Section 8 Yakitorium is another concept from Kenny Kim and Misaka Ohba, the folks who brought you Fresh Street. It is the kitchen of a Brewery District bar called Double Happiness, and although the focus of the restaurant is grilled meat skewers, Section 8 Yakitorium has great options for vegans and vegetarians alike.
Skewers are grilled over a special Japanese charcoal. Vegetarian skewers include green onions, okra, tomatoes and enoki mushrooms.
The green onions had a fresh, sweet flavor. The okra picks up layers of nuanced smoke, and the grill eliminates any slimy characteristics that sometimes plague the vegetable.
The mushrooms have a subtle flavor. They ended up crispy on the corners and soft and moist in the middle.
The cabbage pancakes, called okonokiyaki, can be prepared for vegetarians, but it must be requested this way as they traditionally contain fish sauce. This was easily the best thing I tasted. The texture was perfectly crunchy, and the sweet soy marinade shines on this delicious dish.
The pickled vegetable rice dish was a nice winter warmer. This was a special item, and seasonal menu choices could change regularly.
There is an understated decor at Double Happiness. The bar serves a limited selection of drafts and about 20 bottled beers, sake and sake cocktails, and liquor, including cool labels like the Suntory Yamazaki 12 year Japanese whisky.
The staff did a great job with vegan and vegetarian concerns. Section 8 Yakitorium is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 1:30 or 2 a.m.