A Takoyaki Tour
Where to find the street treat in town
We have all sorts of global food served from four wheels, so it was only a matter of time before a truck started rolling with takoyaki, a Japanese street-food and izakaya staple from Osaka.
These golf-ball-size pancake balls are like savory abelskivers (for you Solvang fans), filled with pieces of octopus and usually coated with bonito flakes, seaweed and a creamy mirin-mayo (tonkatsu) sauce.
Takoyaki Tanota--a new mobile cart that sets up in Little Tokyo and around Sawtelle--specializes in the dish. The balls (pictured), made fresh while you wait, are perfectly golden on the outside and molten inside ($3.50 for five). Eat fast or ask for light sauce; you don't want them to get soggy.
If you miss the cart, Little Tokyo has long been a takoyaki hub. At Honda Ya, they're smothered in bonito flakes and slivers of pink ginger ($5.50). Through the Mitsuru Café display window, you can watch cooks make the takoyaki in their special griddles before you get them on skewers ($2 for three).
Our favorite is San Sui Tei: A generous amount of octopus fills the almost melted center of each crisp takoyaki ($5 for six). The little dumplings make a perfect strolling snack.
Honda Ya, 333 S. Alameda St., 213-625-1184; Mitsuru Café, 117 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, 213-613-1028; San Sui Tei, 313 E. 1st St., 213-613-0100
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