30. Chicken Wasabi Yakitori at Kappo Honda
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It's no coincidence why "Honda Ya" and "Kappo Honda" share a word. The two are part of the same Japanese local chain serving small dishes, from yellowtail with jalapeños or bacon-wrapped asparagus. Of all the things you could get on Kappo Honda's menu (and there are a lot), most people focus on the yakitori menu/scroll, which is a separate from the main menu and lists every single yakitori variation possible.
But because many things in life are strange, my favorite yakitori is one that pains me. I could've dedicated kind words to the prime beef or quail egg one, but it's the chicken wasabi that stole my heart even if it put my self-proclaimed tolerance for spice to shame.
The most innocent of the dish is the chicken, which is simply marinated chicken cooked over charcoal. But each piece has a generous drop of wasabi cream on it, and its pungency strikes the tongue before you can process what's happening. After two seconds, the sensation disappears. And then I want more.
Upon each second bite, the strike of spice is even more aggressive. Once, my second bite coincided with the waiter asking me if I liked my meal, during which the strike had jumped from my tongue to my nose and cheeks. But I forced a smile, said "Mhm," and waited a couple minutes before I could keep eating. And that's why the gods made beer.
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