If all my other plans fail, I'm opening a Tako Truck
August 6, 2010 5:25 AM   Subscribe

Where can I get some awesome takoyaki in the DC area?

I recently came back from my first trip to Japan and the best new food I had was takoyaki from street vendors in Osaka. I already miss it. I can't believe that nowhere around here tries to sell it to drunk people, because it is totally awesome. Where's the best place to get it in DC?

Bonus question: Any recommended recipes / recipe tips?
posted by azarbayejani to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm surprised by that and also that okonomiyaki is not more popular. Both are delicious!

It's not too hard to make takoyaki yourself, if you need to. Get one of those "pancake puff" pans. They work really well.
posted by reddot at 7:59 AM on August 6, 2010

Response by poster: Okonomiyaki is also great, and I had never heard of either of them until I went to Japan. It's a crime!
posted by azarbayejani at 9:33 AM on August 6, 2010

When I moved back to DC I thought for sure you could get it at Tako in Betheda, but it's not on their menu. As time passed I discovered although there's many Japanese restaurants there, most of them aren't authentic, but instead run by Chinese and Koreans. So I moved back to California, but even here takoyaki isn't all that readily available. And the one okonomiyaki restaurant (in San Jose) closed after being open just a year or two.
posted by Rash at 1:02 PM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: It's hard to determine what "authenticate" Japanese food is. For example, many restaurants in Japan are run by Koreans, or can employ non-Japanese cooks. The real criteria for "good" depends on what gets served at a restaurant or eating establishment. Plenty of places outside of Japan that are run by Japanese folks absolutely stink, either because the owner is a lousy cook, or because they need to cater to local tastes (with the result that the food they serve is definitely not something you would encounter in Japan).

Anyway, we eat okonomiyaki and takoyaki (we have two, count them two! takoyaki griddle thingys!) all the time. Here are some recipes.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:33 PM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: Re: authentic tabemono: sure, good cooks make good food, my point is more about a lack of variety in supposed Japanese restaurants, especially where the menu also contains traditionally non-Japanese items like shu mai and kalbi, in addition to the usual sushi and teriyaki.

As for takoyaki, I'm really not surprised it's not more readily available - making it's so labor intensive! However, frozen varieties exist (although the results are very disappointing) - check the freezer section in your closest Asian supermarket.

Okonomiyaki, though -- this is really a huge marketing opportunity in the US. If enough people tasted this stuff, it would really catch on (and I'd love to visit a Pan-Asian Pancake House offering Korean haemul jeon as well.) Yakisaoba should also be served there, and since Maruchan's microwave versions are growing in popularity, awareness is growing about these new (to Americans) fried "pizza" and noodles.
posted by Rash at 7:46 AM on August 7, 2010

yakisoaba yakisoba
posted by Rash at 9:32 AM on August 7, 2010

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