Photo courtesy of Momo Yakitori

The District’s first full-fledged yakitori restaurant opens this Friday. Momo Yakitori serves traditional Japanese skewered meats and vegetables cooked over a speciality binchō-tan grill that imparts crave-worthy smoky flavor. 

A taste test determined that the following skewers (priced at $2-$3 each) can’t be missed: tsukune (Japanese-style chicken meatball), honetsuki momo (chicken drumstick), and kabocha (sweet pumpkin). For a few bucks more, there’s melt-in-your-mouth Miyazaki Wagyu beef. 

In addition to skewers, the menu features small appetizers priced around $4 each including sweet potato salad, sesame cucumber salad, and green beans with sesame sauce. Finish every meal with a yaki onigiri (grilled rice ball) swimming in a rich dashi broth. Co-owners Masako Morishita and Andrew Chiou worked to keep prices low to retain the true spirit of a Japanese yakitori restaurant.

Momo Yakitori replaces Nido in Woodridge. The space looks largely unchanged except for the copious amounts of soy sauce bottles filling the decorative shelves and the cat decals on the walls. (Chiou and Morishita have a cat named Momo.)

Pair the yakitori with Japanese cocktails like chu-hais and whisky high-balls, beer, and wines selected by sommelier Andrew Stover. Morishita and Chiou plan to open the downstairs area as a cocktail lounge in the future.

Customers can start making reservations for Momo Yakitori today at 3 p.m. on OpenTable. The restaurant will be open Friday and Saturday this weekend. Sunday they’re closed in order to participate in Ramen World.

For their first month of operations the restaurant will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 5-11 p.m. Their hours will be a little more sporadic in March, making it a good idea to call ahead or make a reservation. 

Momo Yakitori, 2214 Rhode Island Ave. NE; momoyakitori.com