Sunday, May 09, 2010

Yogi's Teriyaki - Tustin

If there's one Japanese dish that has transcended and criss-crossed all cultural lines in America more than any other, it's teriyaki.

You could get a teriyaki bowl to chase your Sourdough Jack at Jack-in-the-Box. Santa Ana and Westminster has more than a few Mexican and Vietnamese joints serving teriyaki along with tacos and banh mi. And let's not forget the ubiquity of Orange County's home-grown teriyaki titan, Flame Broiler, which, by the way, was started by a Korean.

Yogi's in Tustin is also run by a Korean family. The kid does his homework at a table near the back. Mom minds the register. Dad helps.

But the dudes who do the actual cooking are their Latino employees. One gent tends to smoky grill and transforms thin planks of boneless, skinless chicken into blissfully wonderful things. Flipped over as they sizzle on the hot grates, the edges burn to a sweet, crispy char. The meat in the middle remains tenderly moist and becomes infused with smokiness.

They're served chopped into spears and laid down over the rice as if to say "Ta-daa!" You don't even need to squirt their homemade teriyaki glaze supplied in squeeze bottles, but you might as well. The sauce is excellent, with just a hint of mirin's alcoholic tang still haunting the brew.

What you see in my picture is the combo plate, which retails for $7.99 and includes too-chewy BBQ beef chopped into nubbins and anorexic shrimp. Do not get this. Shun the surf and turf for the poultry. The chicken is what you want and all you need.

When you eat it, you will be thankful there's nothing else that interrupts the Zen-perfection of its execution. It'll have you saying "Yoshinoya who?"

Yogi's Teriyaki
(714) 731-8876
1108 Irvine Blvd
Tustin, CA 92780

*Special Thanks to my friend Alosha (a.k.a. Melissa) for the tip.

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15 Comments:

At 6:19 AM, Blogger EatTravelEat said...

Suffice to say I haven't had any shrimp or beef teriyaki at any of these teriyaki restaurants. It's always chicken for me!

 
At 6:43 AM, Blogger Bill said...

I hate deceptive butter flying of shrimp, but the plate sure does look good and filling.

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Yay! The chicken and the sauce, I'm telling you. Looooove.

 
At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Elmo,
check this place out if you're looking for a new place to try:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/hakone-sushi-torrance. A friend recommended it to me, and I haven't tried it yet. Let us know what you think.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

EatTravelEat,

Me too. Chicken lends itself better than any other meat to this treatment, I think. Only thing missing here is the gari...maybe not even that.

Bill,

It was a great deal! Shared it and we came out stuffed! We also had a side order of eggrolls that's not pictured, but were nicely crunchy.

Melissa,

Thanks for prodding me to try the place. I think I've found my favorite chicken teriyaki joint. And dang! It's friggin' cheap!

Anon,

That looks gooood! Pity it's not closer to me. But you can count on Torrance on having impeccable Japanese restaurants, seeing as how so many Japanese companies are there.

 
At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Gustavo Arellano said...

Not Yogi's in Tustin--you want Teriyami! I reviewed it! And if you want the apotheosis of Mexican teriyaki, it's Mos II in Anacrime or SanTana!

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger Vlad said...

First off, I've been a fan of your blog since 2005, and enjoy every new post. Keep up the great work. As such, I thought I'd recommend that you check out and blog about MOS 2 in Santa Ana. It's adjacent to the DMV at First Street and Grand Avenue. As a matter of fact, I park in the DMV surface lot and sneak around the property line to MOS 2. I usually get the chicken bowl without the skin. Maybe you can do a comparison between MOS 2 and Flame Broiler. Good luck...

 
At 8:52 PM, Anonymous kelly von Hemert said...

Yogi's: I'll go there just for the name. Is his name really Yogi? Awesome!

Gustavo's comment about Mos II is cracking me up. That was one of my very first reviews for OC Weekly long, long ago! LOVE it.

Thanks for the tip!

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Gustavo,

Yes! Still remember your Teriyami review. I saw Teriyami come in when Yeh-Jin failed. Seems counter-intuitive that I still haven't tried it. It's practically in my backyard.

Vlad and Kelly,

MOS II was exactly what I was hinting at in this write-up! Except, shamefully, I haven't been. A buddy of mine and I came close. We found the one on Lincoln, but we were full of burgers by then!

And Vlad, thanks for sticking with me!

Kelly, actually I wouldn't bet there is a guy named Yogi, but then, why not? There must have been a Yoshi at Yoshinoya.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Every time I click on 92780 search on Yelp I see Mos 2. I need to make it over there as well. And Teriyami for sure - seems silly neither of us has been there E!

 
At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Elmo said...

Wow those looks very delicious to eat. I hope that I will be able to find your these restaurant to be able to get a taste of that menu.

 
At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Das Ubergeek said...

There's a second Yogi's, walking distance from my office. It's at the corner of The City Drive and Garden Grove Blvd/Memory Ln.

It's still not as good as Super Bowl on Ball and State College, though. That beats even Mos 2.

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Melissa,

Ain't it silly?! I aim to fix that this week sometime. Or perhaps I should lay off the teriyaki. I just had me Yoshinoya...I know, I know. But it's so gosh darned convenient!

Elmo,

I like your handle, but I had it first! HAH!

Das,

I haven't even heard of that one. But heck, I'll try it! Teriyaki's one thing easy on the pocket to taste test all around.

 
At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to try Da Luau in Irvine. It's a new Hawaiian restaurant, with a hint of Korean in it... because it's owned by Koreans. =)

I'll be waiting for your post!

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Gustavo Arellano said...

NO NO NO. If you want teriyaki cooked by Mexicans, it's MOS II!!!

 

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