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Restaurants & Bars

Impressive Octopus Balls (aka "takoyaki")

pirikara | Nov 28, 200709:27 AM     10

I remember reading a thread a few months back asking where one could find takoyaki, which is freshly chopped octopus tentacles mixed into a savory batter and pan-fried into the shape of a bite-sized ball. I only knew about the ones sold in the frozen food section at the Japanese market and other random places that only did it in a mediocre way.

But now here it is.... at Asa Ramen in Torrance. Rameniac has been raving about their ramen for a few weeks so I finally checked out the place last night. Ramen isn't really my thing so after I got it out of the way I tried the takoyaki and, wow, crispy on the outside and hot and nearly oozing on the inside. According to the chef, there's a secret ingredient in there that allows the inside an almost pudding-like consistency. A half-dozen plate costs $4 to $5 if I remember correctly. It's topped with mayo, scallions and a thick soy-based sauce, just like they do it in Japan. Though I must say, taste-wise, it's unlike anything I've had in Japan. It has a very homestyle flavor which undoubtedly comes from months of trial and error.

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