And now let’s head over the causeway to Davis, the home of the Aggies. Students who recently started the quarter at UC Davis and townfolk alike have a new downtown eating option, one that’s a break from the typical Thai food options and sushi buffets geared for student loan budgets.
Yakitori Yuchan opened in mid-September, taking over a downtown Davis space formerly occupied by a Beach Hut Deli. Unlike the teriyaki bowl and all-you-can eat sushi spots that typify Japanese food in downtown Davis, Yakitori Yuchan is modeled closer to an izakaya, or a Japanese pub that specializes in small-plate foods.
Yakitori Yuchan focuses on grilled, skewered meats, vegetables and seafood. But will this approach appeal to the folks who might otherwise head to the nearby Mikuni for Japanese eats? Here’s what you can expect thus far:
Most folks automatically think chicken when it comes to yakitori, and there’s plenty of that here. Options include skewered chicken thighs, breast and even heart and liver for the more adventurous eaters. Some are seasoned with salt or tare – a sweet sauce used in Japanese grilling – and diners can also opt for mustard chicken or a wasabi cream that’s slathered on the skewers.
The yakitori menu also includes beef tongue, six different pork options – including pork belly and quail egg with pork – along with a few vegetable and seafood options.
The izakaya menu features snacky Japanese foods such as chicken wings, tofu dengaku (pan-fried tofu), curried kabocha (deep fried pumpkin with curry) and various deep-fried fish. Yakitori Yuchan also cooks a small selection of rice and noodle dishes, including two types of ramen (pork or soy sauce-based stock) and soba.
Nothing on the menu costs more than $13, and the bulk of items on the izakaya menu are priced between $4 and $7. Place a couple orders of yakitori, add a small plate and a drink, and most diners can leave with a bill around $20.
109 E. St., Davis