On the way home from San Pedro today, hubby and I stopped in S.M. for lunch, particularily to go to Gottsui. I lived in Japan and one of my food fav's was Okonomiyaki, Japan's answer to pizza.
If you have never had Okonomiyaki, give it a try. I enjoyed but, wasn't as yummy as what I had in Japan. I also felt it was a bit expensive esp for lunch. We ordered 1 okonomi (pancake) for 12$. It's their basic traditional pancake with cabbage topped with a bit o' shrimp, squid, small scallops, bonito flakes. Drizzed with the tradtional kewpie mayo. I love mochi in it as well but, that was another 3$ so, I opted out. We also ordered their roasted corn salad for 6.50$ Yummy but, $$$ for corn and butter lettuce and chicken teriyaki which was just ok.
I'd go again because it's okonomi but, wouldn't rush over there like I do for SinBala and Phoenix Food Boutique. Think I'll learn to make it at home.
Across the street is Blockheads shave shop. Looked fab but, left. A decent bowl of shave ice yumminess will set you back 7$! If you're willing to settle for a bit less, on the other side of Gottsui on Sawtelle is Brian's shave ice. It's half the price and satisfies. Gottsui also had yummy looking desserts.
Gottsui Oknomiyaki and Teriyaki Sawtelle/Olympic
I second the rec for Gaja. It's very close to San Pedro too. It's a quirky little place, and you can make your own okonomiyaki on the griddle at your table, or they'll make it for you in the kitchen. I love making my own because I can make it however I like (I like making smaller, thinner, crispy ones). They also have everything you can imagine available for inclusion in your okonomiyaki - meats, veggies, random things - along with the traditional accoutrements. You can ignore the rest of their oddly variegated menu and just go for okonomiyaki. It's fun and casual and always full of Japanese people. My sister is partial to their silly parfait desserts too. But I prefer to stop next door at Chantilly for a black sesame cream puff. :) Have fun!
Try Doya Doya on Artesia in Torrance. The oko scene here in SoCal is still light - haven't found a comparable Hiroshima-style oko - but Doya Doya's Kansai oko versions are good.
It's easy to make at home. Buy the packaged flour, sold at Marukai and Mitsuwa and follow the directions on the back.
1 pkg makes about 6. Mix flour with eggs, water and finely chopped cabbage and fishcake or shrimp. Ladle on grill top. Cut bacon strips in half and put 3 pcs on top. Cook 3 minutes turnover cook 4 minutes, turnover cook 3 minutes more. Top with okonomaki sauce, Kewpie mayo, seaweed and bonito flakes. Oishii...