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Monday, January 25, 2010

Hiro Yakko San's (redux) - North Miami Beach

For the past few weeks, we have been making roller skating excursions down to Kendall. The boys love to roller skate and I like to pretend I can jam skate as they practice their moves and routines. I’m more of a figure skater and at home on the ice, but jam skating is slowly growing on me.


On the long car drive home, I have been pushing the idea of stopping by Hiro Yakko-san’s for dinner since it is open late (2am on weekdays and 3am on the weekends). This was only after I learned how far we actually drove to get skating. I was previously under the assumption we were west of Dania and not deep into Homestead. We usually get out of skating around 10:30pm and it’s roughly a little after 11:00pm by the time we make it to the restaurant.


So this post is going to be an amalgamation of the past two visits to this establishment and only of the dishes that I have not yet reviewed. First up is the zaru-soba! Basically this is a cold buck wheat noodle dish served with a dipping sauce on the side. You are given scallions and wasabi to add to the sauce until it suits your tastes. For me, that meant I was only adding scallions as I dislike the taste of wasabi. However, I found the flavor profile of the soba to be quite bland without the wasabi added. No, I didn’t add the wasabi to find out if I liked it more that way. Sorry guys, I’m just not the wasabi type of girl.


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Takoyaki is a quintessential Japanese snack food from Osaka, Japan. Fried balls of molten cheesy goodness that surrounds a “tako” (octopus) center. It’s frequently topped with bonito flakes, a special mayonnaise, and a takoyaki sauce. I have tried really hard to fall in love with this dish, but I just can not. I’ve eaten it several times at Yakko-san’s, once at another Japanese izakaya in South Florida, and twice in California to no avail. I just don’t think takoyaki is my thing. To Yakko-san’s credit, they are the best takoyaki I have ever eaten, but it doesn’t mean they are on my list of favorite things to eat.


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On the other hand, I simply adore their onigiris (riceballs). It’s a simple dish, like most of the food they serve, executed perfectly. My favorite onigiri to order is the mentaiko (spicy cod fish roe) onigiri. I love the combination of spicy and slightly salty to complement the sushi rice. Even the rice has an ever so perceptible flavor which I can’t pinpoint, but it is definitely not bland.


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I love mackerel, so when I saw mackerel as one of the specials of the day, I immediately ordered a portion. “Aji Himono” was described on the menu as being half dried Japanese Mackerel grilled and lightly salted. It was served with a small side of grated daikon and a slice of lemon. The fish was cooked perfectly and the bones were crisp enough to eat. The dish truly came together when you squeezed the lemon over the fish and ate each piece with a bit of daikon. The accompaniments added the perfect accent to the slight smokiness of the mackerel.


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The boys have taken to ordering the yakiniku beef. They love it so much they have dubbed it “crack beef” for its addictive taste. I don’t blame them, the beef is always cooked perfectly (medium) and is always tender. The sauce itself is very addictive and goes great over rice! My boyfriend always pours the remnants of the sauce into his rice bowl. XD


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The boys love their curry and it’s inevitable that a curry dish is going to be ordered (if not several). Curry Chicken Katsu is a breaded chicken cutlet served on top of a bed of rice with a side of curry. Chicken is a proteins which dried out very quickly if cooked incorrectly. As such, I usually avoid ordering chicken when I go out to eat. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cutlet was tender and moist! The curry served on the side is the ubiquitous Japanese curry served in this establishment. Not to say it isn’t good, it’s delicious. But if you are ordering a curry dish, the curry is going to remain the same while the protein may change.


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The boys’ love of curry knows no boundaries, so yet another curry dish was ordered. The beef curry was reminiscent of curry chicken katsu, except beef was substituted for the chicken cutlet. The beef seems to have been slow cooked with in the curry and fell apart/melted in your mouth. I definitely prefer this dish over the chicken katsu, despite my predilection for fried foods. =)


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I’m sure there will be many more excursions to Yakko-san’s. I just can’t get enough of the Japanese tapas and their ever rotating and seasonal specials. It helps a lot that their prices are also quite affordable, though with the amount of food I order (our eyes are bigger than our stomachs usually) we usually leave with quite a sizeable check. It’s an average of $25 per person when we visit, so not horrible for an evening out and the superb quality of the food prepared.

Hiro's Yakko-San
(305) 947-0064
17040 W Dixie Hwy
North Miami Beach, FL 33160

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