Binchoyaki Izakaya Dining

2226 10th St

Sacramento, CA 95818

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Located near the southern-border of downtown, Binchoyaki Izakaya Dining serves up a variety of Japanese cuisines centered around skewered meats cooked over charcoal. There was plenty of street parking available in the area with no meters that have you covered for two hours. As we entered the restaurant, a cheerful server quickly sat us at a table for two inside the restaurant. The server provided us with a dinner menu and showed the specials menu along with the grill menu. The dinner menu consisted of a variety of familiar and not so familiar Japanese dishes, while the specials menu adds additional unfamiliar options. The grill menu consists of a variety of different meats, and a choice to have the meat cooked with their special sauce or just salt.

On this visit, we decided to order the Buta Moyashi ramen, Menchi katsu curry, NY strip loin skewer with sauce, pork belly with salt, bacon wrapped asparagus with salt, chicken thigh with sauce, pork sausage with sauce and with salt, and two rice balls. The NY strip loin skewer with sauce, pork belly with salt, and bacon wrapped asparagus arrived first as part of our grill order. All of the skewers were fairly small for the price paid. The NY strip was tender and juicy, but was quite salty. The pork belly was also tender, but was also quite salty. The bacon wrapped asparagus was tasty, but it falls short in comparison to a similar larger version available at Disneyland for a better price. The Buta Moyashi ramen was very salty, but the broth had a lot of body. If you can look past the saltiness of the ramen, the flavors were actually pretty good. The Menchi katsu curry was quite interesting because the beef katsu was quite pink on the inside, which tasted very juicy, but I can see how some people may find it too rare. The egg on top made it look very nice atop the curry, but the dish was missing some carbs. The side of cabbage with sesame dressing really did not fit the bill with the curry. We were still hungry, so this was when we decided to order more items from the grill. Unfortunately, the waiting process for the final grill items was quite extensive. By the time we received the food, we were already full from just sitting around. The chicken thigh with sauce was quite tender and juicy, but was salty. The pork sausage had a distinct crunch with each bite, and the meat was quite dense. Unfortunately, both the sauce and salt variations of the sausage were both overly salty. The grilled rice ball looked really cool, but tasted a bit odd with its burnt sugary flavor. Each bite tasted like caramel covered rice, which was an odd combination with the salty meats.

Overall, Binchoyki serves up some interesting looking food, but falls short in terms of flavor, price, and service. After the initial orders, service really tanked, as water refills were not acknowledged until late, and grill food orders took an extensive amount of time. If you like salty food, then you came to the right place. With each grill item ranging in price from $3-$13, your bill can quickly increase from the short skewers. Given another opportunity, I would want to eat something else with better flavor and better value. If you are really into the grilling aspect of Japanese cooking, then this may be the place for you, as long as you are willing to shell out the money for it.

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