(Last UPDATED 1/26/2023) Description and review of Binchoyaki, a modern Japanese restaurant serving Japanese style BBQ and small plates. NEW: See Update below.
About Binchoyaki – Izakaya Dining
A friend and I recently enjoyed lunch at Binchoyaki. The restaurant is co-owned by Chef Craig Takehara and his wife, Pastry Chef Tokiko Sawada.
The restaurant is located in what used to be Sacramento’s Japantown. It is on 10th Street off of W Street in the Southside Park neighborhood of Sacramento. If driving there keep in mind that both 10th and W Streets are one-way streets.
The restaurant is not large, but larger than I thought it might be. We arrived right around noon and every seat was taken. However, we only had to wait a few minutes to be seated.
The restaurant is a modern Japanese style BBQ restaurant. Its cuisine is based on a style of Japanese cooking utilizing Japanese charcoal and a grill. Chef Takehara uses a paper fan to control the cooking temperature of the grill.
There is a huge vent over the grill whisking away the smoke, and diners sitting at the counter when dining can watch the chef work his magic, fan in hand (free entertainment!).
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After looking over the menu and asking the waitress a few questions, we settled on the Binchoyaki “Set” which includes three assorted meat skewers and potato salad ($16) and the Tempura ($13) to share. Included in the price of lunch is salad, a bowl of miso soup, and sticky white rice.
In addition to the printed menu, there is a chalkboard on the wall that lists the “specials”. Our waitress did not mention this to us, but when I did spot the chalkboard I noted that several of the dishes were already crossed out.
I also remembered seeing on the Binchoyaki website the note that “We prep daily with limited quantities…”, so dining earlier is better than later.
We both enjoyed the salad, and the bowl of miso soup was very tasty. The sticky rice was “sticky” so I had no problem eating it as the rice stuck to my chopsticks. I did not know what to expect as far as the Japanese potato salad went. It was good – and tasted just like potato salad.
All three meat skewers were expertly seasoned – but on the small side. While sharing them between the two of us worked just fine, someone with a hearty appetite could easily eat all three. The tempura was also very nicely done, and had a nice assortment of veggies as well as shrimp.
The dessert options sounded wonderful but there was no way either of us could eat dessert. Maybe another time.
To Sum Up
My friend observed that Binchoyaki would be a good place for “date night”, and mentioned it was someplace she would definitely take friends in the future.
As for myself, I plan to go back to Binchoyaki for dinner as the evening menu consists of varied small plates. It would be fun to sit at the counter and take advantage of the free entertainment!
(1/26/2023) Chef Takehara has been named a semifinalist for the 2023 James Beard Foundation award as Best Chef (California)! He is the only Sacramentan on the list for Best Chef.
Semifinalists in the various categories will be announced on March 23, 2023. Good luck Chef Takehara! Sacramento is rooting for you.
(3/18/2021) See related blog post: Exceptional Restaurants in Sacramento
(1/7/2021) Link added.
Comments on Binchoyaki?
Have you been to Binchoyaki recently? Do you have a favorite dish you would recommend?
Binchoyaki Snapshot (as of 1/26/2023)
- 2226 10th Street, Sacramento, CA (10th and W Streets)
- Closed: Sunday & Monday
- Tuesday: Lunch (11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) (take-out only); Dinner (3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) (last seating 7:00 p.m.)
- Wednesday – Saturday: Lunch (11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) (last seating at 1:30 p.m.); Dinner (4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) (last seating at 9:00 p.m.)
- Reservations Recommended
- Street Parking
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