The 2013 Michelin Guide asserts that Tori Shin is the best yakitori-ya in the country. I don't profess to be a yakitori guru - aside from the occasional yakitori course at places like Kinnosuke, Raku in Vegas, and Yopparai - I don't order it that often. But I can aver that Tori Shin is definitely worth a visit - even though it's a bit out of the way of the better food neighborhoods.
Tori Shin means "bird heart" or "chicken heart" in Japanese - and chicken is pretty much all they serve. I count ~30 types of chicken skewers on the menu, plus about 20 or so other skewers (mostly veggies, a couple quail and duck). Everything is grilled over binchotan charcoal - a very expensive, low-smoke variety of white charcoal produced in Japan. The a la carte menu is vast, and deceptively pricey. Skewers are around $5 each, but they're only three bites. You're not getting out of Tori Shin for $15. They offer two omakase options - 10 skewers for $50 or 6 + other stuff from the kitchen for $55. I always go for the $55 option. It's generally enough, although on occasion I've been known to add a couple extra skewers.
This is one of my favorite restaurants for a number of reasons. Of course the food is excellent, although it's pricey for what it is ($55 for grilled chicken?). They're open very late - generally you can walk in at 11pm on weeknights - maybe even past midnight on weekends - and get served. Of course the bar is the only place you want to sit, but there are a few tables that are nice for groups. The chef, Atsushi Kono, is a really friendly guy and loves to chat about food. The wait staff isn't obsequious, but is extremely hospitable. The atmosphere is transporting - they have the classic discreet entrance (I almost couldn't find it the first time I went); the setting is intimate - maybe 30-something seats in the whole place, most of them at the ~20 seat bar surrounded by Japanese businessmen and locals alike; the chefs cook for you omakase style - presenting one skewer at a time. If you go at peak times there might be a wait, but I've never been shut out. Just have a couple margaritas at Maya next door. They also do sake tastings once a month, but for some reason I keep forgetting to go.
The food: generally the omakase always includes pickled vegetables, grated daikon, a seasonal appetizer, 6 skewers, a rice course, and a scoop of shiso sorbet or a seasonal fruit sorbet (strawberry last time I was there). I've always been given a different appetizer - among the best of these is a fabulous bowl of fried chicken with house-made tartar sauce. Another time it was house-made tofu with chicken. I also had one that included uni. They usually have a cod roe appetizer on special, but I haven't tried it yet. I don't think I've eaten my way through all the skewers, but I'm close.
Here are the menu highlights: whole chicken hearts, kidneys, back soft bone (edible bone, yum!), chicken "oyster", tenderloin w/wasabi, wings, tsukune, special tsukune (contains duck), shishitos, grape tomatoes, potatoes w/butter, and shiitakes.
Highly recommended if you like this style of food. At some point I have to try Yakitori Totto to see how it compares.