october 9, 2011

Dinner with friends at Gaja in Lomita. They specialize in okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake made up of various ingredients cooked tableside. We started off with a few orders of takoyaki (octopus-stuffed dumplings), before moving on to two orders of okonomiyaki. Our first was a spicy cod roe, mochi, and cheese version done in the Osaka style (full pancakes grilled on both sides). Then we chose a corn, potato, cheese, and mochi monjayaki (a Tokyo-style pancake that is much runnier than the Osaka-style okonomikayi, and is eaten directly from the grill using small metal spatulas). We topped both orders with plenty of aonori (seaweed flakes), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), okonomiyaki sauce (a thicker Worcestershire-like sauce), and Japanese mayonnaise. A big measuring cup full of shaved ice was the perfect ending to this wonderful meal.

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