Yakini Q BBQ
Yakini Q is a Korean BBQ place in Japantown where you cook your own meat. It is owned, in part, by the brother of the owner of Yakini Q Cafe downstairs where we enjoyed a pumpkin latte on our Japantown tour. Our friends were in town for the Giants day game, and they stayed at the Joie de Vivre Hotel Tomo at Post and Buchanan. I really like the Joie de Vivre line of unique hotels, very similar to The Kimpton Group, and they are both headquartered in San Francisco!!!
Having just taken the Edible Excursions Japantown tour, I was loaded with all kinds of opportunities for us. Korean BBQ is unique and sometimes hard to find. Yakini Q only takes reservations for 8 or more, and we got lucky as there is always a line to get in. I know why, too. All you can eat bbq and its accompaniments is $23.99 per person. There are add ons that you may want to consider as well, but you will be enormously satisfied with what is served in the $23.99 meal. You choose three separate meats at a time, and adequate servings for your party arrive at the table. Salads include pickled bean sprouts, kim chee of course, cole slaw, fresh garlic cloves, cucumbers, seaweed with onions and various sauces. You should spend the extra $1.50 for lettuce leaves as the best way to eat all of the marvelous combinations is taco style with lettuce leaves used as tortillas.
You don’t want to crowd the meat on the small grill as it creates too much moisture. When the grill cover gets a little too crusty, the waiters will replace them for you. Yakini Q has very reasonably priced shoyu, aka sake, and their Korean beer, Hite, is $3.50 for a large bottle, enough for at least three large beer servings.
Yakini Q is a great place for a large group of people. Service is excellent with all of the wait staff pitching in to make sure you have refills, your next dish and more beer. With so many barbecues working, you would think it might get smoky, but the ventilation is excellent. I did smell like barbecue when we left, but it wasn’t an obtrusive smell while we were there. I would suggest that you not wear white or any color that will show grease as there will surely be some splatters. Go to Yakini Q and have a blast.
Yakini Q Wrap-Up