Asa Ramen already has been touted for its top-tier ramen, and now it has another claim to glory: takoyaki, says pirikara. These Japanese tidbits are pan-fried croquettes studded with pieces of fresh octopus tentacle.

The chef at Asa says his takoyaki contain a secret ingredient that gives the interior an almost puddinglike consistency. Sure enough, the hot takoyaki are crispy on the outside and practically oozing within. They come topped with mayo, scallions, a soy-based sauce, and a flurry of dried bonito flakes. The home-style flavor stands out even from restaurant versions in Japan—undoubtedly the result of much trial and error.

A half dozen takoyaki go for $4 to $5.

Asa Ramen [South Bay]
18202 S. Western Avenue, Gardena

Board Link: Impressive Octopus Balls (aka “takoyaki”)

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