The line for freshly griddled imagawayaki (a kind of stuffed Japanese pancake) may appear long outside Mitsuru Cafe in Little Tokyo's Japanese Village Plaza, but it's not bad, considering the centuries-old path these treats have traveled. Imagawayaki were created during Japan's Edo period (1603-1868), and Mitsuru makes them just as they did near the Imagawabashi bridge in the Kanda district of Tokyo way back then. Thick and squat and stuffed with azuki bean paste, imagawayaki are sold at the take-out window counter with other traditional Japanese festival snacks, like dango (a dumpling-like sweet) and takoyaki (octopus dumplings). But don't try to take a seat inside unless you want a waitress; tables are only for customers ordering from the café menu. 117 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Little Tokyo. (213) 613-1028. —Derek Thomas

LA Weekly