Doya Doya Okonomiyaki - Kansai-style Okonomiyaki
Just wanted to mention that we had some really tasty Kansai-style okonomiyaki at Doya Doya Okonomiyaki. They're located in a small strip mall off of Artesia and Van Ness in Torrance. They serve about eight to ten iterations of okonomiyaki with lots of listed options as add-ins, yakisoba, and omu soba (yakisoba enveloped in a huge omelet).
While there has been some brief mention on this board (I found three threads with posts by kainzero, professor salt and jerome), all were brief.
Miles Clements did have a short but very good article in the LA Times back in February as well - I totally missed it:
I was pretty impressed with all aspects of the two oko versions we tried (Doya Doya special mix with egg and pork and cheese). The ingredients all tasted fresh and first rate, and the suppleness of the fluffy center part of the oko, especially the one with the cheese infused, were superior. I can only describe my pork and cheese oko's texture as being between a quiche and souffle, but of course infused with lot of chopped cabbage. I'm guessing the chef has mastered the folding in of the batter and nagaimo. The eggs were also very fresh and sweet in flavor. The oko is served on a very hot cast iron skillet, and the condiments are the traditional aonori seaweed, mayonnaise and very nice katsuoboshi that has a very heady smokey taste and aroma. So the presentation and the serving temperature is pretty much what you would get in many oko bars in Japan as well. So far of the three places that I've tried in LA that specialize in okonomiyaki (Gaja Mac and Gottsui), I'd rank Doya Doya on top.
My roots go back to Hiroshima, so I'm partial to that style of oko, but this Kansai version which is far more common both here and Japan, is worthy of a visit. Their hours are somewhat abbreviated, and Japanese is definitely the primary language spoken here, but they have menus in both Japanese and English.
Doya Doya Okonomiyaki
2140 Artesia Blvd, #N
Torrance, CA 90504
Thanks to bulavinaka's comments, when we were in Torrance on a Thursday recently, we made a point of going to Doya Doya for lunch. Although an older Asian couple was at the only other occupied table, we tried to be low key not giving away that we were complete newbies.
We got the basic okonomiyaki, and I didn't know what to do with the kewpie mayonnaise although it was presented with the order. I put the shaved bonito flakes on like the couple across the room did and enjoyed the waving movement from the effect of the hot, steamy pancake.
Watching the couple, I used the flat-edged, cutting metal utensil, then chopsticks. There was enough pancake left over to take home for dinner (served with leftover veges and put the veges to shame).
A really enjoyable experience, we'll absolutely go back when we're anywhere near Torrance.
Is there a place that serves okonomiyaki anywhere near the San Fernando Valley?
I revisited Gottsui a few nights ago and confirmed my feelings about Doya Doya - Doya Doya is superior by a long shot. I think their location is a minus.
The SFV is a long way from Torrance. I yelped "okonomiyaki" and used Encino as the location: Hanabishi by Kyushu on Sherman Way came up. A photo of the typical presentation shows up in the gallery, but I can't tell if it's Kansai (or Osaka) style, or Hiroshima style. You can call them to find out if they regularly serve it.
How was the crowd? I remember it was kinda busy when I first went there but now it seems like it's died down, there were quite a few times when I was the only one eating there.
Kinda sad because I think it's a great place for okonomiyaki.
I had Hiroshima-style that was just okay, and Hiroshima-style that was really good (both in Hiroshima!) so rather than get into the style wars, I'll just eat whatever I think tastes better. =)
The omu-yakisoba is interesting. Not sure I'd get it again, but it's worth trying. My Japanese friends were equally surprised that such a thing existed, lol.
It was light - two other tables were occupied, and one group of six came in after we did. It was about 2PM on Sunday, so I think this might have been a normal lunch crowd?
I grew up eating Hiroshima-style so what can I say? Hiroshima folks take some serious pride in their version, but I'm with you - at least here in LA - lead me to the tastiest one.
Your Nihonjin friends were surprised? I saw these on the menus at coffee shops in Kyoto. Maybe a Kansai thing? The table of six ordered two different versions of this along with one oko. They were wowed by the enormity of the omu and clapped as the waitress placed them on the table. I'm definitely ordering that next time!
I'm with you. But this Kansai-style was very good IMHO. Interior was light and fluffy - props to the chef.
Are you still in Japan? If you head down to Hiroshima, look up Okonomiyaki Lopez. The owner is originally from Guatemala, is married to a Hiroshima local, learned his craft working the oko bars, and really does a great oko himself.