6023 Florin Rd – Ste 600, Sacramento, CA 95823
A soft opening is such an odd name for an event…
I’m sure we all have our opinions on the Yelpers of the world. But I am one of them, proud of it and also appreciate the connections I’ve made through all different sorts of foodie cultures. Also, I can see the polarizing effect it has on the food culture, anywhere. That being said, a Yelper foodie friend invited me to the soft opening of a new spot in Sacramento, Osaka Yakitori.
The location is not where most midtown-based Sacramentans would venture, but if you’re familiar with the area, then you know it’s not as bad as some may perceive it. The new spot is in a newer shopping area on Florin Road, nestled front and center when you drive into the shopping strip.
From the moment we walked through the door until we got up to leave, the entire crew at Osaka Yakitori was awesome, welcoming, and very hospitable. They welcomed us with a huge, traditional Japanese greeting. The entire restaurant was dedicated to the soft opening on Friday night; the Grand Opening would be two days later on Sunday.
As I looked around, I enjoyed how clean and refreshing the decor was. There were two large murals along the back wall, which was a nice touch. I’m not sure what was here before, but Osaka Yakitori did a great job of making it all look brand new. As we sat down, we were handed freshly printed menus.
We tried appetizers, sushi rolls, yakitori, and entrees, all washed down with plum wine and saki bombs. By the time dessert was an option, we were so full we couldn’t even fathom trying to squeeze mochi or fried ice cream in our bellies!
To start off our foodie adventure we ordered the Hot Wings and Gyoza. I was a little worried about the heat of the wings, but since it was on the side I was golden. The wings were perfectly fried golden and tasted great without any sauce. The gyoza was also perfectly fried and stuffed with the exact amount of tastiness.
Next we each ordered a roll. It should be noted that J (my man) does not like seafood, nor does he like nori (seaweed wrap). Luckily for him, and others who are similar to him in sushi preference, they have an awesome roll – the “Servers Favorite Roll,” which is sesame chicken, cream cheese, avocado, unagi sauce, spicy mayo, and sesame seeds. Like J, you can get it with soy wrap if you’re not into seaweed. Can we note how fun the green color of the soy wrap is? I’m used to the odd, kinda creepy pink soy wrap. My roll option, as usual, was pretty basic when it comes to sushi rolls. I went with the “Osaka Maki Roll” – deep fried panko shrimp, avocado, unagi sauce, spicy mayo, green onions, and masago. Although we aren’t adventurous sushi connoisseurs, we loved the simple rolls we did try! J has already asked to go back for his roll, which has replaced his old fave roll!
Even though a friend brought to my attention that what I love to eat at Japanese restaurants is essentially a huge chicken nugget, I always love to try Chicken Katsu when I try a new Japanese restaurant. I love the salty and tangy flavor of the katsu sauce, plus the crunchy panko coating on the chicken. The serving size was just right, even though my eyes said it was too small. J originally ordered the curry, but the chefs still need to learn that recipe. Instead, the server brought him Beef Teriyaki, which was really good. The meat as tender and perfectly cooked. Both Bento Box entrees came with salad, gyoza, rice, and veggie tempura. Their tempura had just the right amount of batter – not too much, not too little.
As if all of this food wasn’t enough, I still had to try their skewered meats. After all, the name of the place has Yakitori in the name, so skewers are a must! Even though Yakitori is primarily thought of as chicken skewers, Osaka Yakitori offers other meats skewered as well (technically Kushiyaki). I went with pork belly. Even though it was my third selection, it was amazing! It wasn’t huge in size, but great in fat-meat ratio. Also, the seasoning was just right – it was juicy and full of flavor. Their yakitori pricing and portions were great, especially if you want to order a variety of them!
Sacramento, get off the midtown town grid for once! The food, the price, and the service make it worth the drive. Also, sometimes its fun to check out a different area than you’re used to – you never know what you’ll find out there!