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Apr 19, 2006 02:54 PM

Okonomiyaki in Boston area?

  • a

Are there any Japanese restaurants in the Boston area that serve a decent, authentic rendition of okonomiyaki?

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  1. According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
    Okonomiyaki is a type of Japanese pan-fried batter cake with various ingredients such as Welsh onion, meat (such as bacon), octopus, squid, shrimp, vegetables, kimchi, mochi, and cheese.

    Unfortunately, I have never seen it in Boston.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sheila Quan

      No restaurants in the Boston area according to my wife who is Japanese. She stated you need to go to NYC to get. Or you need to go to a Japanese persons house!

      1. re: debidokun

        I had okonomiyaki at KaPow a while ago -- not sure if they still serve it. You could also try Sushi House Kiyoshi (I've heard that they serve a reasonably authentic house version of okonomiyaki) or check for okonomiyaki night at Harvard University. One of the student organizations at Harvard used to host it each spring. It which wasn't too bad but I think that they just fried some vegetables and seafood and bought the sauce and boxed mixes from Yoshinoya.

        1. re: TMaB

          Kapow closed a while ago. Too bad, it wasn't a bad little place.

          1. re: TMaB

            I had the okonomiyaki at Kiyoshi, and it was very good. It's too bad they closed about 5 years ago.

      2. e
        East Cambridge Hound

        I read somewhere, perhaps on this board about a year ago, that Okonimiyaki (which I love) is not a dish that Japanese people are especially proud of. Apparently it came into major use after the war, when life was extremely humble and people couldn't afford finer foods. As a result, it almost never shows up on menus in the states, as it is sort of a locus of shame. It's too bad, because it's wonderful. Can anyone with more knowledge speak to this?

        6 Replies
        1. re: East Cambridge Hound

          I was in Kyoto recently and okonomyaki is proudly served in small neighborhood shops. each city has its own version (different ingredients). My host explained that many Japanese eat okonomiyaki like we eat pizza -- late night munchies type food. I would not way it's served with embarrassment at all -- some people are fiercely proud of their local version and cooks will ask you if you like their version.

          1. re: willw

            Do you have any pointers on where we can get okonomiyaki in Boston?

            1. re: Allstonian

              Looks like Ebi Sushi in Union Sq Somerville might have it:

              You can buy okonomiyaki batter mix at Ebisuya.

              Ebisuya Japanese Market
              65 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA 02155

              Ebi Sushi
              290 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

              1. re: emannths

                I can confirm that Ebi has okonomoyaki, at least on the special menu. It was listed as a something-or-other pancake, but the waitress confirmed it was okonomoyaki and we ate it and it sure tasted like it.

              2. re: Allstonian

                not quite the same thing but there's the seafood pancake at Korean Garden in i'm sure you know

                1. re: Allstonian

                  there was an okonomiyaki stand at the river festival in cambridge a few years ago

            2. I strongly suspect it's long gone, but a few years back there was a fast-food okonomiyaki *stand* in the Arsenal Mall in Watertown. Not bad (or at least comparable to the ones I ate in Japan) but made to order, every pancake took something like 20 minutes from order to plate, not exactly optimal fast food.

              1. Bon Chon Chicken in Allston offers this appetizer - Takoyaki - Fried octopus dumplings topped with bonito flakes, okonomiyaki sauce, and Japanese mayo.

                1 Reply
                1. re: nasilemak

                  Yeah, and Bon Chon has okonomiyaki on the menu, too (Maybe one of the main events for Boston in the okonomiyaki department since the 2006 post?)

                  It's not exactly a canonical/traditional one, but it's sort of a "Korean interpretation" of okonomiyaki. Basically, they give you a thinner/lighter Korean style pancake with seafood and okonomiyaki toppings, rather than the sturdy Osaka style pancake with mountain yam. We've gotten it about three times, and two of those times it was very tasty (the other time was more meh, not awful, just not thrilling).

                  It would be great to get a dedicated little spot in town with some grill tables for late night okonomiyaki and beer, especially if they would serve up variants with yakisoba in/on them, such as "Modern-yaki" (yakisoba between two thinner pancakes) or Hiroshima style (noodles and fried egg on the pancake)! It's easy to make Osaka-style (one sturdy pancake) at home, but I'm probably not alone in being too lazy to make the more complex ones for weeknight suppers...

                2. I have not ever had it there (nor have I ever actually been there!) but Toro Sushi & Grill in Allston has pork okonomiyaki on their menu. Also, there is a Japanese caterer, Okonomy, that sometimes (?) has a stand in Jamaica Plain and makes okonomiyaki. I would contact them first ( to find when and where their stand is located.