This Japanese bar on Henderson Avenue specializes in robatayaki, the technique of grilling food over hot charcoal. Chefs at the bar tend to the grill, turning out excellent skewers of meat and vegetables, as well as crisp-skinned and fork-tender whole fish. There is sashimi on offer, too, and it’s at the same high quality. Once part of Teiichi Sakurai’s empire, Tei Tei Robata is still living up to that legacy of perfectionism, and the entrance, tucked away from Henderson in a small garden terrace, feels surprisingly secluded given the busy neighborhood around it.
Top pick: Sit at the robata bar and order anything on the specials board — especially a perfectly smoky grilled salmon collar.
The downside: Reservations — currently mandatory due to the pandemic — aren’t easy to snag, and even in normal times getting a table here can be a challenge. Luckily, Tei Tei Robata has introduced curbside and delivery service for its sushi, sashimi and carpaccios.
Fun fact: Regulars know if you’re feeling especially generous, you can buy the whole staff a round of drinks. Because the cost usually exceeds $50, this is best attempted after a bottle of sake for courage.