Great press release from Gabe and Kina, the good folks behind Kotori which opens on July 9th, right nex to their current restaurant, Biwa
Yakitori (焼鳥), the Japanese art of grilling chicken, is one of the world’s great refinements of cuisine. Cooks in the U.S. get pig tattoos; In Japan folks love yakitori, the chicken, and there are poultry butchers and yakitori shops everywhere. There is Michelin starred yakitori.
Much of the beauty of yakitori is in its visceral simplicity. Select chickens are carefully sectioned into a dozen or so different parts, ranging from discrete muscle groups like the tender or the oyster, to organs, both familiar and otherwise, and are prepared on bamboo skewers and grilled over binchotan, a particular white oak charcoal that burns so hot that magic happens to the chicken and to the people eating it.
Also: Often there is very cold Asahi Super Dry. Yakitori might be at its best with sake. There are always simple delicious vegetables, too.
Yakitori is so delicious and so much better than chicken skewered and grilled over fire (which presumably is what cave people ate) has any right to be.
The thing is though, at least in the Japanese context, yakitori isn’t really even so much a meal as it is a semi-ritualized fantasy chicken snack world wherein after work you casually eat grilled chicken and unwind with your friends and coworkers over drinks on your way home… We love this and we’all have dreamt of this for so long and so this year (actually this week!) finally (!) our “little chicken” yakitori shop, “Kotori— 小鳥,” … is hatched!
Kotori is our open-air fantasy chicken snack world! Opening July 9th (and therafter open every Thursday thru Sunday from 4:00 until sunset) we are serving our best charcoal grilled yakitori, featuring farmer sourced animals and vegetables and, in general, our best efforts and beyond, coupled with simple side dishes and the requisite absolutely delightful patio bar with the sake, cocktails, beer, wine, sun-tea, friendly vibrations, etc.
Kotori is located on our very own little patch of gravel and trees at the corner of 9th and Pine in southeast, right next to Biwa… We have a sweet tachinomi (standing bar) that Kina and Kiki built partially out of stuff that we’all set on fire a couple days ago (just come and see!), Carl, Patrick and Chloe are going to be there, and we hope-hope-hope that you will be part of our chicken fantasies all summer long…
Thanks so much and we can’t wait to see you and we miss you when you aren’t here!
Gabe & Kina
Open Daily from 5pm – Midnight
215 SE 9th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214
Stumbled onto this on Sunday. Great spot. Terrific little corner. Loved it.