All photos (8)Kokko
Kokko
Kokko

Kokko

8.613 reviews
$$$$
Japanese
Ranked #10 in San Mateo restaurants
Popular with:
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  • 6.8
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  • 6.6
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  • 5.9
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509 2nd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 401-7008
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yakitori-Kokko/120400258010859
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I am addicted to all kinds of izakaya food. Yakitori and kushiyaki are no exceptions. While the skewers here are pretty decent, they lacks the sophistication and delicacy the ... Read more
famous competitor Sumika (Los Alto) could offer. If you have dined at Sumika, it is not hard to notice the differences. The skewers here do not have the same richness of the grill flavor. The quality of the chicken meats is also slightly shy. Having said that, it was still a very enjoyable dinner. Skewers are more competitively priced. About a dollar cheaper each. You won't go as broke eating here. Out of everything I have tried, these are the ones I would go for a second round - Gyu Tan Kimo Sunazuri Tontoro Hatu I don't really care too much for the house sauce. Most skewers are tasty enough with just salt and some fresh pepper. I do prefer Kimo skewer here over Sumika. It is not as dry and the velvet texture of the liver is better preserved.

Member Reviews(13)

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San Francisco, California, USA

Food was ok nothing memorable. The tongue was pretty good and service was fast and nice.

Recommended for:Budget Travelers
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Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, USA

Authentic, delicious, and reasonably priced yakitori! Especially impressive that they have slightly rarer cuts like neck meat (seseri). Love seseri, bonjiri (tail meat), kawa (skin), and gyutan (beef tongue). The other dishes are also great (agedashi tofu, marinated firecracker squid), including many that go great with sake. The sake selection is usual west-coast fare, stuff like hakkaisan and kubota being 10x overpriced compared to Japan. But, it's the best you can get in this area. Service is fine, but can be sporadic when they're crowded. Food comes out pretty fast, lighting is appropriate. Open pretty late.

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Local from Campbell, California, USA

If it is your first few Yakitori experience this place is alright.

If you have been to Yakitori Taisho in NYC or if you have long been exposed to very good Japanese food you maybe disappointed.

Everything is okay, but I feel that their sauce could be better and for some reason Their Yakitori did not have the usual "strong grilled" flavor usually associated with very good Yakitori place. Could be that it is a new grill?

I have to give credit to their bacon quail eggs though. That was quite good.

For more secluded setting you can ask for the box table at the small room.

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San Francisco, California, USA
Community Manager

For San Mateo, this is my favorite yakitori spot. Good selection and friendly service. They've definitely stepped their game up from when they first started!

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Local from Santa Clara

I am addicted to all kinds of izakaya food. Yakitori and kushiyaki are no exceptions. While the skewers here are pretty decent, they lacks the sophistication and delicacy the famous competitor Sumika (Los Alto) could offer. If you have dined at Sumika, it is not hard to notice the differences. The skewers here do not have the same richness of the grill flavor. The quality of the chicken meats is also slightly shy. Having said that, it was still a very enjoyable dinner. Skewers are more competitively priced. About a dollar cheaper each. You won't go as broke eating here.

Out of everything I have tried, these are the ones I would go for a second round -
Gyu Tan
Kimo
Sunazuri
Tontoro
Hatu

I don't really care too much for the house sauce. Most skewers are tasty enough with just salt and some fresh pepper. I do prefer Kimo skewer here over Sumika. It is not as dry and the velvet texture of the liver is better preserved.

Recommended for:Business TravelersFoodiesNightlife LoversTrendsters
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Keisuke Suga, part of the original brains behind Himawari Ramen (before he sold his share) and the former Hanamaru sushi boat place in Sunnyvale, as well as current owner of Kappo Nami Nami, is owner of Yakitori Kokko in San Mateo. He's doing everyone a favor by not re-entering the sushi business, as he knows in downtown San Mateo, there are lots of that in mediocrity. Instead his focus is on quality skewered chicken and parts on a stick.

This place used to be heavily frequented by Japanese expats, but nowadays it is a mixed crowd, with lots and lots of Cantonese and Mandarin speakers who probably started to get turned off by craptacular "pseushi" (yet it puzzles me why Asian Americans love Old Town and Joy up the street).

But anyhow, Kokko (symbolic of the sound that chickens make according to the Japanese) is quite happenin'.

They revised their skewered beef tongue prep...it's not just Gyu Tan now...but Gyukon....because they alternate small pieces of beef tongue with ... konnyaku (yam starch jelly cube). It seems like a ripoff at first because you are not getting fully tongued, BUT the combination is quite stellar, and paired with their special dark plum red like miso sauce....can be unbeatable.

Other than the various parts like nankotsu (cartilege), seseri (neck), sunazuri (gizzard), and hatu (heart) which are all very very good....one overlooked item is their Kokko ramen, where the broth is king. Made with chicken and chicken bones, it is the soul and essence of their shoyu broth. The noodles are nothing to wow about, ditto for the half egg or average menma (bamboo shoots)...but together with two decent slices of chashu, the whole bowl at $8.95 does stand out.
Sure it ain't Dojo or Parlor to you hipsters, but it is very satisfying.

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Local from Belmont

heart. the. food.
heart. the. atmosphere.
heart. the. people.

heart.

this place is great. casual. fun. the waitresses are totally friendly. the food, delicious. the beer and sake are a perfect match to the grilled bites.

their special menu can sometime be really tasty, so definitely don't skip checking it out when you walk in.

i think that their food is probably only 4 stars, especially when compared to the food at Raku in Vegas, but, their atmosphere and people and proximity to where i live totally push them up to a solid 5 stars in my book.

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Local from Palo Alto

Great yakitori place in San Mateo.

Recommended for:Foodies
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Local from San Carlos, California, USA
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Local from San Jose
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San Francisco
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Local from San Mateo, California
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Kokko

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