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Okonomiyaki in DC?

Are there any restaurants in the DC/Northern VA area that have okonomiyaki? I'm a huge fan, but I haven't been able to find a place around here...

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  1. I believe they have something like it (an omelette/pancake sort of thing) at Chez Mama San in Georgetown. But I don't know what the status of the place is. I heard they were going to close down, but they have a recording now saying they are on vacation and will reopen in December. I've never eaten there.

    Chez Mama San
    1045 Wisconsin Northwest, Washington, DC 20007
    (202) 333-3888

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve

      Thank you so much! Actually - I've been meaning to check out the place for awhile. My friend raves about the restaurant all the time. I better go before they close... thanks again steve!

    2. I'd hate to see it go; I like very much. Unfortunately, there are rarely many diners in it. Perhaps the location or lack of attention? In any event, it would be sad to see it leave. Nice ambiance, quiet, good food, friendly attentive servers [although sometimes a bit of a language barrier]. Except for the parking issue, it is a wonderful little place.

      1. I just phoned Chez Mama San. They are open. Last seating tonight -- Thurs., Jan. 4, 2007 -- is at 10:00 p.m.

        1. Unfortunately, Chez Mama San no longer has okonomiyaki on the menu- the waiter told me that they only served it at lunch previously, and they now only serve dinner. Any other okonomiyaki options that anyone knows of?

          Chez Mama San's food was excellent, although the service was a bit slow.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Osvaldo

            Thanks for that information. I was going to make my way up there soon for lunch just for okonomiyaki but good to know! What do you recommend getting? I can't wait to go try...

            1. re: foodlover123

              We thought that the kakuni (pork with spinach) was the best of the entrees we had, with the Japanese-style curry a good option if you like that type of curry. Of the other dishes, the small plates had several good choices, including nanban kisu and the cold options.

          2. I'll have to check it out. I hope it survives. I love authentic Japanese food.

            1. Bummer about Chez mama san, I was hoping there would be a place to get it in this area. I am from Ann Arbor and while there is no place close by for Okonomayaki there are a lot of Asian grocery stores that sell powder mixes and sauces to make it your self. I have had it in Japan and frankly making it at home was better tasting but not nearly as fun as sitting at those cool grill tables at the Kyoto Train Station. See attached link for a tested recipe.

              PS. When he says Ground Pork he really means strip of pork, I used good bacon and it was awsome.

              1 Reply
              1. re: aquilinus68

                Nice to see that recipe is still online! That's the one I use and it's great, and so easy.

                You can buy the "Chinese yam" (nagaimo) at some local stores like Lotte and Han Ah Reum. The tenkasu (tempura batter bits) is sold in packets in Japanese stores like the one above Temari. Wear gloves or plastic bags when grating the yam, because it can irritate your hands.

              2. We had shrimp okonomiyaki yesterday at Snap Crepes and didn't think it was well-made at all. The mango bubble tea was okay, and the maple butter crepe was good.

                5 Replies
                1. re: sweetpotater

                  What did you see wrong w the okonomiyaki? I am not familiar w the dish but that place is right near my office and I would love to help them get it right. Can you offer particular criticism that would help the place get it right, or is the whole situation just hopeless? It is encouraging that you liked the crepe.

                  I have wondered about this joint and considered trying the crepes but that is as far as I have gotten. I think it is a good sign that the proprieter is trying to fill an okonomiyake vacuum and I would love to help. Pls advise.

                  1. re: antepiedmont

                    When I was in Japan I never had okonomiyaki, so I can't tell you if this was authentic or not. I can't imagine it was something people anywhere would get excited about, if it indeed was authentic: in essence a thick puffy pancake with a few -- hmm, scallions? -- mixed in and dried tiny shrimp on top. Didn't like the flavor; the sauce tasted only of Worcestershire.

                    1. re: sweetpotater

                      I don't know if it's a "national" dish in Japan now, but when I was in Osaka in 1970, our local favorite sushi bar started serving okonomiyaki during the six months that I was there. It was apparently a regional disk (Osaka/Kyoto area) and was practically unheard of in Tokyo. So it's not surprising that it never became the big hit in the US that sushi was. The way it was served, it was about 1/4" thick, light, with a small bit of shrimp, scallions, or lightly grilled thinly sliced meat, about 7-8 inches in diameter, sliced into 8 pie-shaped pieces.

                      1. re: sweetpotater

                        Hmm. The snap version of okonomiyaki doesn't sound too appetizing. Then again I was never a fan of Snap's bubble tea (their black tea always tasted burnt and overpowered the flavour of their milk teas). I'm use to okonomiyaki made with cabbage and pork served with a heaping topping of Bulldog sauce. MMM!

                      2. re: antepiedmont

                        A site telling how to make okonomiyaki which I am fond of:


                        A site giving more realistic instructions:


                        I was taught to make it by a former student from Japan and only ever used the box mix or the powdered yamaimo.

                    2. I just heard (and confirmed via internet) that Teaism in dupont and old town alexandria has it on t he menu. I havent tried it yet and am a bit skeptical. That said, because its so hard to find, i'm going to try it out.

                      1. Maneki Neko on Broad Street in Falls Church was the first place I ever had it. It's incredibly delicious and a friend of mine who has spent a lot of time in Japan says that's it's relatively authentic!