Maison Yaki

When I heard the Olmsted folks were gonna let down their hair and open up a yakitori/cocktail bar in Brooklyn, I was more than on board. 

Which is kind of a shame. See, I admit I hyped this spot up too much in my mind. I’m so into yakitori that I was sure this Japanese/French hybrid spot would be my new favorite watering hole in Brooklyn. And after a few failed attempts at getting in, I scored a reservation and was super excited to get my meat stick on.

Let me start with the good. The place is cute, the bar has great seats, the cocktails were good, we had great seats by the front window, and the marketing is spot on. And I’d remiss if I didn’t tell you I thought the ribeye yakitori was perfectly cooked and delicious. I could eat those all day, even though at 9 a pop, you’d wind up paying more for that ribeye than you would if you just ordered one whole somewhere.

What was so special about the ribeye is exactly what is missing from many of the other dishes I tried. If I had to sum that up… the ribeye had a pureness to it that was missing in most other dishes.

The Duck A’Lorange is gorgeous, but it’s been frankensteined together into a meatball. The lobster also sufferes from being a bit tortured. Imagine how amazing a pure piece of lobster is, or could be, on a skewer with a tiny dish of, say, clarified butter. Instead you get a something you might never identify as lobster at all. You might confuse it with shrimp, and who knows what else that literally takes away from the purity, the beauty of lobster. Over-complicating something that’s already amazing doesn’t make it more amazing. Let the lobster sing. That’s why people love it.

Suffers from the same preciousness as Olmstead, where the front of the house in both cases makes you feel like they are doing you a favor.