2905 Xietu Lu, near Lingling Lu 斜土路2905号, 近零陵路 +86 21 6481 2005
6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
At Kota's, Shanghai’s own Beatles-themed yakitoryi restaurant, one waitress, a college senior studying Japanese, once joked that the soundtrack is “just the owner's favorite Beatles songs. On loop. Forever.”
Thankfully, the menu is far more varied.
There are nine choices of beer, and many more of sake, on offer.
There's also the fruit shochu, made in-house every week, ranging from your customary flavors to ones like banana and garlic (thankfully not in combination), which sit out soaking in plastic fishbowls.
The menu is yakitori, ramen, some very odd fried things (like Camembert cheese), tempura, sukiyaki and inventive dishes that could only be described as “what Kota [the owner] calls Japanese," says a waitress.
Every skewered item you order will be perfectly grilled over Japanese charcoal.
There are luscious avocados grilled until nutty and smoky, and melt-in-your-mouth chicken liver that's done even better than Toriyasu's. The fresh button mushrooms brushed with garlic butter are perfect.
Everything is served with a pile of minced Japanese leeks for sprinkling.
Last but not least is Kota's pork bone ramen, which is better than bowls in some specialty ramen shops.
Go to Kota's on an empty stomach, just remember to make a reservation three to four days in advance.