At first glance, you may pass up this gem hidden in a strip mall. The interior is quite simple and nothing special, but you're coming here for the food anyway... right?
The owner formerly ran a restaurant in Tokyo, so the food is authentic.
You start the meal with pickled veggies of some sort. They often change it up, so you never know exactly what you will get. I enjoy the pickled veggies that have a little spicy kick.
The ginger salad is as expected, and the miso is not what you typically find in Asian restaurants, it is MUCH better. The miso has a unique, made-from-actual-miso-paste flavor (vs. the packaged/powder variety you may be familiar with).
The yakitori (think mini kebabs but BETTER) is delicious and definitely on-par with yakitory we tried in Kyoto, Japan. We always order the salted variety instead of the teriyaki option so that we can really taste the meat or veggies - both have an amazing off-the-grill flavor. We typically order the 5 piece veggie and 5 piece meat yakitori combos to share while also ordering a main dish. Yakitory takes a while to cook, so it will probably arrive after your main dish instead of as an appetizer.
Unless the policy recently changed, yakitory is not served during lunch.
All the bowl dishes we've tried have been great, but we love the ramen. We've eaten at the top rated ramen restaurant in Tokyo and that one is still the winner, but the ramen here is delicious and on-par with some we tried in Japan.
The service is great and the atmosphere is casual. You will not be disappointed with Yakitori Jinbei.
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