お好み焼き (Okonomiyaki) from "Gaja"- Super authentic Japanese cuisine


Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is a Japanese dish consisting of a pan-fried batter cake and various ingredients. Okonomi means "what you like" or "what you want", and yaki means "grilled" or "cooked" (cf. yakitori and yakisoba); thus, the name of this dish means "cook what you like". In Japan, okonomiyaki is mainly associated with Kansai or Hiroshima areas, but is widely available throughout the country. Toppings and batters tend to vary according to region.


So there is a Okonomiyaki restaurant in Lomita called Gaja. I was the only round eye in the place... which I LOVE. Super authentic food like that ROCKS.

My friend Janine (who is Filipino, but is fluent in Japanese... so she wrote our name on the waiting list in kanji and that was cool...) and I sat down and I got a peach calpico with sho-chu, and she just got regular Calpico. For food, we started out with some garlic oysters, and then ordered Pork, Curry and Cheese Okonomiyaki. Then for dessert we had the banana parfait.



-------------------MORE ABOUT OKONOMIYAKI-------------------------

Kansai (Osaka)-style okonomiyaki is a pan-fried batter cake. This is the style of okonomiyaki found throughout most of Japan. The batter is made of flour, grated yam, water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage, and usually contains other ingredients such as green onion, meat (generally pork or bacon), octopus, squid, shrimp, vegetables, kimchi, mochi or cheese. Okonomiyaki is sometimes compared to an omelette, pizza, or pancake, and may be referred to as "Japanese pizza" or "Japanese pancake", or even "Osaka soul food".

Most okonomiyaki restaurants are set up as grill-it-yourself establishments, where the server produces a bowl of raw ingredients that the customer mixes and grills at tables fitted with teppan, or special hotplates. They may also have a diner style counter where the cook will prepare the dish right in front of the customers.

In Osaka (the largest city in the Kansai region), where this dish is said to have originated, okonomiyaki is prepared much like a pancake. The batter and other ingredients are fried on both sides on either a hot plate (teppan) or a pan using metal spatulas that are later used to slice the dish when it has finished cooking. Cooked okonomiyaki is topped with ingredients that include okonomiyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce but thicker and sweeter), aonori (seaweed flakes), katsuobushi (fish flakes), Japanese mayonnaise and pickled ginger (beni shoga). When this style of okonomiyaki is served with a layer of fried noodles (either yakisoba or udon) it is called modanyaki (モダン焼き) "modern yaki". Negiyaki (ねぎ焼き) is a thinner offshoot of okonomiyaki made with a great deal of scallions.

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Tags: food, GOODEATS, culture, japanese, restaurant

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Comment by Kara on July 23, 2008 at 10:41am
I love going to an Asian cuisine establishment and being the only round eye in the place. (That wasn't offensive was it? Maybe I shoulda prefaced that my Asian friends call me round eye...)
Comment by Eli on July 23, 2008 at 9:21am
i love that place! as far as i know, it's the only place in LA/OC that you can do your own okonomiyaki. plus their menu is huge! it even has corn-dogs on it =]
Comment by GLee on July 22, 2008 at 12:04pm
That was a great post! :) Informative and I got really excited about checking this place out!
Comment by alice on July 22, 2008 at 12:14am
thanks for sharing! i can't wait to check this place out!
Comment by sAm on July 21, 2008 at 11:45pm
YUMMY!!!! This place sounds amazing. When we were in Osaka, we ate a lot of these, ahhh the memories.. Can't wait to check it out. Great post!
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