|mushroom, potato, pork skewers|
They've done a great job of remodeling the location. Not many people ever got (or needed) to go into the kitchen area or use the bathroom, but the place was pretty ramshackle. One of the (lesser) reasons Doughbot vacated. With the remodel, Binchoyaki is clean, comfortable, and has a nice bathroom!
The name of the place comes from Bincho meaning "charcoal" and Yaki meaning "grill". Therefore, I assume they use Binchō-tan charcoal.
The fineness and high quality of binchō-tan are attributed to steaming at high temperatures (about 1000 degrees Celsius). Although it is often thought that binchō-tan burns hot, it actually burns at a lower temperature than ordinary charcoal but for a longer period, making it preferable to a number of Japanese chefs.Meanwhile, "izakaya" is the Japanese equivalent of a gastropub. A social eating house.
Binchoyaki serves mostly small plates a la the robatayaki (customers sitting at a counter while chefs grill) and yakitori (grilled skewers). While there is a line of counter seats so you can watch the grilling, most seats are tables. They do not do reservations or takeout. It is a small place. One Saturday I happened to go by and there was a crowd of people outside waiting for tables.
|krispy rice balls|
Luckily I was with two girlfriends, so we ordered quite an assortment of items. Keep in mind that these are small plates and skewers are sold individually and are short, not long.
A favorite was the krispy rice balls above, topped with spicy tuna, serrano, chive ponzu. The outer layer is indeed crispy and wonderful. The skewers are mopped with a simple soya glaze, but they did mention an alternate kind as well.
|pork belly skewer|
You don't really think much of dessert in Japanese restaurants, but the creme caramel was well done and I loved the hibiscus sorbet. I do not know if they buy or make it. (update: they make it themselves)
I'm glad they are in my neighborhood, just wish they did takeout as I had hoped to get some ramen last night. (update: "We wish we did take outs too! But the chef really takes pride in his food and if you take out, the quality of the food drastically drops.")