Kokekokko Corporation

★★★☆☆

About Kokekokko Corporation

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There are few restaurants on earth that I would give a 5 star rating to, but Kokekokko may deserve 6, if it was possible.

The low down:

The owner, Tomo-San is a "master" chef, bar-none. His Yakitori is the best that I have had inside or outside of Japan. As a matter of fact, I have never been keen or able to eat gizzard, heart, joints, etc. in any restaurant for any reason. The thought made me a bit ill so I always order the simple stuff. Tomo-San is smart enough to wait until you've had a bit of sake to offer up some of these delicacies and let me tell you - he has converted me. If you watch Tomo-San cook, and run the restaurant, he seems close to Robert DeNiro's character in Casino, with an incredible eye for detail and service. BUT...this is a Japanese restaurant run as if it was in Japan and possibly Japan of 20 years ago. The "attitude" of some of today's Japanese youth in service positions won't be found in Tomo-San's eyeshot although his staff is clearly more than a little intimidated by him. Think "Samurai master" who cooks food and you will understand Tomo-San's mind-set. And thank god for it. The old Japan and the heroes that exemplified it (Takakura-Ken, Fuji Junko, Tsurata Koji) can be found alive and well inside of Tomo-San's eyes and his incredible skill.

His personal treatment of his guests is exceptional. He knows that most of us are clueless as to Japanese etiquette and behavior. So expect to feel a little out of place when you first walk in but you will find that soon, you are put completely at ease.

The food is so good that I find myself dreaming of it. Don't believe me? Walk in and try one of his chicken meatball skewers. And a thigh. And a the wing with Japanese salt. You will freak out. The sake is great of course, especially the frozen Arabashiri which is very reasonable.

This is a great place to bring a girl, or friends, or to come alone.

2
★★★★★

There are few restaurants on earth that I would give a 5 star rating to, but Kokekokko may deserve 6, if it was possible.

The low down:

The owner, Tomo-San is a "master" chef, bar-none. His Yakitori is the best that I have had inside or outside of Japan. As a matter of fact, I have never been keen or able to eat gizzard, heart, joints, etc. in any restaurant for any reason. The thought made me a bit ill so I always order the simple stuff. Tomo-San is smart enough to wait until you've had a bit of sake to offer up some of these delicacies and let me tell you - he has converted me. If you watch Tomo-San cook, and run the restaurant, he seems close to Robert DeNiro's character in Casino, with an incredible eye for detail and service. BUT...this is a Japanese restaurant run as if it was in Japan and possibly Japan of 20 years ago. The "attitude" of some of today's Japanese youth in service positions won't be found in Tomo-San's eyeshot although his staff is clearly more than a little intimidated by him. Think "Samurai master" who cooks food and you will understand Tomo-San's mind-set. And thank god for it. The old Japan and the heroes that exemplified it (Takakura-Ken, Fuji Junko, Tsurata Koji) can be found alive and well inside of Tomo-San's eyes and his incredible skill.

His personal treatment of his guests is exceptional. He knows that most of us are clueless as to Japanese etiquette and behavior. So expect to feel a little out of place when you first walk in but you will find that soon, you are put completely at ease.

The food is so good that I find myself dreaming of it. Don't believe me? Walk in and try one of his chicken meatball skewers. And a thigh. And a the wing with Japanese salt. You will freak out. The sake is great of course, especially the frozen Arabashiri which is very reasonable.

This is a great place to bring a girl, or friends, or to come alone.

Pros: Everything I can think of!

Cons: Honestly, the only thing I can say is that there is only 1 Tomo-San!

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I lived in Japan for 10 years, so very familiar with the food and language.
We went Saturday night, right at 6 (no reservation), so no waiting. Menu lacks explanation, so maybe bone up before coming. Plan on ordering 5 items per person. Most are $2.50, so not bad. Kirin draft (glass) is nice, $4.50. Quality of food is good, looks nice. I always think dark meat is better (juicier), and true here, too. Liver was very good (tender, not dry), and thigh also recommended. Meatballs (Tsukune) and wings were good, as were pickled veggies (Oshinko) and Green soy beans (Edamame). I thought service was fine, but servers are mostly (all?) Japanese, so make sure you understand each other. Nice hot towel (real cloth, not disposable), is a bonus too!

Bottom line: Recommended (just make a reservation or go early), good authentic Japanese food.

And just a friendly suggestion: Japanese food flavor is very understated, so try beer or water (or sake) instead of Coke with it!

2
★★★★☆

I lived in Japan for 10 years, so very familiar with the food and language.
We went Saturday night, right at 6 (no reservation), so no waiting. Menu lacks explanation, so maybe bone up before coming. Plan on ordering 5 items per person. Most are $2.50, so not bad. Kirin draft (glass) is nice, $4.50. Quality of food is good, looks nice. I always think dark meat is better (juicier), and true here, too. Liver was very good (tender, not dry), and thigh also recommended. Meatballs (Tsukune) and wings were good, as were pickled veggies (Oshinko) and Green soy beans (Edamame). I thought service was fine, but servers are mostly (all?) Japanese, so make sure you understand each other. Nice hot towel (real cloth, not disposable), is a bonus too!

Bottom line: Recommended (just make a reservation or go early), good authentic Japanese food.

And just a friendly suggestion: Japanese food flavor is very understated, so try beer or water (or sake) instead of Coke with it!

Pros: Authentic food and atmosphere

Cons: Menu lacks explanation

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I've been to Shisengumi and Koshiji (two popular places for yakitori) and neither compares to the quality and taste of Kokekokko. The service could be a little slow sometimes (because the place is always packed) but it's well worth it. Reading some of the reviews just shows me how sometimes people are so ignorant when it comes to dining. To make things clear, when they tell you that you cannot make reservations after 7, it means that after 7 is first come first serve. I know the girl answering the phone is not very fluent in english but it's just common sense. About the ramen (which is not in the menu) You can only order if you order a large soboro. That's the rules of the house. So if you don't like it then don't come. Although I gotta admit people who are regulars can get away with certain things. But that's just the way it is.

2
★★★★★

I've been to Shisengumi and Koshiji (two popular places for yakitori) and neither compares to the quality and taste of Kokekokko. The service could be a little slow sometimes (because the place is always packed) but it's well worth it. Reading some of the reviews just shows me how sometimes people are so ignorant when it comes to dining. To make things clear, when they tell you that you cannot make reservations after 7, it means that after 7 is first come first serve. I know the girl answering the phone is not very fluent in english but it's just common sense. About the ramen (which is not in the menu) You can only order if you order a large soboro. That's the rules of the house. So if you don't like it then don't come. Although I gotta admit people who are regulars can get away with certain things. But that's just the way it is.

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Food good but service makes the dining experience awful with a bitter taste in your mouth. The main server is unbelievably rude from the moment you walk in. He makes you feel like you've committed a crime trying to get a table. He gave his friends seat before we did (not knowing that I understood Japanese, he told his friends that they can have the seat before we did). Also when he called the last call for food, we requested a bowl or ramen. He said we must order a rice dish with it, we said we would then he said we have to order a large, we said we would then he says, we cannot order. I am NEVER going back again, try yakitoriya on Sawtelle. Much cozier and comfortable.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Food good but service makes the dining experience awful with a bitter taste in your mouth. The main server is unbelievably rude from the moment you walk in. He makes you feel like you've committed a crime trying to get a table. He gave his friends seat before we did (not knowing that I understood Japanese, he told his friends that they can have the seat before we did). Also when he called the last call for food, we requested a bowl or ramen. He said we must order a rice dish with it, we said we would then he said we have to order a large, we said we would then he says, we cannot order. I am NEVER going back again, try yakitoriya on Sawtelle. Much cozier and comfortable.

Pros: food

Cons: service just makes everything awful

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The service could be slow at times, because this place is always busy. However, if you could bear with the inconvenience, and you're a chicken yakitori lover, you'll love this place. Their chicken meat is 100% free range, tasty and juicy. The owner/chef (right behind the grill, with his hispanic assistant) got his chicken done right. There are other yakitori places around town, but for chicken yakitori, kokekokko is second to none. Their gizzards, livers, chicken skins, necks (special order), and tails (sp.) are almost worth dying for.

There is a secret ramen item that is not on the menu. It must come with the grounded chicken on rice (soprono) in to-go box. Oh my god, was that chicken broth good?! Definitely worth ordering.

2
★★★★☆

The service could be slow at times, because this place is always busy. However, if you could bear with the inconvenience, and you're a chicken yakitori lover, you'll love this place. Their chicken meat is 100% free range, tasty and juicy. The owner/chef (right behind the grill, with his hispanic assistant) got his chicken done right. There are other yakitori places around town, but for chicken yakitori, kokekokko is second to none. Their gizzards, livers, chicken skins, necks (special order), and tails (sp.) are almost worth dying for.

There is a secret ramen item that is not on the menu. It must come with the grounded chicken on rice (soprono) in to-go box. Oh my god, was that chicken broth good?! Definitely worth ordering.

Pros: great chicken, great chicken ramen

Cons: slow services

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I tried to call in three times on Friday to make reservation. First time i called at around 11:30am was told to call back at 5pm. Second time i called but I was told they don't take reservation until 7p.m. Last time I called was about 7:04p.m. and they told me that they won't take reservation after 7p.m. I was really pissed and frustrated about it. It was ridiculous!! WHAT A JOKE!!!

0
★☆☆☆☆

I tried to call in three times on Friday to make reservation. First time i called at around 11:30am was told to call back at 5pm. Second time i called but I was told they don't take reservation until 7p.m. Last time I called was about 7:04p.m. and they told me that they won't take reservation after 7p.m. I was really pissed and frustrated about it. It was ridiculous!! WHAT A JOKE!!!

 

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