Ittoku, Porter Sq. Cambridge mini-review

Quick hit on the new incarnation of this izakaya, I tested it out last week. They’ve redone the place entirely and it’s kind of nice inside. The menu is a pretty extensive selection of pub style Japanese dishes like yakitori and okonomiyaki etc with your standard sushi/sashimi thrown in. I went solo, so only tried a couple of things.

The grilled shishito peppers lacked a little char, but had a nice sauce and were fine. Chicken skin yakitori was great, really crispy and savory and cooked just right. The house okonomiyaki is Hiroshima style (with noodles) which isn’t my top choice but was still pretty good, the pancake loaded with cabbage and bean sprouts and such, topped with the usual sauce and mayo. You even get your own classic “magic five” dispenser so you can douse your meal to the gooeyness that you prefer. My only complaint was the egg wasn’t totally mixed into the batter completely, resulting in some excess fried egg bits on the edges. But that was OK–let’s face it, okonomiyaki isn’t exactly a refined sort of dish anyhow.

They’ve got Asahi on tap and it’s fresh and cold. It’s nice inside too, though I think in general it lacks the atmosphere of a real izakaya–there are a lot of two tops + a lot of seats along the grilling section, and there aren’t really the kind of group tables you’d like to see in a place that serves what is essentially bar food. Still and all, it’s a good spot for a meal and I’m sure going to go back and try out a bunch of the menu items that are available–the karaage chicken I saw looked promising and with items like tsukune with onsen egg in the mix I’ll definitely go back again.


Thanks for the review and reminder. I honestly have not made a trip to the Porter Exchange building in years (ever since the little market closed). It sounds like it’s due time to return and check out anything new.


Thanks for the review. I was wondering about this place, but if I’m in the Exchange it’s usually during the day when they’re closed. (I deplore this new trend of dinner-only places.)

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I’ve been back here a couple of times since my initial review, the last time being last Thursday (which I’m guessing is my last dinner out for awhile–sad face). Overall, I’d say it’s very good but not great–but the place is well run and clean, the service tends to be pleasant and you can get a nice meal here. I’ve had a beef and konyaku dish that was awesome, the karaage chicken the one time i got it was crispy, hot and juicy, and the takoyaki is well made. My gf made me order a maki roll when we went on Thursday & it was also pretty nice–salmon and shiso done up just right. The okonomiyaki is consistent and well made, not that it’s really that hard to make.

The yakitori, unfortunately, is a little variable. It can range from really moist and just right to very overcooked, so I think it depends on who’s turning the skewers. (I haven’t been enough to tell who does it right). Also, the one time I got one of their house drinks it wasn’t too good, a Japanese style play on a Manhattan that was kind of flat. I think that sticking to beer is the play here.

I like the place, though, and if I’m not eating at Yume Ga Arukara (or if the line at that place is too damn long) it’s the clear second choice at the Porter Exchange.