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Monday, August 4, 2008

Food Porn: Yakitori and Kushi Katsu at Halu

Posted By on Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 9:00 AM

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Name: Halu (312 8th Ave.), Inner Richmond.

Style: Japanese yakitori (skewers) and kushi katsu (deep-fried skewers)

Price: Mid-range.

Favorite Dish: Tie between stuffed mushrooms kushi katsu ($4.50) and ramen hiyashi chuka ($7.50).

Follow the jump for the up close and personal ...

The Skinny: The itsy-bitsy 25-seat Halu was opened in mid-June by husband and wife team Shigemi and Mimi Komiyama. One of only a few yakitori joints around, Halu's been doing swift business, and lines have been spotted out the door some nights. The menu packs a thorough spread of grilled skewers, deep-fried skewers, and homemade ramen bowls -- not to mention an impressive sake selection. It's a definite departure from the standard Japanese food = sushi rolls equation. The walls are decked out in great vintage rock'n'roll posters, with music to match -- lots of Who, Kinks, Beatles. It makes sense: Shigemi is the former drummer for Jefferson Airplane spin-off Hot Tuna, and the current drummer for surf-rock locals The Shitones. According to Mimi, Shigemi still plays frequently, "but at the moment he’s really concentrating cooking the yakitori.” Which means that Halu may be your only chance to eat yakitori grilled by a famous rock'n'roll drummer.

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Karaage chicken. Japanese-style fried chicken.

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Ginko nuts yakitori.

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Pork with onion kushi katsu.

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The aforementioned ramen hiyashi chuka (cold noodle served with roast pork, cucumber, thin-sliced egg, and seasoned lettuce.)

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Steak and chicken gizzard yakitori.

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Zucchini kushi katsu

-- Brian Bernbaum

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Brian Bernbaum

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