Eat Here, Not There: Teriyaki Chicken Bowls

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Edwin Goei
The feature is called "Eat Here, Not There", but don't take this as a no confidence vote on Yoshinoya. In fact, I enjoy Yoshinoya's chicken. A lot.  It's all about that crispy skin, slips of concentrated poultry-ness, which after thorough dusting of togarashi, can take away all the sins of the overcooked goop they call vegetables.

But when I hanker for something purer, just the bird, and nothing but the bird, Yogi's Teriyaki in Tustin has the answer. Theirs is a different breed of bowl. No one bothers with veggies here. A chicken bowl contains only three things: rice, sauce and chicken.

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Edwin Goei

And my, that chicken. Most often, it's breast meat, pounded thin to the thickness of a checkbook, the planks made to sizzle on hot grates, the edges burnt to a sweet, crispy char. The middle remains tender, breathing in the smoky fumes. Chopped into sharp spears, laid down over rice, and glazed in caramelized sauce where it isn't turned to obsidian, it makes me forget the absence of skin. This is the closest one can get to chicken candy. And instead of togarashi, they supply Sriracha, a worthy substitute.

House-made teriyaki sauce is supplied, but not required--a concoction they supply in thimbles if you take-out, but also sell in bottles, should you want to bless your backyard BBQ's with the same sugary, still-faintly alcoholic amalgam of soy and mirin.

Teriyaki chicken bowls are as ubiquitous as tacos these days. You'll surely have your own to share in the comment pages. Gustavo favors the teriyaki chicken bowls from Mos #2 and Teriyami, which should also be considered before you order one from Jack in the Box.

Yogi's Teriyaki, 1108 Irvine Blvd Tustin, CA 92780, 714) 731-8876.


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