Over the past three decades, veteran owner-chef Kunio Aihara has developed a style all of his own. Instead of cutting the meat into morsels on skewers, he carves up whole birds, breaking them down into their component parts with a few deft flicks of ...

In charge of the grill is Tomohiko Abe, Ikegawa's youthful right-hand man from Torishiki. He is working side by side with Yasunori Yamamoto, whose background is in Italian cuisine. It sounds hybrid, but it works wonderfully.

In the right hands, the simple act of grilling skewers of chicken over glowing coals of charcoal produces one of the supreme delicacies of Japanese cuisine, well worthy of a such a tasteful setting. Those hands belong to yakitori maestro Yoshiteru Ikegawa.

Takahashi is a small place tucked away inconspicuously on the second floor of a modern building. And it also has that personal touch that comes from a hands-on owner-chef dedicated to detail. However, the style and approach are considerably different. For more than two decades, Yuji ...

You’d never stumble on it by chance. Hidden from view on the second floor of a newish building just off Sakurada-Dori, there is little inside or out to suggest that this unpretentious restaurant, with its open kitchen, glass-enclosed grill, counter seats and three small ...

Kushiwakamaru boasts all the attributes of a classic neighborhood yakitori shop. It's convivial, affordable, always busy and often filled with clamor and smoke. It's clean (but not too clean), the chicken is good (though never brilliant), they grill it over charcoal (essential for flavor), ...

Chicken is the be-all and end-all at Imaiya -- not any old poultry, of course, but top quality Hinai jidori. Small fowl with handsome orange plumage, these birds are raised in happy, healthy, free-range conditions in Akita Prefecture, and you can certainly taste the ...

At Vin Chou (which they rhyme with "banjo"), the chicken of preference is prime Date-jidori, one of the finest, most flavorful varieties of Japanese fowl. Rather more unusually, though, the menu also offers Bresse chicken wings, quail, cuts of Barbary duck and halves of ...

One taste assures you that this is meat of unquestionable quality, its innate flavor enhanced not by additive-laden sauces but a light sprinkling of salt and the aroma of the softly burning Wakayama bincho charcoal.

Everything is grilled over Bincho charcoal (hence the name) shipped from the Kii Peninsula, which is highly rated for the even, constant heat it generates. The chickens, reared in the foothills of Mount Haruna, in Gunma Prefecture, are a crossbreed of local birds with ...

Besides all the usual cuts of chicken, there are lots of good things wrapped in bacon, such as asparagus, mushrooms and even mochi rice cakes. You'll also find tofu, seafood, spuds and veggies all primed to go on the charcoal.

The oysters are evidence that there's plenty more on the menu here besides yakitori. Further confirmation is provided by the large fish tank in the center of the kitchen, its only occupants a school of large, graceful squid. This is the main point where ...

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