Sumptuous skewers at the West Village's new Toriko

Photo: Toriko NY/Yelp

The Japanese chicken and veggie skewers called yakitori have long lagged in popularity and respect behind their trendier cousins, sushi and ramen, in the States. Toriko, a new fine-dining addition to the West Village from the same company behind upscale sushi bars Mifune and Amane, aims to change that.

Although yakitori restaurants in Japan are largely neighborhood watering holes and street food stands that provide snacks as often as full meals, many of the best of these unpretentious establishments have Michelin stars. Toriko itself is a Roppongi-based fine-dining chain with 13 locations in Japan.

At the New York outpost, located at 76 Carmine St., skewers may not be ordered individually. The restaurant is omakase-only, for the moment.

The $85 prix-fixe menu includes seventeen plates of such delicacies such as foie gras chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) and skewers with breast meat, heart, and tsukune (chicken sausage meatballs). You can check out the current omakase menu here and make reservations over the phone.

With a four-star rating out of four reviews on Yelp so far, the new yakitori spot has gotten a positive reception in its early days.

"There was so much food that I almost could not make it to the last two courses," wrote Diogenes W., who was among the first Yelpers to review the new spot on August 31. "My favourite is definitely the chicken cartilage skewers. The hearts, gizzards, and livers were fantastic."

"Fantastic omakase experience," Yelper Pauzi F. agreed. "Food is very good. Everything is fresh. Decor and ambience is very chill. The attention to detail is very impressive."

Head on over to check it out: Toriko NY is open from 5 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)
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