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Oct 24, 2010 01:39 AM

Anyone seen Takoyaki lately in SF?

Has anyone seen Takoyaki lately?

The version I remember from a summer living in Tokyo was at the Mitsukoshi department store lunch counter. It was a small lunch counter in a corner of the store served only (or mostly) Takoyaki balls like in the picture below atop a mound of shredded raw (completely raw) green cabbage with dark sweet sauce in squirt bottles on the counters.

References to takoyaki at Sebo and Delica in the Ferry Building:

Takoyaki I remember it found on Flickr:

Takoyaki, not as I remember it, but incredible-looking:

517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA

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  1. Tampopo always has it on the menu and is one of the best I've ever tasted. I'm lucky that it is walking distance for me, part of Japantown and in the Buchanan part of the mall (not the indoors areas).

    Here are pictures from my fried dough blog:

    2 Replies
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      Do you know if they make them from scratch? I saw them on Tampopo's menu, but they list them as "Deep-fried" which makes me believe they're the frozen kind that's just thrown into a vat of oil. They do have the right toppings, though, and the pics do look delicious!

      It's pretty difficult to find made from scratch (considering you can get it all over the place in Japan) but it's surprisingly easy to DIY. You can pick up the griddles at Soko Hardware or Ichiban Kan for around $20-25. That way you can make your own variations too - I've experimented with using a green tea base and whole wheat flour.

      Soko Hardware
      1698 Post St, San Francisco, CA

      1. re: Radical347

        I do not know definitively, but I am going to guess they are made from scratch because the octopus inside is so tender. If they were frozen, I think the seafood would be far more on the rubbery side.

        Actually, thinking about it, I *did* get one that was still a bit underdone. Meaning, I was getting some un-cooked batter so if they were frozen, it would make sense that they would be consistently cooked through so these must be made fresh.

        And the toppings are spot-on.

    2. A Takoyaki cart makes occasional appearances outside La Victoria Bakery & elsewhere.

      Nombe has them sometimes.

      Haven't tried either of those. But I did catch some at Sebo on a Sunday izakaya night, menu changes weekly.

      517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

      2491 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      La Victoria Bakery
      2937 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1. Love the photo you found on Flickr: it looks exactly like the takoyaki we had at the night market in Richmond (suburb of Vancouver) BC a few years ago. The line was incredible; they couldn't make them fast enough - Wish we had a night market like that here.

        1. Izakaya Sozai has them, and they're pretty good.

          Izakaya Sozai
          1500 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

          1. The new Let's Roll on Irving currently has a takoyaki special for $2.99. I tried it today - 4 takoyaki come topped with bonito shavings, finely shredded nori, mayo, and a sweet barbecue sauce. I'm far from a takoyaki aficionado but thought this version was more than OK considering the price.

            They also have a $1.99 California roll special which was also decent.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bigwheel042

              the takoyaki seem different. not like the one i had in j town decades ago. the octopus was chewy, indicating it was previously frozen. also tried the chicken karange (4.49). tender chicken with lots of breading and topped with jalepeno cheese. kind of strange......