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Yakitori Tora, Now Cooking with Charcoal from the Mother Country in Nolita

Charcoal from Japan lends the skewers a smoky flavor that's hard to find in New York.

A week ago, the tiny, wood-lined Yakitori Tora opened quietly on Kenmare Street, next to the space that will soon host Sun Ramen's Ramen Lab. The space seats only a few, with most sharing a bench crowded around a wood bar that looks onto the small kitchen. There Osamu Yanagisawa, a veteran chef from Japan, is cooking traditional skewers like chicken and pork meatballs known as tsukune with pickled plum or red pepper. Organic chicken wings, hearts, livers, skins, thighs, and more are also cooked over charcoals that the team has had shipped over from Japan. Rice ball dishes and a fairly extensive list of sakes round out the menu. The restaurant and Ramen Lab have no connection, but will likely make for some good nights of Japanese dining on Kenmare. 70-78 Kenmare Street, Nolita.