Mokutanya – Burlingame, CA

CP and I had our date night! She took me out for dinner and drinks for helping out with the wedding, which I thoroughly enjoyed so it was a win-win for me! When she suggested Mokutanya, I thought why not. I heard bout the restaurant from co-workers and have heard great things.

The restaurant is very contemporary looking. It looks like we are to sit on the floors but it was actually a legit table with bench. The glass screens separating every table was great, it gave us so much privacy but not fill closed in. Pretty dark in there though.


Check out the exotic meats on the special!!!!

We ordered:

2 orders Butabara $3.50 each

My favourite of the night – fatty pork crisped up at the edges from the grill with an intense smoky taste. Flavoured with simple seasoning salt. Loves it.

Bacon wrapped Enoki Mushrooms $3

If you like bacon and mushrooms, you will like this. Crispy on the outside yet not hard like shoe leather so it was easy to eat.

Chicken Thigh with Spicy Mayo $3.50

I didn’t care much for the green onion between the chicken pieces and wished that the chicken was a tad more generous and evenly sized so the grillingwould be more even. The three pieces were all of different sizes so the top piece was over done while the middle was a little too pink. I did really like the smoky chicken with sweet spicy creamy mayo.

Gyutan (Beef Tongue) $4

Decent beef tongue. It was thick enough to have some “Crunch” texture when chewing but not too tough. I liked it.

Spicy Kurobuta Sausage (Berkshire pork sausage) $2

Nothing too exciting – nice spicy sausage with a great snap from the skin. Wished we had more for $2.

Wagyu Beef $4.50

This dish was highly recommended. Definitely good, I would not say this is wagyu for sure, it might have been American Kobe because it was not evenly or intensely marbled but it was a good piece of meat – thick almost one inch cubes that were grilled to a nice medium rare. It was great.

Kangaroo $8

The kangaroo meat was very lean and actually over seasoned with lots of rosemary and other spices so that was all i tasted. And the texture of the meat was a tad mushy instead of firm and nice. I don’t know if that is how kangaroo meat is, or how this was prepared. Mind you, the meat was not tough at all but way too soft.

Iguana $15

OMG!!! this was vile! It is horrible to say this because honestly, after tasting this – I don’t think there is any way iguana can be made to taste good. Either that, or the kitchen did not know what they are doing. The moment I bit into the skewer, the bony pieces of meat were so pungent and reminded me of being in a cage stuck w reptiles. I will leave out what went through my head – but it was the most unpleasant thing to eat.

Spicy Beef $4

I was quite disappointed with the spicy beef. Unlike the wagyu beef, this meat was way overmarinated and ended up being mushy in the mouth. I didn’t care much for the sweet spicy marinade that is very salty as well.

Sunagimo (Chicken Gizzard) $3

Solid gizzard – crunchy, seasoned but not very smoky. It was nicely crisped at the edges though. I liked it.

Tonkotsu Ramen $7

Pork bone broth with bean sprouts, sliced pork, shiitake mushroom and egg

Pretty good ramen. Not the best like all the ramen joints all over the peninsula but it is nice. The soup was definitely porky but was way to peppery for me. I did like the silky ramen noodles but didn’t care much for the pork. It was just random unevenly sliced pork that didn’t add much to the dish.

TakoWasa $8

Octopus Salad with wasabi

This is not my kind of dish. I have tried it in two different places and can’t seem to stomach it. The squid was slimy and each bite was intensely filled with wasabi. I think the octopus must have been marinating in wasabi for a duration of time. It was just slimy pieces of octopus in a vinegary liquid.

Creme Brulee $12

The creme brulee was good but very runny. Super light, smooth and not too eggy or sweet with intense vanilla flavour. It was more like pudding just because it didn’t seem to have set but I would still order it.


Sapporo $5
Calpico $3



Total Damage: 88.34 (including tax) Thanks CP!!

Personal Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Good)

The food was pretty good. It is still one of the pricier spots for yakitori around the Bay Area. The dishes were all prepared well but I thought the yakitori had a nice smokiness to them but it was not as distinct as our favourite joint.

Service started off really well but then kind of faltered and then disappeared. A couple dishes that we ordered never came and when we finally got someone’s attention – we were told they were sold out. Would have been nice to know before hand so we were not waiting around and knew to order more dishes.

We wanted to order desserts but the only one available was the creme brulee. I am going to have to make a trip back to try the other exotic meats and the other desserts.




1155 California Drive
Burlingame, CA 94010

(650) 348 9388

Mokutanya on Urbanspoon

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