where you need to eat right now

Yakitori usually conjures images of cheap street food, but Toriki aims higher. Skewered pieces of chicken are lovingly grilled over binchotan charcoal embers to ensure that the meat remains perfectly juicy and tender. Liver brushed with a sweet and savory soy sauce has the velvety texture of blood pudding, while flecks of cartilage give a pleasant crunch to delicately seasoned tsukune meatballs. The menu is omakase only, but you can opt for extras like the provocative chochin — unfertilized eggs attached to the uterine tube. Yasuhito Sakai has the no-nonsense manner we’d expect from a serious yakitori chef, but he’s a softie at heart.