Dear Mr. Gold:
I recently read an article about takoyaki, a kind of octopus dumpling. It sounds like takoyaki is all the rage in Japan, and soon in California. Do you know if and where I can find them in Los Angeles now?
Dear Ms. Rubin:
Takoyaki, which is like a griddle-cooked octopus doughnut — an octopus ebelskiver, really — flavored with tonkatsu sauce and bonito flakes and mayonnaise and God knows what else, is actually pretty easy to find. Almost any restaurant calling itself an izakaya will have it, including Izayoi, Ebisu and Haru Ulala, as well as other fine Japanese restaurants that treat beer as a sacrament. Takoyaki eases beer down as ably as a double-size bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. But takoyaki connoisseurs turn to the notorious GaJa restaurant down in Lomita, which is not only the king of okonomiyaki, but serves a fair amount of assemble-your-own takoyaki as well, tiny essays in gooey crispness that go down like peanuts. But be careful. Takoyaki may be small, but it expands in the stomach to approximately the volume of the Osaka Yellow Pages. 2383 Lomita Blvd., Suite 102, Lomita, (310) 534-0153.