Sunday, December 6, 2009

Robataya: Low Key Westside Robata & Yakitori

A lot has been happening in the West LA dining scene since I graduated from UCLA. Returning to Sawtelle a year ago, I noticed at least three new spots. One of these was Robata-ya located next to Chabuya. At the time, robata was made somewhat popular by the Katsuya in Brentwood, so we were eager to try this more affordable option.

The menu was pretty extensive. From traditional cold appetizers like the cucumber sunomono - always a refreshing starter when not overdressed - Robataya's version was nice and light with a big enough portion to share.
I was also enticed by the fancier options like the truffle chawan mushi.
The truffles weren't that fragrant and didn't add much to the dish at all, but the chawan mushi itself was really quite good. Next time I'd rather have the chawan mushi and not pay a premium for the truffles.

Seared foie gras might have been the most affordable at only $12.
Not the best quality and a little stringy, but for $12 what more can you ask for? If you can pay a bit more, Orris next door has quite a delicious version.

An order of corn from the robata bar was a whopping plate of six pieces of grilled corn.
Way too much for 2 people to share, even if they are as much of a corn lover as we are.

It was pretty exciting to see options like bonchiri (chicken tail) and seseri (chicken neck) on the menu at Robataya. I fell in love with seseri at Yakitori Totto in New York. The seseri here is not as good as it was fattier, but as decent an option as you can find for seseri in Los Angeles: crispy skin, tender and juicy meat.
When you see chicken tail, you should think chicken butt instead.
In other words, fatty.

They had a nice, although small, rotating dessert menu and the flourless chocolate cake ended the night on a high note.

All in all, not a bad meal. Everything was quite enjoyable and very much comparable to Yakitoriya down the street but with more options. Oh, and no minimum skewer order here either! Nothing mind-blowing (unlike Yakitori Totto); the most memorable dish was actually the flourless chocolate cake, but it's still a good everyday place.

Robata Ya
2004 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 481-1418
Robata Ya on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

Food, she thought.

that chawanmushi looks gorgeous!!! nice snaps.

weezermonkey

Woohoo for no minimum skewer order!

EatTravelEat

Wow, great simple presentations. I've eaten pigeon butt but probably not chicken butt though. Truffle chawanmushi sounds very interesting to me.

BTW finally managed to write about Charlie Palmer with using GC. A great lunch :).

And Anonymous please do not be a spammer.

burumun

Thanks guys :)

Yeah I've been getting all these anonymous spam comments lately. Makes me sad.

Andi?

Hey I just stumbled onto your blog (looking for a review of Pie n Burger). I'm a fellow grad student at Caltech so I'm looking forward to more updates about Pasadena/SGV restaurants :)

Marie

The chicken tail/butt look particularly fetching! Don't think I've had it, but like most things fatty, I'm sure I'd devour it.

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