Japanese restaurants in Northwest Ohio are in abundance. Consider the traditional types – Kotobuki, Kyota Ka, Domo – or the half off joints – Sakura, Tea Tree, and Spicy Tuna. Couple these restaurants with the sushi stations at virtually every grocery store, eating sushi is fairly easy to do in the Toledo-area. That’s why Smash Toledo’s Joshua Wagy’s new venture, Kengo Sushi, intends to be different – purposely small dining area, small portions, with emphasis on yakitori.
Yakitori in Japanese means “grilled chicken.” It is the Japanese equivalent of American bar food, though exponentially healthier and tastier and smaller. Try bite-sized pieces of chicken breast, thigh, wings, and meatballs on Kengo’s $5000 yakitori grill, with an order costing between $3 and $4 dollars. In Japan, businessmen flood to yakitori joints after work and tradition states the atmosphere be chatty and filled with alcohol. Thus the beer is free-flowing at Kengo in order for it to be truly authentic.
Kengo Sushi is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5-11 and is located on St Claire Street a half block from Durty Bird. If you show up right at 5, you might get a seat. Make a night of it. Drink microbrews on tap while enjoying yakitori interminably, like a Japanese businessman.
Chef Kengo at work
Yakitori breast and thigh
Shitaki, salmon, yellowtail, branzini, madai