Yu-Yu Kushiage, sister restaurant to longtime Chinatown late-night fixture Ichiza, highlights the latest Japanese culinary concept to land in the Valley—kushiage. Japanese for deep-fried skewer, kushiage is simple: Everything is panko-battered, deep-fried and served to you on individual skewers.
Yu-Yu’s kushiage, priced from $1-$3 per skewer, ranges from fruits and vegetables to a variety of proteins. On the healthier side, check out the okra, asparagus, eggplant and fruit. The Asian pear and banana both have enough fresh flavor to stand out after frying.
As for less health-conscious choices, anything bacon-wrapped will do—the green beans and mozzarella cheese are revelations—as will chicken wings, pork loin and chikuwa (fish cake) with mozzarella. Mmm … meat on a stick.
Yu-Yu offers 12 sauces and condiments to accompany your fried-food fiesta. Always served are the kushiage sauce (think thinner A-1), curry salt and an addictive ichimi (chili) salt. I suggest the spicy mayo to go with the meats.
Your cardiologist might not approve, but Yu-Yu is a unique concept worth experiencing, probably best in a group, when more of the kushiage menu can be sampled.
Yu-Yu Kushiage 4115 Spring Mountain Road #E101, 220-4223. Open daily; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.