We always have a great time at St. Marks, but every now and then, if you have some time to spare (and money to spend), try this uber refined alternative in Midtown West. We had dinner at Yakitori Totto for Tru’s birthday, and if you’re one to appreciate the genuine subtly of Japanese cuisine, this is the perfect place to explore.
You don’t get much for the amount you’ll have to dish out, but it’s a great place to just sit back and enjoy each carefully crafted creation.
I’m going to jump to the end, because the green tea affogato had to have been my favorite–soft vanilla bean ice cream with scoops of sweet red bean paste melting slowly in fresh green tea. It was so refreshing and the most inventive twist to one Jay’s favorite desserts I’ve seen in a while.
But what they’re really known for is their yakitori selection–a variety of different meats slowly roasted on wooden sticks. From pork and beef to seafood and rice balls, each stick was meticulously marinated, arranged and grilled.
Since it’s nearly impossible to get full off a few yakitori orders alone, I’d recommend getting a full entree as well. My favorite was the Kyona and Jyako salad with crispy seaweed and deep-fried silver fish sprinkled throughout. There’s also traces of soft poached egg, altogether a delicate compilation of ingredients to make an elegant yet potent salad.
Another pretty memorable dish was the the salmon siokara. It’s a pungent, and I’d say acquired, taste, which is probably why they serve less than a spoonful of it. But the intense flavor really piques your appetite.