Fumiyasu Yoshida opened Izakaya Sankyu in the mid-80s and thrived for a few years until the economy forced him to broaden his offerings and become more of a full-service restaurant, adding noodles, sushi, and meal sets to the array of small plates he served. The name is Japanglish for "thank you," but it also stands for the numbers three and nine, a recurring motif in the dining room, where glass cabinets hold labeled shochu bottles reserved for regulars. Yoshida's 29-year-old son Ken says his father is of the whole-beast school of cheffery, using every part of the chickens he gets in—which should make you feel virtuous about eating the tori kawa, a deliciously fatty chicken skin salad tossed with garlic, chile paste, miso, sake, and mirin. The tori liver—chicken liver steamed for hours in soy sauce, mirin, sake, and Worcestershire—is incredibly rich. Yoshida likes to experiment with ingredients not often found in traditional Japanese cooking—chiles, for instance. And he makes a surprisingly good "spaghetti maki," the rice and seaweed wrapped around pasta, crabmeat, ham, carrots, and cucumbers and drizzled with spicy mayo. But his claim to fame is the his buta kimchi, thinly sliced pork and kimchi sauteed in butter and tossed with spring greens.
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