Japanese tapas comes to Allston
By WILL SPITZ  |  March 8, 2006

YAKITORI: Japanese tapas.No one can accuse Allston of lacking a variety of affordable ethnic foods. From Brazilian barbecue and Asian vegan to Colombian cuisine, the neighborhood has a little something for everyone. But up until a month ago we’d been missing yakitori, the Japanese version of tapas, which traditionally consists of grilled-chicken skewers but has come to include any sort of meat, fish, or vegetable kebab.

Enter Sumi, the new Asian barbecue and grill located in a cozy space on Brighton Avenue. Named for a type of Japanese charcoal, Sumi offers a large selection of yakitori dishes in addition to a handful of entrées and sides. Each small plate consists of two skewers and ranges in price from $1.35 for sweet onions to $3.95 for lamb, duck breast, or scallops.

We kicked things off with a hearty but reasonably priced seaweed salad with red cabbage ($3.25), then got down to the business of yakitori. Sumi’s m.o. is to infuse both the familiar (chicken breasts, jumbo shrimp, eggplant) and more exotic fare (cow tongue, chicken hearts) with simple but savory flavors, and it does this extremely well. The menu indicates that two to four selections is an average order, but the quality, fair price, and order-as-you-go policy make it hard to stop there, unless you’re just looking for a snack. In that case, a couple of portabello-mushroom or steak-tip skewers (our favorites) will probably hit the spot.

Sumi, 182 Brighton Avenue, Allston | Daily, 11:30 am-10 pm | 617.254.7010
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