Last week, Yakitori Kona joined Mai Kitchen in Virginia-Highland, taking over the space previously home to Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit on the corner of Virginia and North Highland. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit closed in 2022 after nearly seven years amid rising rents and operating costs.
Kinjo describes Yakitori Kona as an “intimate izakaya cocktail bar” offering grilled Japanese skewers and twists on classic cocktails from veteran Atlanta bartender James Wampler. Chef Hugo Valdez, who worked at MF Sushi, Craft Izakaya, and Kinjo Room, serves a selection of charcoal-grilled skewers like lemon pepper, togarashi-spiced fried chicken skins and a charred filet with a yuzu kosho chimichurri. The restaurant uses Japanese white charcoal on a grill imported from Japan, which can reach up to 900 degrees. All yakitori comes served with three dipping sauces.
Other dishes include whole squid with tare sauce, takoyaki, and Japanese pickles accompanied by yamagobo or takuan, along with more traditional Japanese skewers like chicken hearts. A late-night food menu featuring dishes such as Japanese curry or tataki rice bowls with Japanese pickles is also in the works.
Look for cocktails from Wampler like a riff on the lychee martini in the Yes, Yes You Do with a shochu base, a blackberry daiquiri with a goat cheese foam, and the I’ll Have a Traditional made with charred orange-infused Japanese whisky.
Yakitori Kona is currently open for dinner, with lunch expected to follow in a few weeks.
Take a look at the menu below:
Open Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday - Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
1004 Virginia Avenue, Atlanta. yakitorikona.com.