Yakitori Totto NYC – Good Eats on a Stick

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Just say the word “yakitori” and I’m there. Heck, you could stick a skewer through a pine cone and I’d give it a try. So when I arrived in New York City last night to spend some quality time with my daughter, our first stop was Yakitori Totto on West 55th St.

Yakitori Totto

Traditionally, yakitori is made from all parts of the chicken, including the internal organs. This chicken egg wall sculpture is the center of attention at Yakitori Totto and serves as a tribute to all the chickens that gave their lives so that we could enjoy the deliciousness of yakitori. Image credit: Cherri Megasko

What is Yakitori?

Traditionally “yakitori” is skewered chicken grilled over an intensely hot charcoal fire. But at least here in the United States, the term is loosely used to describe Japanese skewers of everything from boiled quail eggs to beef tongue. The marinades and seasonings are distinctly Japanese and along with the grilling process, give each skewered tidbit an intense and mouth-watering flavor.

Yakitori Totto

Yakitori Totto has a lot to offer besides skewered chicken. This pork belly with potatoes and okra was scrumptious! Image credit: Cherri Megaasko

The Menu at Yakitori Totto

The menu options are divided into sections of which yakitori is only one of several. They are: Appetizers, Tofu/Salad/Vegetable Dishes, Soup/Meat & Seafood, Yakitori, Noodles & Rice Dishes. The individual menu items are quite varied and will satisfy the most diehard meat and potatoes lover to the strictest vegetarian. Portions are small, though, so be prepared to order a few choices. Going with friends is a great way to try new and adventurous options.

Yakitori Totto

The vibe at Yakitori Totto is energetic and fun. Surprisingly however, you can still hold a conversation without raising your voice. Image credit: Cherri Megasko

The Ambiance at Yakitori Totto

Like many restaurants in NYC, Yakitori Totto is small and a bit cramped. But the energy is uplifting and the vibe is fun. Because the space is so small it’s easy to get your waitress’ attention to order another drink or some additional skewers. The interior design is upscale with tasteful Asian décor and amenities.

Yakitori Totto

If I had to pick one yakitori selection it would be the chicken livers. They are sinfully rich and delicious! Image credit: Cherri Megasko

My favorite Yakitori Totto skewers

Without a doubt my favorite skewers were the chicken livers (yum) and the kobe beef (double yum). I also really enjoyed the bacon-wrapped asparagus and skirt steak. My daughter shared a taste of her pork belly with me and it was delicious as well.

Additional Tips for Dining at Yakitori Totto:

Start Slowly – It’s easy to grab your waitress to order more, so start with two or three items and add on as your appetite dictates. The food comes fast and hot so it’s easy to order as you eat.

Be Prepared to Wait – Unless you’re dining early, be prepared to wait for a table. When we first arrived we were told our wait could be up to 45 minutes. If you give the hostess you phone number, she will happily call you when your table is ready, so you can grab a drink in the neighborhood while you wait.

Order Outside the Box – If you tend to stay within your comfort zone when eating, try at least one item that is adventurous to you. Portions are small and inexpensive, so you’ve nothing to lose. To me, it makes the dining experience a lot more memorable.



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9 thoughts on “Yakitori Totto NYC – Good Eats on a Stick

    1. Cherri Megasko Post author

      I didn’t, Leann. Everything looked pretty straight forward, but you never know with all the marinades, spices and sauces they use.

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