's no secret at this Little Tokyo yakitori-ya that chef Tomohiro Sakata plays favorites with regulars -- certain chicken cuts, roasted over charcoal and sprinkled with coarse salt or brushed with thick tare sauce are unavailable for some customers, but suddenly in stock for VIPs.
This is might be a valid reason to dislike Kokekokko -- that is, until you find yourself getting the special treatment yourself. One of the best off-menu items might be the bonjiri, a super tender piece of meat taken from the around the tailbone that is sometimes colloquially referred to as chicken butt. (Say what?) In each corner of your plate you'll find some traditional yakitori condiments: a smear of potent hot mustard, a paste of minced ginger and green onion, and two small piles of ground spices, one of Sichuan peppercorn, and one of red "seven-flavor" shichimi togarashi.
Once your skewer finishes sizzling on the charcoal grill, it will be presented in front of you, glistening and smoking, topped with a nest of sliced green onions (regulars prefer to sit at the long counter that wraps around the kitchen). The meat is smoky and sweet, dripping with juice and liquid fat, and marked with crispy bits of char. Our advice? Find a regular customer and go with them; heck, make them your new best friend. It pays to have connections in high, smoke-filled places.
Also, for more fun with yakitori: Best Yakitori in L.A..
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles
99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1
98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil
97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.
96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche
95: Duck Shawarma at Momed
94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa
93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen
92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord
91: Baco Mercat's Bazole
90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame
89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence
88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market
87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane
86: Galbi Jjim at Soban
85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post
84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun
83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co
82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus
81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant
79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan
78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat
77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho
76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure
75: Porcetto at Sotto
74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense
73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses
72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms
71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King
70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away
69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ
68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House
67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata
66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen
65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh
64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers
63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow
62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill
61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge
60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham
59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar
58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka
57: Brown Brown Bread Ice Cream at Scoops Westside
56: Smothered Chicken at R and R Soul Food
55: Duck Fried Rice at Jar
54: Taco Sampler at Guisados
53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich
52: House Wonton Soup at China Café
51: Almond Croissant at Proof Bakery
50: The Southern Fry at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
49: The Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium
48: Papaya Salad at Krua Siri
47: Lucky Baldwins' Traditional Full English Breakfast
46: Edomae Tendon Bowl at Hannosuke
45: The Pescado Zarandeado at Coni'Seafood
44: Hot Wings at Beer Belly
43: Raw Kale Salad at Elf Café
42: Steak Tartare Tacos at MessHall
41: Bánh Mì at Buu Dien
40: Sicilian Slice at Pizzanista
39: Grilled Baby Goat T-bone at Mozza's Scuola di Pizza Salumi Bar
38: Papri Chaat at Jay Bharat
37: The Island Combo at TiGeorges' Chicken
36: Tacos Al Pastor at Tacos Leo
35: "Sandwich" at Roma Italian Deli
34: Bossam at Kobawoo House
33: Cauliflower T-Bone at Superba Snack Bar
32: Pupusa Revuelta at Atlacatl
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