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Mitsuru Café – Great Imagawayaki (Taiyaki), Homemade Mochi And Other Japanese Treats in Little Tokyo

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  • Lau Jul 30, 2013 08:24 PM
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**For full post and pics**: https://www.lauhound.com/2013/07/mits...

Mitsuru Café is one of three Japanese places that I can literally remember going to for as long as I’ve been alive; the other two being Sakae Sushi and Sakura-Ya in Gardena. All of these places serve very simple Japanese dishes that I love and fondly remember.

Mitsuru Café is a little café located in Japanese Village in Little Tokyo. While they have renovated the outside, the inside still looks like it’s from the 60s with old faded walls with specials taped on them, a counter with an open kitchen and old wooden tables. At the front window they have a griddle that cooks the imagawayaki as well as a display case showing a variety fried foods and other stuff such as dango. Its super old school and really brings you back. I rarely sit down and eat, but when I’m close to Downtown LA I almost always stop by and get some food for myself or to bring back to my family.

Imagawayaki:
This is what you will see people waiting in line for. Imagawayaki is a pancake cooked in a griddle with red bean in the middle. More commonly you will see taiyaki which are the fish shaped ones. The key to a good imagawayaki are being fresh off the grill, good tasting batter and the right batter to bean ratio. Surprisingly, I’ve had a hard time finding a good one in Asia even in Tokyo and Taipei where they are very common. One of the three characteristics is always wrong; it’s a cheap snack and most of the vendors just don’t take them seriously. Mitsuru still makes the best one for me. They are really fresh, hot and slightly crispy, the batter is not too thick and has a really good flavor. The only knock is that the an (red bean paste) is a bit too sweet. I highly recommend trying these. 8.5/10

Ohagi:
Ohagi are a type of mochi with red bean on the outside and a rice ball in the middle; definitely one of my favorite. The ones here are true home style and taste like the ones my family made when I was a kid. They’re pretty ugly, but the beans are really fresh and the rice balls are very nice as well. It’s a simple confectionery, but you’ll notice the difference versus the ones you buy in the super markets. 8.25/10

Daifuku / Yomogi / Black Sesame Daifuku:
These are also homemade. The daifuku are the standard white ones, the yomogi the green ones that use mugwort (one of my favorite) and the black sesame daifuku are the ones covered in black sesame. All of them have red bean in the middle. Even though these are homemade honestly they don’t taste much different than the major local brands like Mikawaya. They are still good, nicely fresh and taste just like they sound. While not exceptional like Sakura-Ya, they are quite good and worth eating if you happen to be buying other stuff. 7.75/10

Inari:
Inari are a type of sushi that look like footballs. They are marinated tofu skins stuffed with sushi rice and sesame seeds. They are fresh and pretty decent although they’re not great like the ones at Sakae Sushi. Again these are good and worth checking out if you’re here, but not going to blow you away. 7.75/10

Futomaki:
These are the sushi rolls that have tamago (sweet egg omelet), takuan (yellow radish pickle), this pink sweet stuff that looks like cotton candy and pickled gobo (burdock root). The ones here are pretty standard and while tasty not out of the ordinary. These are another one worth checking out if you’re here, but not worth going out of your way for. 7.75/10

Overall, if you want to try some great imagawayaki and homemade mochi, I’d highly recommend coming here because this is the type of stuff that one day you will not be able to find anymore. Also please note that they only carry the ohagi and mochi on the weekends.

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  1. Great report, Lau.

    As Little Tokyo continues to change, I fear for the loss of places like Mitsuru Grill. i certainly hope the developers value and appreciate such little treasures and make sure they continue to thrive in the near future. Great mention of Sakae and Sakura-Ya in Gardena as well.

    43 Replies
    1. re: Ogawak

      thanks!

      ive actually been scared about that for a long time, the one good thing is it appears that perhaps a younger generation has taken over as the girl manning the grill seemed like she might be related to the owner (daughter?) and she definitely knew how to cook the imagawayaki.

      i'll be reviewing Sakae and Sakura-Ya very soon (i actually had a short review of Sakura-Ya years ago, but this will be a proper one with pics etc). I feel slightly more comfortable that those two will be around longer as younger generations of the family seem to have taken over both and i'm not as worried about them losing their lease or something given gardena location

      1. re: Lau

        You mentioned that it's been hard finding a good imagawayaki in Asia as well. I can only attribute this to the ever-decreasing numbers of the older generation that grew up with these types of treats. The younger succeeding generations have become far more westernized in their tastes and preferences, so this combination of the older generation offering such goods being fewer in number and the younger generations desiring more variety is chipping away at the "traditional" factor.

        Another issue is migration patterns in Japan. So many of the younger folks tend to leave the smaller cities and towns for the primary cities like Tokyo or Osaka for university or work . It is in these large cities that the food trends spring up and continue, making less room for the traditional ones. The older folks of course stay in place in the outlying areas. It is in these smaller cities and towns that you will most likely find it easier to seek out great examples of the traditional treats.

        I was in Japan last summer - Hiroshima and Kyoto - and did find some superb examples of the older traditional treats. But these were apparently being made and offered by people who were at least in their 60s. The one that immediately comes to mind was an ohagi counter in a typical Hiroshima indoor mall operated by some really sweet obachans who appeared to be at least in their 70s. They offered ohagi with anko, kinako or kurogoma. The ohagi rice itself was perfect in temperature, texture and taste - they molded these by hand as ordered. Three large bins held the respective coatings, and they would scoop up the coatings, place it in a plastic clamshell container, and the place the ohagi in to coat or mold around the ohagi. The obachans told us to save the remaining generous amounts of kinako and kurogoma and add it to warm milk for later - great tip. The counter itself seemed very popular with customers of all ages. The sad thing is I don't know if there will be anyone to take over as time goes on.

        1. re: bulavinaka

          oh wow that sounds awesome. i had some good ohagi with kinako when i was in tokyo; in fact they were so good that i ended up buying some 30 mins before i left for the airport, air sealed them as best i could, got off the plane 9 hours later and went directly to my grandma's house and ate them with her...still tasted great.

          yah it's definitely old people food and for some reason i really like these old people dessert / pastry type things even though i'm not old. I think i'm the only person left in my family that really likes them alot and goes out of their way for them. i was able to find good mochi / manju in tokyo, but i could not find a good taiyaki / imagawayaki unfortunately.

          what you say though rings true throughout asia particularly with alot of these pastry type dishes which are definitely not holding their popularity with younger generations

          1. re: Lau

            A lot of the imagawayaki and taiyaki that I saw in Japan was offered with azuki but other fillings like custard, curry, maccha, etc., seemed to run interference. I tried some of the others, but always preferred the azuki - maybe I'm OG like you.

            >>what you say though rings true throughout asia particularly with alot of these pastry type dishes which are definitely not holding their popularity with younger generations<<

            Yeah, things are changing so fast over there, and the old guard and their talents are disappearing even faster. A few years back, my brother-in-law from Singapore gave me a book. "The End of Char Kway Teow and Other Hawker Mysteries," by Dr. Leslie Tay (blog "IEATISHOOTIPOST"). He discusses this phenomenon from the Singapore angle. Great book with excellent photos.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              yah im very familiar with that blog (great coverage of hawkers, but i dont agree with his tastes at all alot of times). i lived in singapore in 2002, very familiar with the food scene there. I was just there last year. what we're talking about is particularly pronounced in singapore. If you talk to alot of food people in singapore particularly ones who in their 40s or older they will basically tell you how bad the state of hawker and traditional hokkien / teochew and other regional chinese cuisines have gotten there bc no one wants to go into the business now (funny b/c i feel like in america people are just now realizing the food destination that singapore / malaysia is even though alot of singaporeans will lament the state of their food)

              here's a bunch of posts you can see that ive done in singapore: https://www.lauhound.com/category/cit...

              however here's a place where what they make is dying in singapore (i actually specifically visited it because of that): https://www.lauhound.com/2013/01/tang...

              1. re: Lau

                Damn Lau - who am I to mention Singapore in one breath to thee?!?! Great blog! Awesome that you've been AND documented your extensive food travels. I'm bookmarking your blog...

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  haha thanks!

                  if you're interested in asia check out hong kong (look at the categories and go under cities), i know hong kong and HK food better than any other place aside from NY or LA. I go there once a year usually (used to go there multiple times a month when i lived there) and hit alot of spots when i go. I wish i had been as into food and documenting it when i lived there b/c i'd have a huge amt of content. I honestly should just move there one day for a couple of years to document more.

                  The blog started sept 2010, so its got alot although not all (i'm missing malaysia, japan etc) of the stuff i thought was worth talking about since then. it's focused mainly on asian food and particularly chinese food, which i know best since i grew up eating it. i hope you like it

                  1. re: Lau

                    My wife keeps mentioning how much she misses Hong Kong - I've never been - so your blog will be very helpful when we do go... Thanks again.

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      I'm just surprised you weren't part of this http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888785 other thread, bula. How did you miss it? (g)

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Ah H-E-double chopsticks - I have to come clean. I was celebrating the birthday of Pauly Shore...

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauly_Shore

                        Joking... Even more surprising - how did you even remember this six-month old thread? And yes, I did totally miss it...

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          Servorg IS a database of Chowhound threads and restaurants. Truly amazing. Servorg, have you ever been stumped by any request on this board? We should have everyone make a request and see whether we can stump the Servorg.

                          1. re: Ogawak

                            The new search engine is pretty bitchin

                          2. re: bulavinaka

                            bulavinaka - if / when you go to HK, go to my blog and send me an email and ill send you a huge list of places to go, since your wife is from HK that's perfect bc i send you the more local spots i like (some only have chinese menus etc)

                            1. re: Lau

                              Thank you for the offer. My wife is actually from KL but used to visit HK quite a bit. She's fluent in Cantonese and can read Chinese so this would be great. Thanks again...

                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                yah thats all you need, HK is a food paradise you'll love it

                                i wish i really spoke cantonese bc you can really get in with the people running the place, i can only get so far with mandarin (given my background i should speak cantonese, but i dont really ugh)

                                you should go to malaysia if you haven't...that place has really great food, some of the best in asia in my mind. ill be posting some KL places soon

                                1. re: Lau

                                  Malaysia's great - been (I think) five times over the hears. But they're kinda going down similar paths as Japan and Singapore - just slower. Still - it's mind-blowing to most Westerners. Look forward to your future posts.

                      2. re: Lau

                        Hey Lau I'm actually going to hk soon.. possibly as early as next month. I usually let my hk friends lead me, or go on openrice, but the last trip proved that you really need to know people who are more into food, and not just locals.

                        Should I just browse your blog for ideas? browsing through blogs sometimes takes an unnecessarily long time. Not saying I can't (well, not in this time frame), but if you have a list or something it would be easier. Also, may I ask if you are a HKer or cantonese? thanks!

                        1. re: blimpbinge

                          blimpbinge: i can def help you out...i actually started sending my food list to my HK friends bc i end up taking them around half the time when i go there (although they end up doing the talking since they can speak and read chinese at local level and i get made fun of for my crap accent haha)

                          1) go to my blog and click cities and the hong kong and you can see HK places ive reported on (ive been to way way more though)
                          2) go to my blog and send me an email and ill send you a word file with restaurants, addresses, dish recs etc
                          3) I'm half cantonese, but i can only speak a bit of cantonese, i can speak mandarin conversationally (luckily family had the foresight to realize mandarin was much more useful)

                          1. re: Lau

                            Thank you! My friends in hk are usually quite bz and they will often settle for something that is nearby than to take me somewhere far/original

                            "luckily family had the foresight to realize mandarin was much more useful"

                            Going to take this slightly off topic. As a person who learned cantonese first, I will say that knowing cantonese made it significantly easier to learn mandarin. Whereas my mandarin speaking friends (chinese and ABC) have the most difficult time picking up any cantonese, unless they've lived there or have a cantonese SO/roommate. I think learning some (more) cantonese would be beneficial to you since you're half cantonese and go to hk often.

                            1. re: blimpbinge

                              agreed, but if you had the choice of mandarin or cantonese what would you pick? i think its very obvious

                              1. re: Lau

                                There's no argument there, there are significantly more mandarin speakers... But then again, there are more english speakers, so would your argument work the same way if one was asked to choose only english or mandarin?

                                My family works with cantonese speaking people, so we speak cantonese.. then again we can also speak english, mandarin and a few other dialects, so there's never been an issue with needing to pick just one. The world would be a very boring place if everyone spoke the same language.

                                I think I need to really start documenting the places I go to in hk. During the first few trips, I was basically dragged around by friends or family. I knew I was in trouble when I went on my own last year and only ate at places that I saw from the street, and had to start asking the hotel concierge and going on openrice. I will now take some time to read through your blog!

                                1. re: blimpbinge

                                  this is getting a bit off topic, but generally yes english is more useful, but we're talking about chinese. if you can speak cantonese only you can speak to people in HK, guangdong and to a minority of chinese in southeast asia. if you can speak mandarin you can speak to all of china, taiwan, 90% of people in HK and a good majority of chinese in southeast asia. If you had a choice mandarin is just more useful than cantonese, i think its hard to argue that. anyhow, the best is to speak both and you obviously get further speaking cantonese in HK (no doubt about that).

                                  also, i forgot to tell you there are some great threads on HK on the china / southeast asia board. There are a few posters like Charles Yu (exceptionally knowledgable about HK and cantonese food...much more so than i) and klyeoh who are quite knowledgable

                                  1. re: Lau

                                    "also, i forgot to tell you there are some great threads on HK on the china / southeast asia board. There are a few posters like Charles Yu (exceptionally knowledgable about HK and cantonese food...much more so than i) and klyeoh who are quite knowledgable"

                                    when I go there, I mind feels pain. It's a heck of a lot of information to digest. I really need to just sit down and go through your blog, then slowly make my way through the asia board... (approx) one month to go! Thank You.

                                    1. re: blimpbinge

                                      cool, send me an email

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        my* mind

              2. re: bulavinaka

                Hmmm. Not sure where to begin. First off, imagawayaki in Japan are as popular as ever. And probably much better than the stuff at Mitsuru Cafe. I love Mitsuru for what it is, and I grew up eating their imagawayaki since I was a tot (40 something years ago) as well. But go to many of the shopping malls or department store food halls all over Japan, and you should be able to find good imagawayaki (also called obanyaki, and other names depending on location in Japan). One caveat is that I wouldn't recommend getting them at festivals or most mobile setups.
                While the Japanese palate has expanded to like worldly flavors, I wouldn't count that as the main factor in a decline in quality or disappearing goods. In fact, I think with development of e-commerce, it's actually been great for local purveyors of "these types of treats" to reach a nation-wide market. With the saturation of food/cuisine on Japanese TV, just about anything that's been discovered is accessible by anyone with an internet connection and a credit card.

                The reason why succeeding generations may not find some old traditional foodstuff is because the artisans who had been making them are dying off and haven't passed on those skills and knowledge to the succeeding generation, either because their children were more interested in seeking better opportunities elsewhere or in other professions. Or, more than likely, they weren't able to adjust to the late 20th (and 21st) century economy and ran their businesses into the ground.

                So, go and enjoy Mitsuru Cafe. They are a one-of-a-kind LA institution, serving good-quality stuff. If you want to take it to another level, find some good places in Japan, and there are plenty out there (or I should say, here). And don't get bogged down with tradition. Custard cream in an imagawayai is awesome. My favorite local place makes a version mixes azuki and cream. Custard in imagawayaki has been around for more than a generation, so it is traditional. After all, if you want to get "real traditional" sushi, don't go for that newfangled otoro or chutoro (that stuff became popular in the 70s) because that stuff is for the Japanese palate that became more westernized to like fatty meat. But guess what, it's really traditional nowadays, isn't it?

                1. re: E Eto

                  I was last in Taipei December 2009, and found a stall that specialized in imagawayaki at Ningxia Road Night Market (I'm sure it is still there and very popular) and the lines were pretty long. Custard cream and red bean were standards, but they also put in their local spin on it, adding flavors like taro and a savory pickled salted dried daikon version. The custard version made for a pretty interesting breakfast when reheated in the toaster oven the next day, no doubt inspired by trends in Japan. The locals call it chelun bing (car tire cake) or hongdou bing (red bean cake).

                  One stall near the famous computer and parts mall at one point sold a version that had pork and cabbage in it. There was another place that sold something similar by Gong Guan night market.

                  Mitsuru Café sounds awesome. Up in San Francisco, the best available is a cold and tired and watery red bean filling taiyaki (not made to order) at May's Coffee Shop. But at least we've got the 100 year old Benkyodo Co Japanese American wagashi/manju shop that Japanese tourists bring back home (all natural, no additives), even though it doesn't have the elegance and packging of something like Minamoto Kitchoan.

                  1. re: K K

                    K K - last time i was there was dec 09 as well, I'm trying to go back to taipei this winter hopefully and ill def try to give that place a try, i want to hit some of the night mkts i haven't been to in a long time like ningxia. def give it a try next time you're in town

                    i had a taro filled one in singapore; the peanut pancake is some type of hokkien traditional snack, but i think they may have gotten the taro idea from an imagawayaki:
                    https://www.lauhound.com/2013/01/tang...

                    1. re: Lau

                      Yeah look for either 古早味紅豆餅 or 車輪餅 in the signage at the night markets. The former is what they call it at Ningxia Road Night Market.

                      1. re: K K

                        great sounds good...so the place is called 古早味?

                        1. re: Lau

                          Goo Dzau Wei 古早味 is just a descriptor (old school flavor)

                          古早味紅豆餅 is the full name of the vendor

                          http://beefnoguy.blogspot.com/2010/08...

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPh3T8...

                          1. re: K K

                            very cool...i should've videotaped the mitsuru chick, she's so fluid and fast with it even more so than this girl at 古早味紅豆餅

                  2. re: E Eto

                    Hey E Eto - thanks for the insight. I'll defer to regarding availability of good ones in Japan as you are far more knowledgable and experienced about all things Japanese vs myself. However, when i was there late last year I tried probably 5-6 all at mall / dept store /depachika type places and I could not find a good one. That said I could easily be wrong bc my sample size was not statistically significant, but I just wasn't able to easily find one when i was there (i was able to find very good mochi though which made me very happy since its one of my all time favorite snacks).

                    "The reason why succeeding generations may not find some old traditional foodstuff is because the artisans who had been making them are dying off and haven't passed on those skills and knowledge to the succeeding generation, either because their children were more interested in seeking better opportunities elsewhere or in other professions. Or, more than likely, they weren't able to adjust to the late 20th (and 21st) century economy and ran their businesses into the ground." --> that's exactly what I was saying if you go to the rest of asia that is happening right now, which is not to say that food is getting worse, but it's changing and certain old traditional less popular snacks are disappearing. Singapore is a great example since you can see what is happening as their development has been extremely rapid over the last 50 years bc if you're the child of a hawker you could a) take over the family business and work as a hawker, work 12 hours a day in the heat on your feet and get somewhat looked down upon or b) you could get a white collar job, work 8 hours and get paid multiples of what you would as a hawker....pretty easy decision for most people

                    tradition: i don't care about it unless it makes the food taste better, so having different kind of filling options etc doesn't bother me at all. i'm not one for nostalgia as long as you are turning out something that is as good or better (dim sum is a perfect example of this and you've probably read my views where im actually anti nostalgia and wish no one used carts in the US since it turns out a worse quality product)

                    1. re: E Eto

                      >>Hmmm. Not sure where to begin.<<

                      I don't know if we are very different in our views other than these two points.

                      >>First off, imagawayaki in Japan are as popular as ever. And probably much better than the stuff at Mitsuru Cafe.<<

                      I don't doubt that it's popular as ever, and I am sure there are versions that are better than Mitsuru (really our only serious permanent option in SoCal that I know of) but like Lau, I tried a handful (also at various depachika, malls, confectionaries near transportation hubs) and really didn't say to myself that these set themselves apart other than offering a line of different fillings. I actually ate a ton of momiji-manju in Hiroshima (thanks for the tip on the "nama-" hard to find but was worth it) and found these to be obviously far better than what was found in L.A. Regions obviously take great pride in meibutsu - Hiroshima seriously so with momiji, kaki and okonomiyaki.

                      >>While the Japanese palate has expanded to like worldly flavors, I wouldn't count that as the main factor in a decline in quality or disappearing goods. In fact, I think with development of e-commerce, it's actually been great for local purveyors of "these types of treats" to reach a nation-wide market.<<

                      This I was not aware of and nice to hear. The transportation network throughout Japan is a thing of beauty and this makes sense. What surprises me is the willingness to accept credit cards - especially with the old-schoolers. We had an incredibly difficult time finding shops, markets and restaurants that would take credit cards in Hiroshima and Kyoto. Outside of hotels, depatos, shinkansen and some larger more formal restaurants, Cash is still King from our experiences. I've never had a credit card waved off so many times. So a duel business model of cash at the storefront and credit card on the internet is becoming common?

                      >>The reason why succeeding generations may not find some old traditional foodstuff is because the artisans who had been making them are dying off and haven't passed on those skills and knowledge to the succeeding generation, either because their children were more interested in seeking better opportunities elsewhere or in other professions. Or, more than likely, they weren't able to adjust to the late 20th (and 21st) century economy and ran their businesses into the ground.<<

                      I think what I mentioned above is interlaced with very similar statements.

                      "The sad thing is I don't know if there will be anyone to take over as time goes on."

                      "...so this combination of the older generation offering such goods being fewer in number and the younger generations desiring more variety is chipping away at the "traditional" factor."

                      "So many of the younger folks tend to leave the smaller cities and towns for the primary cities like Tokyo or Osaka for university or work."

                      "I was in Japan last summer - Hiroshima and Kyoto - and did find some superb examples of the older traditional treats. But these were apparently being made and offered by people who were at least in their 60s."

                      My cousins - all but one - have left Hiroshima - it saddened me. Attending university (mostly in Tokyo) was the initial step away from home. With degrees in hand, they all found jobs mostly in Tokyo, Osaka,Yamaguchi and Kagoshima. One took a lucrative position in Jakarta years ago and loves it there. Many of their friends experienced similar profiles of attending university away from their home cities, then moving away from their home cities to start some sort of career.

                      None of my cousins felt the need to carry on their parents' occupations as shopkeepers, restaurant owners, major liquor wholesalers, engineers, landowners and architects. None were serious artisans of any particular craft but all were well-established in their small- to medium-sized businesses or professions. An uncle who was a corporate officer at Mazda seems to be the only one who some of my cousins have somewhat emulated. Obviously, this has been so common in Japan over the past fifty years - work in some capacity for or with a corporation. These types of corporate-related careers are typically viewed as better in many ways and far more accessible in the primary cities, thus the obvious migration trends. Those who stay behind typically are the parents who have little or no reason to move. And it is in these folks that much of the grit and polish of past traditions are ingrained. With fewer succeeding generations who are willing to learn and carry on the intricacies of these traditions, folks like the obachans selling the ohagi will be far more difficult to find, even in the smaller cities and towns.

                      Off-topic, but is Hiroshima-ben slipping away? Didn't here that rough & tumble speak so much like in the past...

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        Hiroshima-ben (dialect) is alive and well. As are many micro-regional dialects everywhere in Japan. Even here in Hiroshima, there are distinct differences between the city of Hiroshima, the southern/coastal area around Kure, and the mountain regions in the north. I'm sure there are variations west and east as well.

                        Apologies if I came off completely disagreeing with your point. My main disagreement is the assertion that traditional tastes are being supplanted by "western" tastes. And my point is that claim is an old one, repeated for every generation, yet there are plenty of traditions carried forth.

                        About the credit card thing. Yes, it's an issue, and one that keeps Japan stuck in the 20th century. However, online shopping is different in that often you don't buy directly from the smaller local merchants. Rather, fulfillment services like Amazon, Rakuten or Yahoo serve as the middleman between local shops and the online shopper. There are plenty of larger merchants offering direct shopping as well.

                        While I have lots to say about Japan's social structure and many of its problems, I'll refrain here. If you want to reach me offline about this, I'm happy to continue this discussion.

                        1. re: E Eto

                          Thank you - you are always one of the most enlightening of contributors.

                    2. re: bulavinaka

                      This discussion brings to mind last month's Mitsuwa Food Fair, which was fantastic in and of itself.

                      Anchindo from Yamagata Prefecture (Northern Honshu on the Japan Sea side) presented a dora yaki, or maki dora as they called it. It was a nice delicate and fluffy pancake folded over a tasty filling, either custard, black sesame or red bean. Different from Mitsuru that the pancake is grilled, then folded around the filling. I really enjoyed that even more than our Mitsuru version.

                      1. re: Ogawak

                        ahhh i love dorayaki, i brought a box of those back from japan to share with my relatives too when i was there. were they freshly cooked at the mitsuwa food fair?

                        1. re: Lau

                          Yes they were. They also had maccha. It was probably the most popular food item along with the numerous versions of korokke.

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            ahh sounds great!

                            1. re: Lau

                              This place I go to every year when I'm in Japan sells about 50 different types. I like the ones with the custard but will also get a savory one like the ultra-traditional "Mexican Chicken".

                              http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1327/A13270...

                              1. re: Silverjay

                                haha "Mexican Chicken"

                                1. re: Lau

                                  Folks, just a quick request -- can we bring this back around to food that's actually in LA? We know threads drift, but this one has drifted all the way across the Pacific Ocean!

                                  Thanks!

                2. *thumbs up*
                  Even tho i dislike red bean paste I, too, would hate to see mitsuru disappear. I grew up with it as well (my mom and sis loved it). I remember when my sister went off to college on the east coast my mom and I would often trek to mitsuru and purchase a box of 20 or so to freeze and ship to my sister. As much as I appreciate LA gaining new places to try everyday, i love seeing the old familiar gems thrive.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: namstermonster

                    agreed, its not just nostalgia, i really like the imagawayaki here and it would be ashame if they are gone

                  2. Is this the place with the grey leather (?) booths in the back?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: mc michael

                      hmm grey leather booths? i dont think so, look at the pics, you can see what it looks like inside

                      1. re: Lau

                        Oh, I see. I was confusing it with Mitsuru Grill. You might check it out at 316 E. First St. Their sushi looks quite similar.

                      2. re: mc michael

                        Actually that is the Mitsuru Grill and not the Cafe. The Grill is on First St. and the Cafe in the middle of the Village Plaza. I believe still the same ownership. Imagawayaki is at the Cafe.

                        1. re: Ogawak

                          no this is mitsuru cafe, look at the sign in the pics...ive been coming here forever

                          1. re: Lau

                            You're correct. I was letting McMichael know that the grey booths he mentioned were at the Grill. Your pictures are for the Cafe.

                            1. re: Ogawak

                              ohhh ok, i was confused