If ever you think you don’t really like some food; if ever you think you won’t eat it because it’s unethical, immoral, or politically incorrect; if it doesn’t fit into your vegan/vegetarian/south beach/atkins/grapefruit diet; if ever you can’t imagine eating it because of how gross it looks; if ever you turn your nose up to it because it is beneath you, pedestrian, plebeian; if ever you just won’t eat it…
Impale it, throw it on the robatayaki, and wash it down with cold hard sake.
I swear, you will eat it.
It’s called kushiyaki. Sometimes people mistakenly say “yakitori” to mean the same thing, even though techni-ficially, yakitori refers to a type of kushiyaki made of chicken. While we’re at it, a robatayaki is a bar where you sit around a robata grill and keep yourself sober with the kushiyaki coming off the coals. Yaki this. Yaki that. It doesn’t matter. Just call them “sizzling skewers.”
That’s what Sakura House calls it. “Sizzling skewers of kushiyaki” is very proudly declared on the black and white sign over the door to their tiny, corner-spot location in a mini-mall. We went to Sakura House for dinner, the continuation of a love affair that was sparked at Fu Rai Bo then set on fire at Shin Sen Gumi – a love affair with kushiyaki, not the guy. ;)
Though there are tables in the tiny little dining room, they defeat the purpose of eating kushiyaki. We headed for the counter and smiled at the heavily-euro-accented yoga couple on one side and a trio that looked like they stepped out of a Benetton ad on the other side before wedging ourselves between them. From our perspective, we could barely make out the wizard at the grill through the smoke. It made me thirsty. We ordered our first of several sakes within 90 seconds of sitting down.
13362 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
** a year ago today, spumoni gave me a neapolitan complex **