When is a pancake more than a pancake? When it's topped with bacon, noodles, mochi and provolone and comes off the the Glowfish Truck (@glowfishtruck) truck. Launched barely two weeks ago, Glowfish boasts a menu of Japanese “festival” food: i.e. zaftig, thoroughly intercontinental combos as kooky and irreverent as Japanese street fashion. Glowfish makes a credible if slightly underrsalted katsu and an array of stir-fried rice dishes that fall under the broad category of teppanyaki, but the okonomiyaki is where it's at.
The pancakes are simple, comprised of cabbage, yam and whatever else is required to make them coalesce. It's what goes on top that turns these okonomiyaki into maximalist masterpieces.
You get to choose among several proteins, the usual beef, chicken, pork, tofu or shrimp as well as, more interestingly, salmon and scallops. When the stars align, you may even find duck and lobster among the options.
The chaos begins as you select up to four “sassy accents.” (Apparently, you're not building a pancake, you're decorating an 11-year-old girl's bedroom.)
There is bacon, naturally, along with egg noodles, tart pickled ginger and flakes of dried and shaved bonito. (We opt for scallions and bonito on just about any combo.) Then come the outliers: pine nuts, artichokes, kimchi and Provolone cheese. What would happen if all of these went onto the same pancake? Not the end of the world, probably, but your GI tract might try to overthrow your taste buds. Or it might be a tumultuous but thrilling marriage.
That's the joy of the Glowfish truck: show restraint or indulge your everything-but-the-kitchen-sink tendencies. You're limited only by the bombastic geometry of your imagination.