Fire it up at Gaijin Noodle + Sake House. Downtown's first and only yakitori specialist serves a hip, lively vibe and an amazingly creative menu. At the yakitori bar, watch the chef carefully grill Gaijin-created delights like jumbo asparagus wrapped in deluxe Nueske bacon over smoldering binchotan, log-shaped Japanese coals that transform skewers of choice morsels into succulent miniature banquets.
Everybody seems to love the bao bao, succulent steamed buns jammed with fillings you only find here: pork carnitas garnished with tangy sunomono salad, peanuts and red rock sugar. The karaage chicken bao features spicy cabbage slaw and cilantro.
When the gong chimes on the hour, guests hoist chef-hosted sake shots and shout,"kanpai!"
VIBE: Welcoming, friendly and focused on community dining.
SPECIALTY: Creative Japanese cuisine made with the finest local and sustainable ingredients.
VARIETY: Delicious Japanese-style tapas, bao bao stuffed buns, yakitori skewers and slurpable noodles.
AVERAGE $: Yakitori, $6; noodle bowls, $10.