109 E Street, Davis, California 95616. (530) 753-3196
It’s finally open!
Six months ago, my friend Kerry gave me the heads up that the design company she works for, Benning Design, had been hired to work on a soon-to-be-opened yakitori place in Davis. The owners, a Japanese couple, anticipated opening Yakitori Yuchan by fall. Since then I’ve been eagerly (and patiently) waiting to eat some yakitori without having to drive to the Bay Area. Last night, I finally got my wish. My friend and I popped in during their soft opening and had a very pleasant dinner. The interior is quite pretty- a beautiful artsy bamboo lighting fixture takes center stage, there’s lots of color splashed throughout the restaurant (I love the bold, sunset orange-red that highlights the walls), and the sake bar is pretty badass looking with its upside down, hanging dispensers.
When you sit down the server gives you a menu and a small list. The list is for marking what kind of skewers you’d like to order. Each order comes with 2 skewers. Yakitori Yuchan offers several different kinds of chicken, pork and veggie skewers. On some of them you can choose to have it with shio (salt) or with tare (a basting sauce made from mirin, soy sauce, sake and sugar).
If you're unfamiliar with yakitori, here's a textbook definition:
ya·ki·to·ri: /yäkiˈtôrē/, noun
“Yakitori, grilled chicken, is commonly a Japanese type of skewered chicken cooked over a special kind of charcoal. The term "yakitori" can also refer to skewered food in general. Kushiyaki, is a formal term that encompasses both poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled.”
Here’s a few that we tried:
Eringi (grilled King Trumpet mushrooms with a garlic sauce – the mushroom has a nice “meaty” texture to it when grilled)
Chicken Liver (one of my favorite skewers to order- I love the dense meat and slightly iron-like taste)
Grilled chicken drizzled with a wasabi cream sauce ( the sauce had a nice horseradish bite to it but was not overwhelming)
Pork wrapped around a quail egg (perfectly cooked, chewy pork wrapped around a tiny, hard-boiled quail egg)
We also got several appetizers to share:
Nasu dengaku (miso glazed eggplant)
Garlic Brussels (grilled Brussels sprouts with a delicious miso sauce, sprinkled with bits of fried garlic and pepper threads)
And a yaki onigiri (fried riceball)
All of the skewers were delicious. I also loved both the nasu dengaku and the Brussels sprouts dish, I could have eaten another serving of each. The fried bits of garlic and teensy sliced pepper threads made the savory dish absolutely addicting. Next time I’d also like to try the fried pumpkin with curry sauce and the squid app. One thing about the service that I really liked was that the dishes are brought out in waves as they are ready, in true izakaya fashion. This gives you an opportunity to relax, chat and knock back a drink in between dishes. (They have a nice choice of sakes to make your way through.)
If you get a chance, I highly suggested checking out Yakitori Yuchan. Yakitori is the perfect food to nibble on while socializing. It’s also great if you’re doing a no or low carb diet as most of the skewers are meatcentric.
Note: Yakitori Yuchan currently opens for dinner at 6pm and is closed on Mondays.