Ready to head to a new restaurant in Boise and feast on Monkey Brain?
I laugh. No need to go all over Planet of the Apes here.
Primates, of course, are not involved. Named for its cerebellum-stimulating appearance, Monkey Brain is an avocado-stuffed appetizer at Yanaki Japanese Restaurant & Asian Cuisine, 650 S. Vista Ave.
The sushi destination opened about a month ago. It quickly replaced Mr. Wok, a Korean restaurant that recently closed after seven years of operation.
Spicy chicken addicts know that Mr. Wok was also a Vons Chicken outlet – two restaurants in the same building. With the closure of the Boise’s Vons franchise, there is only one Korean fried chicken restaurant left in the area: locally owned Han’s Chimaek at 1716 S. Broadway Ave.
If you’ve ever eaten at Mr. Wok’s, Yanaki will be familiar to you. The property has changed, but not much else has changed inside. Freshly hung banners are hung outside the building.
But the menu is completely different.
“Our chef Mike Kim is delighted to bring the taste of fusion,” Yanaki says on his website, “specializing in sushi and rolls …. His 30 years of experience in various states has enabled him to develop and create our own specialty and signature items In addition to Chef Mike’s specialties, we are delighted to offer authentic Korean fusion made right in our kitchen.
In other words, Mr. Wok’s spirit persists. The long, double-sided menu includes a small section of “K-Dishes” featuring Korean staples such as beef bulgogi ($ 16.50) and bibimbap ($ 12).
But the focus is on sushi, sashimi, and dozens of creative rolls ranging from Sexy and Playboy to Avatar, TNT, and Super Dragon. There are even two rolls served on fire, including one designed to make you say “Oh my God! The OMG Roll ($ 14) features crabmeat, avocado and shrimp tempura inside and cooked shrimp, eel sauce and spicy mayonnaise. outside.
Yanaki also offers bento boxes (for lunch), noodles and soups (ramen costs $ 7.50), and an assortment of salads.
As for that monkey brain? Its roots go back to a chain in Southern California called Wokcano. (See video above.) Breaded avocado is stuffed with crab meat and spicy tuna – then deep-fried – and drizzled with eel sauce, sriracha sauce, and spicy mayo.
Go ahead, Curious George. Try Yanaki.