Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl & Mint Lemonade at YUKO KITCHEN, Los Angeles, CA
The other day I had a really amazing lunch with my old Baby Phat colleague, Tina Lee… I don’t know if was the restaurant, the food or the company, but it was one of the best lunches I had in a long time! (I’d like to think it was a combination of all three).
Tina recently re-located to the best coast – the west coast, and I stopped by her apartment to grab a local lunch and Tina suggested the YUKO KITCHEN at 5484 Wilshire Boulevard (323) 933 4020.
I had never heard of the Yuko Kitchen and by the way it appeared on the outside, it’s no wonder I hadn’t. Shabby-chic is the only way to describe the decor at this hip neighborhood Japanese-inspired cafe. But Tina raved about it, and after knowing her for over ten years, she knows my tastes and I trust her opinion.
The sight of the lovely mini-garden of potted plants and greenery upon your initial steps onto Yuko Kitchen’s patio lets you know you’re in for something unique and special. The space is smaller than your grandma’s kitchen, so it’s tight, cramped, and intimate. So tight, in fact, the men’s room is ON TOP of the ladies room! Something you’d have to see to believe.
Tina recommended the mint lemonade. I’m not a “mint” fan, so, for me, upon the first sip, it was overwhelmingly strong, but by the time the blended ice began to dilute the mint flavor, the lemonade was deliciously enhanced and the drink was the perfect refresher for LA’s harsh summer sun.
We each ordered the Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl, but Yuko Kitchen has a pleasingly diverse Japanese menu that includes tuna rice cakes, wonton chips, sushi rolls, tempura, seaweed salads, udon and various meat bowls. They also have a lengthy drink menu that includes strawberry sodas, apple mint lemonade, bobas, and smoothies of various fruits, flavors, and teas!
The Chicken Teriyaki bowl was fluent, flavorful and a foodie’s dream lunch. The chicken was tender and moist, the steamed white rice was clean and fresh, and the salad was light and unaggressive! It made for a nice mix as well as for a healthy and satisfying lunch!
The prices at Yuko Kitchen are awesome! Nothing over $12 and Yuko Kitchen makes for a great and easy casual spot for a quick and affordable meal with flavor and hearty portions. While some may wince at the specialty drink prices, I promise you, they are worth every cent at about $3-$5 each. Remember, Yuko Kitchen is small, so if you can’t grab a table, you can sit at the sushi bar and take in all of their quirky decor, fresh ingredients and superb recipes! Of you can avoid a rush but not going at prime eating times. But Yuko also makes for a great place to pick up and take home, if you live near by! Their desserts include cookies and brownies that appeared amazingly soft and decadent!
I loved YUKO Kitchen and CAN’T WAIT to go back! THANKS, TINA for the awesome recommendation!