In English, okonomiyaki translates to something close to “what you like, cooked.” It’s actually a pancake substance, made from a base of water, flour, cabbage, and yam, and topped with whatever fillings you want. There are about 40 different fillings available, everything from pure pork to pork and shrimp, eel, mixed seafood, and natto (fermented soybeans).
Gaja Moc is the supreme okonomiyaki specialist, says exilekiss—a fun, cook-it-yourself kind of joint with a teppan grill on each table. You can have the staff cook your okonomiyaki for you in the kitchen, but that would be missing the point. Order the fillings you want, cook them up on one side of the grill while you cook your pancake on the other side, combine, and eat. Do not fear being an okonomiyaki idiot—the staff gives instructions, and will happily leap in to help any diners in distress.
The okonomiyakis turn out great. “The crispiness of the nice sear on both sides of the okonomiyaki provided a great backbone to the rest of the ingredients, with the beautiful mix of seafood and fatty pork happily meshing together,” says exilekiss.There’s also a wide variety of toppings, in clearly marked containers: bonito fish flakes, sweet sauce, Japanese mayo, and pickled red ginger.
One of the odder and more satisfying fillings you can order is mentai mochi chiizu—spicy cod roe, rice cakes, and cheese. The cod roe gives a great oceanic note to every bite, with the gooey goodness of mochi and cheese melting into the batter, says exilekiss.
Gaja Moc [South Bay]
2383 Lomita Boulevard #102, Lomita