HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Get great advice
TELL US

Okonomiyaki at Saturday Ferry Building farmers market + any must-try vendors?

r
reesie Mar 18, 2010 12:00 PM

I know for sure that Namu sells okonomiyaki on Thursdays at the Ferry Building farmers market, but does anyone know if they have it for sure on Saturdays as well? I'd hate to get myself all excited to try it, only to find it's only on Thursdays!

Also, any other must-try places at the farmers market? I don't get up to the Ferry Building farmers market that often, so I want to try to have a good idea of what to try before I get up there.

-----
Namu
439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

  1. a
    amydeastbay Mar 18, 2010 03:39 PM

    I saw it on the menu last Saturday, so I'd assume it's available whenever Namu is at the market.

    -----
    Namu
    439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

    1 Reply
    1. re: amydeastbay
      r
      reesie Mar 22, 2010 10:42 AM

      Yes I do think they have the okonomiyaki whenever they are at the market. From what I hear, it's one of the main dishes they serve along with the kimchi fried rice and korean tacos. The other dishes seem to rotate around.

    2. little big al Mar 18, 2010 09:20 PM

      Right to the right of Namu is Ryan Farr's joint. It's all a bit too dear for me, but the sausage roll (4 bucks) (still kinda pricey) is absolutely one of the best specimens I've ever had AND THERE'S NO LINE. You can eat one while you wait for your okonmiyaki, or one of Roli Rolti's fine fine porchetta panino.

      -----
      Namu
      439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

      1. Melanie Wong Mar 18, 2010 09:24 PM

        I've had the okonomiyaki at the Thurs market and have been comparing notes on it with other chowhounds offline who've tried it. So far, none think Namu's is that great. I love almost everything else I've had from Namu, but not its version of okonomiyaki.

        -----
        Namu
        439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

        1. p
          phokonomiyaki Mar 19, 2010 06:55 AM

          There are 11 other restaurants in SF (and south) that serve Okonomiyaki, so if you want to try it sometime other than Thu/Sat at Ferry Building, you do have options - there is a list here as well as easy instructions to make at home. http://okonomiyakiworld.com

          20 Replies
          1. re: phokonomiyaki
            Tripeler Mar 19, 2010 07:02 AM

            Thoroughly cool Okonomiyaki site. For that served at the market at the Ferry Building, what style is it? Osaka, Hiroshima, or? The approach is quite different depending on the area from Japan from which it originates. SF Okonomiyaki enthusiasts would be really lucky to find Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, which is remarkably light and crisp.

            1. re: Tripeler
              Melanie Wong Mar 20, 2010 04:58 PM

              Since it's heavy and tough, I don't think Hiroshima would claim it. Maybe Namu has some consistency problems at the market or maybe this is intentional. Did anyone try it today?

              -----
              Namu
              439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                Tripeler Mar 20, 2010 08:41 PM

                Heavy and tough, sounds like Osaka-style, done poorly.
                Has anyone tried it? Curious to hear how it is.
                Okonomiyaki is quite rare in the U.S.

                1. re: Tripeler
                  s
                  soupnazi Mar 20, 2010 10:37 PM

                  Mifune Don Restaurant is my fav

                  -----
                  Mifune Don Restaurant
                  22 Peace Plz Ste 560, San Francisco, CA 94115

                   
                  1. re: Tripeler
                    Debbie M Mar 22, 2010 06:41 PM

                    Yes, Osaka-style done poorly can be pretty poor.

                    Last year, I want to say it was around late spring, Delica-rf1 briefly had Osaka-style okonomiyaki. It was the smallest okonomiyaki I've ever seen, slightly smaller than a saucer, which some people might not like, but that allowed you to pair it with another small dish. It was an excellent rendition, crispy without being overcooked, and non-greasy. Definitely the best I've had locally. I hope it's something they'll have again this year.

                    The place in the South Bay mentioned below was probably the late, lamented Hiroshima Okonomiyaki House . They also had takoyaki, if you needed some batter goodness to go with your cleaner, lighter Hiroshima style.

                    1. re: Debbie M
                      Melanie Wong Mar 23, 2010 09:49 PM

                      Sebo had takoyaki on Sunday during its izakaya service. Here's the photo from its twitterfeed, http://twitpic.com/1a4oqa

                      -----
                      Sebo
                      517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                      Delica
                      1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA

                      Bushido
                      156 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

                  2. re: Melanie Wong
                    m
                    Martin Strell Mar 21, 2010 04:03 AM

                    We tried it today (well, yesterday, by now). Didn't like it much. Jing and I shared one, and we didn't finish it. We found it heavy and greasy. Incidentally, they'd warned me that it would take "nine minutes" to make - it was more like 15. On the other hand, we loved the "Korean tacos" we got from Namu. Rib meat with little bits of vegetables, rolled inside a dried seaweed wrapper, with a tomato-kimchee salsa. We'd get these again for sure, but not the okonomiyaki.

                    1. re: Martin Strell
                      Melanie Wong Mar 21, 2010 09:13 AM

                      thanks for the update, Martin. This piece in SF Weekly dubs it Osaka style. It's been hyped so much but I just don't see why. Maybe for use as a frisbee . . .

                      http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010...

                      I do like the taco-like ssam too.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        m
                        Martin Strell Mar 21, 2010 02:31 PM

                        It was total coincidence that we had this yesterday - I was unaware of the hype until I saw this thread after we got home. We don't usually go to the Ferry Building market - with the crowds and the parking hassles at he Ferry Building, we usually go to one of the more accessible markets. But I had two cousins visiting from back east, and that was where they wanted to meet, which was fine with me. The Namu stall looked interesting, so I decided to check it out. I wanted something that wasn't too spicy so I could share with the kids, and they recommended the Okonomiyaki.

                        My cousins were wide-eyed and amazed at the market. It made me remember how much we take for granted here, and how much my own attitude towards food has changed since moving to the Bay Area a little more than 20 years ago. My cousins, who are a little older than I am, remember me as the skinny kid who only ate bologna sandwiches.

                        -----
                        Namu
                        439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        1. re: Martin Strell
                          y
                          YSZ Mar 22, 2010 09:43 AM

                          Any suggestions for okonomiyaki in the South Bay?

                          1. re: YSZ
                            r
                            reesie Mar 22, 2010 10:40 AM

                            I've heard tales of great okonomiyaki at one place in South Bay, but that place has closed its doors. I've had the okonomiyaki at Sushi Masa in San Jose. I thought it was good, but a little heavy on the sauces and very salty. Otherwise the texture was nice and it has meat and seafood in it too. I don't know if the okonimyaki experts will say that it's good, but it's one place to try in south bay for sure if you're in the mood and don't want to make it yourself at home.

                            -----
                            Sushi Masa
                            5363 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA 95124

                            1. re: reesie
                              y
                              YSZ Mar 23, 2010 09:11 PM

                              Thanks reesie. I'll try Sushi Masa soon, though Namu may call my name loudly enough that I'll have to make a special Thursday trip North.

                              Maybe the next time I go to Nijiya (MV) I'll see if they have any local recommendations. If so, I'll pass along the word.

                              -----
                              Namu
                              439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                              Sushi Masa
                              5363 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA 95124

                      2. re: Martin Strell
                        r
                        reesie Mar 22, 2010 10:36 AM

                        Aha... we found the Namu stand and tried it too. I thought it was okay, but nothing to write home about. Mine was nice and crisp on the edges, but the middle was kinda doughy and I thought the cabbage should have been chopped instead of just put there in big chunks. It was hard to eat with a plastic fork.

                        But yes, the korean tacos were bomb!! I really enjoyed those.

                        -----
                        Namu
                        439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        1. re: reesie
                          grayelf Mar 22, 2010 11:24 PM

                          This is a helpful thread -- I might have been tempted to try the okonimiyaki at Namu had I not read it, as I do love me some Japanese "pancakes" :-). The link to okonomiyaki outside Japan is great too, though not comprehensive, at least as far as Vancouver is concerned. I will check in again in case others post on preferred spots in the Bay Area...

                          -----
                          Namu
                          439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                          1. re: grayelf
                            p
                            phokonomiyaki Mar 23, 2010 10:58 AM

                            Hi Greyelf - The Vancouver listings at okonomiyakiworld.com were updated yesterday to add a few that some Van food publishers discussed on Twitter over the weekend....if you know of any others, please email or post. Thanks!

                        2. re: Martin Strell
                          p
                          phokonomiyaki Mar 23, 2010 10:56 AM

                          Hi. Namu is definitely Osaka style (or Kansai style). I don't believe there is anywhere in Bay Area that serves Hiroshima style, though it's pretty easy to make at home. Thanks for the tip on Sushi Masa, it's added to the list at http://okonomiyakiworld.com I've had the Namu a couple of times, once it was decent, the other time not as good. It probably depends on the weather, the lineup, the taco orders, and the cook - maybe a bit inconsistent. My favorites are Mifune Don and Genki Ramen. Also, a bit out of the way, but the Majikku Ramen in Daly City was pretty well done. Have not tried the brand new Bushido Izakaya www.bushidoizakaya.com - has anyone?

                          -----
                          Namu
                          439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                          Genki Ramen
                          3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

                          Mifune Don Restaurant
                          22 Peace Plz Ste 560, San Francisco, CA 94115

                          Sushi Masa
                          5363 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA 95124

                          1. re: phokonomiyaki
                            bbulkow Mar 23, 2010 09:39 PM

                            Tried it today. Small room, gorgeous wood walls, nice enough for lunch, I thought the okonomiyaki (served at table with very few options - veg vs chicken vs pork etc) lacked a certain something - a "coming togetherness".

                            1. re: phokonomiyaki
                              r
                              reesie Mar 29, 2010 03:01 PM

                              I have not tried the one at Genki Ramen, but I recently had the seafood okonomiyaki at Mifune Don and it was so good! I think it's the best okonomiyaki I've had here in SF yet. It seems like it just gets better and better, so hopefully Genki Ramen will turn out to be very tasty as well!

                              -----
                              Genki Ramen
                              3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

                              Mifune Restaurant
                              1737 Post St Ste 375, San Francisco, CA 94115

                              1. re: phokonomiyaki
                                Robert Lauriston Dec 17, 2010 09:49 AM

                                Adding a link:

                                -----
                                Majikku Ramen
                                248 Skyline Plaza, Daly City, CA 94015

                        3. re: phokonomiyaki
                          Melanie Wong Apr 15, 2010 11:11 AM

                          Deep in Noe Valley isn't listed. I noticed okonomiyaki on the menu, http://deep-sf.com/deepsplash.pdf , has anyone tried it?

                          -----
                          Deep Sushi
                          1740 Church Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                        4. bbulkow Mar 23, 2010 12:48 AM

                          OkonomiyakiWorld reports nothing between SF and Mountain View.

                          Any reports in between? Menlo Park through San Mateo, say? Lots of Japanese along that corridor, must be *some* okonomiyaki!

                          -----
                          Menlo Cafe
                          620 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: bbulkow
                            bbulkow Mar 23, 2010 09:34 PM

                            I tried the new place on Castro in Mt View (bushido?), and I thought the okonomiyaki were ok but not great. It just didn't come together, although all the pieces were there.

                            1. re: bbulkow
                              r
                              reesie Mar 29, 2010 03:09 PM

                              bbulkow, how would you compare it to the other okonomiyaki? Which one is your favourite so far here?

                              I would imagine there must be okonomiyaki in San Mateo, but maybe it's not as popular because they are Hawaiian Japanese? I don't know how popular okonomiyaki is in Hawaii (maybe someone can clear that up). Come to think of it, I'm not sure if a lot of the Japanese people here are from Hawaii or Japan. Ha.

                              1. re: reesie
                                bbulkow Apr 15, 2010 08:48 PM

                                I filed my in-depth comments on a thread about Bushido directly.

                                -----
                                Bushido
                                156 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

                          2. tatertot Mar 29, 2010 03:15 PM

                            I noticed that the Cherry Blossom festival is coming up in Japantown. I've never been but maybe some food vendors will be serving okonomiyaki. Saturday and Sunday, April 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 2010

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: tatertot
                              i
                              isaac1972 Mar 30, 2010 11:55 AM

                              The Cherry Blossom festival is generally abysmal, I wouldn't get your hopes up about eating much good Japanese food there.

                              1. re: tatertot
                                r
                                reesie Apr 1, 2010 02:57 PM

                                The food isn't that great, but the festival's grand parade is worth attending!

                              Show Hidden Posts