Okonomiyaki Flipping at Gaja
Oh no, not me. I don't have any okonomiyaki skills. But I loved watching M, one of the more okonomiyaki-experienced one amongst us, flip them expertly. After strategically sliding in a spatula on the upper and lower halves of this savory pancake, one must gracefully and speedily flip the whole pancake with a short but determined flick of the wrist.
But before any of that excitement, do start off with a cold cold glass of beer. It may even help you become a suave flipper. As for me, I avoided any flipping accidents and allowed the cold beer to just wet my appetite. Afterall, we were waiting outside for 30 minutes or so.
Okonomiyaki, which means "grilled the way you like", is a batter cake with savory ingredients and grilled like a pancake. There are two style in Japan, the Osaka and the Hiroshima. Gaja states that their okonomiyakis are similar to the Osaka style (ingredients grilled together instead of separately like Hiroshima style) but with different ingredients.
We had a plate of the yaki-udon to start off with while waiting for a bowl of okonomi-yaki goodies to be delivered. Ohhh, this was so good. I especially like the generous spoonful of the roe at the top. I never even knew udon was eaten stir-fried. Gotta make this one at home sometime.
The following series of pictures are for the modern mix okonomi-yaki, one of the popular dishes at Gaja:
*cook the meat and the noodles separately in a little bit of oil.
*whoa, a few steps skipped here. i think i was getting busy with the beer. mix well the batter with vegetable. once batter is placed on griddled in a pretty circle, top it with the cooked meat and noodles.
*now flip! then slather it with okonomiyaki sauce.
*then decorate with fish flakes, mayo and nori. eat!
But my favorite was the kimchi pork combination. Tangy spicy kimchi with pork is always a winning combination. However I wish the kimchi and pork were cut into smaller pieces so big pieces of it didn't fall away from the wedge as I ate through it. However, the flavor was perfect.
And even after all that, we got a dessert to share...
Gluttony isn't a crime as long as the food is awesome!
2383 Lomita Blvd. #102