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Momo Yakitori, Chefs Andrew Chiou and Masako Morishita at 22nd Street and Rhode Island Ave NE, Woodridge - Closed Dec 22, 2019

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On 4/24/2018 at 1:14 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

I cut the above from Eater, which got the info from Washington City Paper.  I think the concept is pretty awesome for people who haven't had a lot of different types of instant ramen and don't have high blood pressure (them instant ramen are generally pretty salty).  One can go by and try a couple of packs per meal.  It would be even better if they have some veggies and fishballs that can be added in addition to an egg.

As an experienced international instant ramen noodle eater, I'd be willing to offer my consulting services for a small fee.

Is Momo Yakitori a legit Yakitori place?!! In DC?!!!!!

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This place is pretty good and I would recommend/return. Any other spots in DC/Bal that focus on yakitori? I've only been here twice but I'd say it's around the level of Yakitori Totto (maybe better food at Totto, better overall experience at Momo) and several notches below Torishin, both in NYC. Momo is a fair bit cheaper though.

I am not all familiar with most of DC; street parking was easy here (on Sundays), but apart from the Rita's wooder ice down the block, the area is kind of dead at night (again, Sundays). 

Menu is mostly basic cuts, maybe that'll expand as they get more volume. Some cuts are available only as part of a set and not a la carte.  Drinks: cocktails, Japanese beer, and wine/shochu/sake by the glass. The space is open and spare; tables are comfortably spread out along the walls and there's a weird dead area between the kitchen and bar, maybe room to squeeze in a few more tables later. In an ideal world they would have an open kitchen so you can see the grilling action, but the space probably wasn't initially set up that way. They do take reservations (now on Reserve) but you could easily walk in on the nights I was there.

First visit, they had 5-, 7- and 10-skewer "chef's choice" sets/platters, the downside being it all comes out at once. The pacing is better if you go ALC.

DC_momoyakitori_02_side.JPG.765fa1f8fe165974c4131bdeb268d415.JPGDC_momoyakitori_03_hang10.JPG.021c16ea9e3f1bd0e75ce325d578a569.JPG

A few months later, they had changed up the set/platter section. The 5-skewer chef's choice remained, plus sets for organ meats, wing cuts, and a bit oddly,  2 grouped by finish (salt or tare sauce). 
DC_momoyakitori2_01_tomatoohitashi.JPG.d9cc31a00095d946995bfc9dbac5f450.JPGDC_momoyakitori2_03_side.JPG.4e5e1081ed0cb12ba53a612b93b6046a.JPG Now fresh cabbage?
DC_momoyakitori2_04_momoshio.JPG.e3b2ed0a4fd8fdffdf9bffa746cab9ee.JPG1569703258_DC_momoyakitori2_06_kawanegima.JPG.8827f06c56d8a5480a98b21ecedddfda.JPG246351512_DC_momoyakitori2_07_rebatohatsukamoreba.JPG.9066bd6b74d50dd4e3311f4cb8ce0327.JPG1278314177_DC_momoyakitori2_09_kamohatsushishitos.JPG.52d3e135b5ced44d4dac2fecac5244fd.JPGDC_momoyakitori2_08_tsukune.JPG.5e4f4935987bf174e9933af272ccce32.JPGDC_momoyakitori2_10_onigiri.JPG.d5502a2277004b238c496083b072c4b2.JPG Their tsukune has some diced shallots inside for nice texture.

Menu hack: The skewers in the organ meat set could be ordered ALC for $1 less. (typo or smart business?)

The signature dessert is the toasted marshmallow with black sesame cream:

DC_momoyakitori_04_marshmallow.JPG.9f93226969d5165a1ea0ee39afcf6874.JPG *Way* too sweet for my tastes (calling all Christina Tosi fans), but they suggest pairing with sesame shochu to cut that down. That shochu is pretty good on its own.

Downstairs bar: Come to get your drink on, not to fulfill your deepest darkest cup ramen fantasies. This is not an "instant ramen bar" but a "bar... with instant ramen." There wasn't a huge variety; 3-4 brands in several flavors including a few instant udon but nothing you couldn't find at a Japanese or Asian supermarket. For $5 they gussy it up a bit with some added chasu, nori and an egg so it's not terrible as drunk snacks go,  but it's doesn't escape its cup ramen roots. I suppose you can pick a specific package, but by default the bartender will choose for you, working his way through them from (his) best to worst, so unless they restock at some point, a bunch of people are going to be stuck with a Nissin cup. Other food items on the menu were what might be a spam musubi ("spam & egg rice sandwich w/cabbage and kewpie) and Pocky. Cocktail list is completely different from the one upstairs and they also offer liquor. There's a projector showing anime too; they used to post a schedule of series marathons but I haven't seen any Instagram posts about it in a while.

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26 minutes ago, guanabana said:

 I've only been here twice but I'd say it's around the level of Yakitori Totto (maybe better food at Totto, better overall experience at Momo) and several notches below Torishin, both in NYC.

You're talking about *this* Yakitori Totto? If so, then that's one heck of a statement - I want to believe you, but I'm skeptical. 

Nevertheless, this is a very credible post, and I take it seriously. Do they serve beer?

(Thanks for this detailed write-up, btw.) Click.

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8 hours ago, DonRocks said:

You're talking about *this* Yakitori Totto? If so, then that's one heck of a statement - I want to believe you, but I'm skeptical. 

Nevertheless, this is a very credible post, and I take it seriously. Do they serve beer?

(Thanks for this detailed write-up, btw.) Click.

I'm not the biggest fan of Totto - food yes but the cramped quarters can be a real turnoff now that I've achieved lardass badge. I've also not been back in a long time (Oct 2015) because Torishin moved to Midtown West a few blocks away from them: better all around, online rez, not as hectic and omakase for less decision angst. I'm probably grading Momo on a curve (4A local restaurant) and influenced by the convenience factor: it's a 1 hr drive away vs planning a weekend. If I had a binary choice to be teleported to either Momo or Totto with seats available, I'd pick Totto. If I were limited to ordering only the items common to both menus, it'd still be Totto but much closer. 

I'm also hoping that Momo eventually offers a more complete menu (They are using Green Circle chicken, what are they doing with the other parts?). The menu had seseri/neck meat on the salt platter but that may have been a typo because it wasn't translated and would have made it a set of 6 skewers instead of 5 like most of the others.

If I were ranking:

food quality/consistency: Torishin > Totto > Momo

menu breadth: Totto > Torishin > Momo (I find huge menus a bit nerve-racking)

comfort/convenience: Momo > Torishin > Totto (even more subjective than above)

---

Momo's beers (all cans/bottles):

Orion (small can), Echigo red, Echigo Koshihikari rice, Sansho Japanese Ale, Ginga Kogen Wild Yeast; downstairs list also has MGD.

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13 hours ago, guanabana said:

Momo's beers (all cans/bottles):

Ginga Kogen Wild Yeast

 Ginga Kogen!😍 Brewed in Iwate, where I used to live. I don't think I've seen it on a menu in the US before.

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The argument that she’s an owner not an employee makes sense, but then she would be entitled to share in the profits.  Drag their names thru mud is probably not the best way to handle this situation although Toki and Bruner-Yang didn’t seem to suffer.

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We finally made it here last night right at opening.  We don't live terribly far, but it's never at the top of our list when we get time to go out.  We were on the way back into town and thinking of places between the BW Parkway and our house and it popped into mind.  Wow.  We never should gave waited so long!

First thing: my wife is celiac and appreciated that they state up front that they use tamari exclusively.  She remarked how often she craves Japanese pub/izakaya food, but is always nervous that there is shoyu in everything and ends up ordering "safe" items.  It's the first time she's been able to pick from the whole menu without care.

I don't have any frame of reference with the NYC yakitori spots, but Momo compares very favorably to what we remember from Japan.  The set combinations could have been described a little better; we ordered the 6 piece tare/shio combo and then the tsukune set thinking the meatballs would be their own thing, but the 6 pc. set included 2 meatballs as well. Also had duck hearts (well, I did) which were fantastic.

All of the yakitori were very good to excellent (duck hearts and the "oyster" nugget with crispy skin), but the highlight of the meal might have been one of the veggie plates:

Bok Choy
seared and served with natto butter sauce

I had gone to take our 4 year old to the rest room when this arrived at the table, and was lucky there was any left when we returned.  I was worried this would be too natto-y, but it wasn't overpowering at all.  A simple dish that hit every note perfectly.  Of the 4 veggie dishes we ordered I think only the silken tofu is something I wouldn't order again (it was fine, but the subtlety was lost amongst the other dishes).

We were going to get a Rita's for the kid afterwards, but tried the toasted marshmallow and purin anyway (at $3 a pop, why not?).  The purin was a perfectly good take on the familiar flan, and the marshmallow was, well, a toasted marshmallow.  BUT!  The black sesame buttercream on the side.  Holy shit.  I would have been happy spooning a bowl of that directly into my mouth.  We joked if they sold it in pints, and the bartender said they've done just that a couple of times for regulars 😂

We will definitely be back (our little one ate almost everything he tried, and I know our older ones will like it, too).  I found it pricey just due to the amount needed to order to make a complete meal.  Our total was around $120 before tip including 3 cocktails, which were expensive and by far the weakest part of the meal.  I will stick with the interesting all-Japanese beer selection next time.

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Too bad. Quite good if a little out of the way and a little spendy. We went once and had a special meal, and were going to go back. Never did. 

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