Sunday, September 2, 2018

Restaurant Review: Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill

After a failed attempt at visiting Kura, a revolving sushi place, we ended up at Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill for my birthday lunch last month. It was a Saturday around 1pm and the place was empty. However I loved the dark interior and I imagine that it is much more lively in the evenings, at least that's what I was told.

Rakitori is a Japanese restaurant in the heart of Hillcrest in San Diego. They have a variety of items on the menu from appetizers, yakitori, ramen, sushi & sashimi and rice bowls. We started off with some appetizers to share.

The Spicy Garlic Butter Shishito Peppers were tasty and addictive, as shishito peppers are. The Oysters were delicious and topped with tobiko. The Bao Bao Buns featuring barbecue pork and a kimchi slaw were not my favorite. I am not a fan of kimchi but I ordered these because I am a fan of pork. Unfortunately I thought the slaw took away from the flavor of the pork.

I wanted to try something from their large yakitori selection so I ordered the Pork Belly, because like I said I am a fan of pork. The dollop of ume paste was delicious, I swear I can eat this stuff by the spoonful. The pork belly had a nice char and was crispy on the outside with the inside melting like pork butter in your mouth. Pork belly, I love you.

We ordered two sushi rolls to try. The first one is the Rock Star Roll. We had to try this because it contains pop rocks. No really, pop rocks in sushi. A Philadelphia roll topped with a parlsey garlic crunch and pop rocks. This was tasty and literally explodes in your mouth. This roll will make you happy and I now have a list of recipes I need to incorporate pop rocks into. The second roll the What the Hell Roll I ordered this because it promised to be spicy and it was. A spicy tuna roll topped with Albacore, avocado, ponzu sauce and chili oil. Yes, the radish is glowing.

My mom and sister both tried one of their Rakitori combos. Your choice of ramen and a side. They both had the Spicy Tonkatsu Ramen one with a spicy tuna roll and the other with three yakitori. I tried some of the ramen and thought it was just okay. I prefer the ramen over at Rakiraki Ramen.

All in all I enjoyed my birthday lunch, thanks sis.

Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill
530 University Ave
San Diego, CA  92103

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