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“When I got the yakitori assignment I was so excited because yakitori is a part of me. I used to live in Japan for eight years and my favorite thing to do was go to these smoky yakitori restaurants where they grill over Japanese charcoal,” says San Diego-based shooter Robert Benson, who set out to cover the Convoy favorite, Yakitori Yakyudori, for this issue’s restaurant feature.

When
6:08pm
5.22.13

Where
Convoy

“When I moved here, there was no yakitori on Convoy. Now there are three places, but this is the best.” So popular, lines start forming out the door when the grills fire up at 4:30pm even though the first skewers won’t be served for another hour. During the shoot, a customer came in with a gift for the chefs and then bought a round of drinks for the kitchen—a regular custom. Benson was at the ready to capture the moment during a boisterous and impromptu toast. “Convoy is like our Little Asia. If you want ramen, sushi, Korean... it’s got it all,” he says. So, what’s this self-proclaimed yakitori addict’s go-to order? “Nankotsu. It’s chicken cartilage  from the knee joint. It has this crunch and is incredibly flavorful.”