Best Okonomiyaki - 2012
What'll you find at Gottsui is about as close to the Platonic ideal of the Osaka okonomiyaki as you could hope for: a savory Japanese pancake made from a minced potato–and-cabbage batter, griddled crisp like an overstuffed latke. On top goes a latticework of Kewpie mayo, a sweet, thickened Worcestershire sauce and a wave of quivering bonito, microthin shavings of dried fish that wilt in the heat like pale pink wood shavings. You select a combination of toppings from the cutesy, kawaii-illustrated menu — the house special is a dense alloy of shrimp, squid, bacon and fried egg — and wait for it to float by on a sizzling, cast-iron platter. A single plateaulike serving could easily be mistaken for those slapdash breakfast skillets you find at truck-stop diners. But this is teppanyaki of the highest order, a Japanese repurposing of the late-night greasy spoon, where plates are meant to be wiped clean with a pair of chopsticks and a handheld spackling trowel until those gaping pits of midnight hunger are solidly filled. 2119 Sawtelle Blvd., W.L.A. (310) 478-0521, gottsui-usa.com.