Birthday, Part 1 – Takoyaki

Lately, I had a random craving for takoyaki – a puffy, fried octopus dumpling topped with okonomiyaki sauce and katsuobushi and served with mayonnaise and pickled ginger on the side. Katsuobushi is also known as “dancing fish flakes” because when it is added as a topping to a hot dish like takoyaki, the steam from the food makes the katsuobushi dance! The bf and I decided to have ourselves a little snack and off we trekked to St. Mark’s place to find some takoyaki goodness. We ended up at Yakitori Taisho, which is almost always packed with people and had a rather extensive and authentic looking menu filled with Japanese foods. I certainly had high hopes as we sat down in the crowded back room, elbow-to-elbow with all the other tables. Unfortunately, Yakitori Taisho woefully failed to live up to my dreams of yakitori that night. First of all, be aware that there is a minimum table charge of $7 per person, which is actually pretty hefty considering that this is a yakitori place and most single items are conveniently under $7 but any two items put together would be at least more than $10 – making so that a party of 2 would usually spend $20 without even including tax and tip! Do you know how much $20 could buy from Prosperity dumpling?? Over 100 dumplings and then a few sesame beef pancakes to boot!! Also, be ready for some terrible service at this place – the waitress got my order wrong and then argued with me about it, trying to convince me that I was the one who had made a mistake! When she clearly was not going to win the argument, she proceeded to sulk the rest of the night … incredibly, we still left a tip. The yakitori turned out soggy and not so good, although with the mayo it was better. At least the katsuobushi was dancing for us 🙂 Since we were both hungry at the time, we ended up scarfing up the whole thing.  We also had a don topped with scrambled eggs and eel, however the dish was so unfortunate looking I opted not to take any pictures of it.

Dance Katsuobushi, Dance!

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Yakitori FAIL – Not as crispy or tasty as you might think.

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Next time, I am avoiding the mediocre food and service at Yakitori Taisho and going to try out Otafuku on 9th Street, known for their takoyaki takeout! Hopefully they will be better at satisfying my craving for takoyaki that is perfectly crispy on the outside, and chewy on the inside with pleasant little chunks of octopus dispersed throughout!

Yakitori Taisho – St. Mark’s Place

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