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Nov 20, 2011 12:07 PM

Tasty Takoyaki Downtown- Osa Tako Hero!

Takoyaki has always been elusive here in Vancouver-popular but hard to find.

Happily someone has come to the rescue of Takoyaki aficionados and started a street cart devoted to nothing but.

Maybe it was the cold weather maybe it was hunger being the best sauce but the offerings I had Friday were perfect-cooked just right with delicious chunks of Octopus inside.

The menu can be seen as a little too cute and thus a tad confusing but ordering is quite simple - service is fast & friendly.

An outstanding addition to downtown snacking!

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  1. So where is it, website didn't work for me

    11 Replies
    1. re: vandan

      Ok, their whole menu is just a bit too cutesy for me with the videogame theme. Toppings are called, "power ups" - oh puhleze. Wait did I just lose a life for saying that?!?!?!?!

      The young guy running the cart seems very intent on making his takoyaki just right. He hunched over the balls poking and prodding them regularly. I felt like telling him that he was a non-ergonomic takoyaki maker. But I just silently waited and was amazed by his hunched over technique. My guess is that it is a secret videogame tactic to optimize the powerups of your takoyaki or something.

      In any case, the takoyaki are the best takoyaki I've had in Vancouver - funny considering it is a Korean run cart instead of Japanese. Granted, this isn't the same quality as on the street in Osaka - something tasted just a bit different to me - but not bad! I'm guessing the difference has something to do with dashi. But I'm just guessing.

      I had the "para para sakana powerup" (that would be bonito shavings). The takoyaki were cooked just right, slightly crunchy on the outside and the octopus was not tough at all. It was topped with the classic takoyaki toppings. Would have been nice to have some slightly larger chunks of octopus, but overall a decent rendition.

      Located at 700 West Pender in front of Timmie's.

      1. re: YVRChow

        I know what you mean about his technique. He does make a pretty good takoyaki though -

        This is the kind of stall that makes the street cart initiative worthwhile. I hope he can survive the winter (and the indifferent office workers who would rather spend their money at Timmy's).

        1. re: fmed

          Yes winter is tough for eating outdoors-I headed into Pacific Centre to look for a bench to sit/eat-rode the escalator upstairs and somehow ended up walking through Holt Renfrew with a dozen Takoyaki in hand!

          I stared down the snotty Staff and made a quick exit to a bench on Granville St-must have things planned better next time.

          That being said the food really is hot coming off the griddle and a couple minute wait before ingesting a good idea.

          1. re: Sam Salmon

            I and an AB Hound were there on Tuesday at my insistence (she is not big on t-yaki). Since I prefer nothing but brown sauce, white sauce and a bit of laver on mine, I can just ignore all the cute cartoons, though I actually kinda liked them ;-). Would agree they are the best I've tried in Vancouver, and the intensity of the young tako-master was impressive. My DC really liked them too and thought she would get them again. Alas, he was not there on Thursday when we went by again, but neither was Tacofino, drat 'em. One thing I don't love about the food carts is their lack of reliability, even if you follow Twitter.

            V. good idea to wait a bit before snapping them to avoid a seared donk. We popped into Oyster Bar to eat ours, as the doors were open but no one was home. And speaking of Twitter/unreliability, contrary to continued tweets about Oyster Bar, their buck-a-shuck starts at 4 not 3 pm.

            1. re: grayelf

              The Streetfood iPhone app is a better way to keep track of food carts. (I'm not trying to rub it in ;-)

              1. re: fmed

                I have a bad feeling Osa is no more. Website is no longer working and I haven't seen them in weeks... anyone have intel?

                1. re: grayelf

                  I think you are correct. He mentioned in a tweet some months ago that he was experimenting with Korean rice rolls. But then silence.

                    1. re: Sam Salmon

                      At least everyone can get their takoyaki fix during the Powell Street Festival first weekend in August.

                      1. re: StarryFork

                        oooooo, will it be Osa there this year, SF? I might be willing to brave the line in that case.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Nooooo, sorry to mislead you. I doubt that Osa will be there. I just meant that it's a reliable place to get some authentic takoyaki. If you get there right at the beginning of the festival, the lineups aren't usually that bad.