Okonomiyaki is a hard-to-find treat in the U.S. unless you already know how to make it at home. Fortunately for you, we've scoured SoCal to find the best okonomiyaki restaurants that will deliver the pancake piping hot, right to your table.
2119 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
350 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Photo credit: @foodieonfleek
Chinchikurin is an okonomiyaki shop specializing in Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. They are currently participating in Otafuku's mentorship program, which provides assistance to restaurateurs who want to open okonomiyaki restaurants. If you go, you might see a familiar face on the plates and spatulas (hint: it's us). Chinchikurin has its own menu that ranges from traditional to completely modern. Tsukemen and spicy Tantanmen round out the menu to make this a great place for authentic Hiroshima eats.
21515 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501
14230 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92604
Full disclosure: Go Squared2 uses Otafuku okonomi sauce for their Kansai-style pancakes. They offer four kinds of meats to go with your pancake: pork, beef, squid, or a combo of meats, but you can go veg as well. Toppings include okonomi sauce, mayo, aonori and dancing bonito flakes, and you can also add green onions, cheese and soba if you'd like. The Torrance location bakes pink ginger slices right into the batter while the Irvine location tops their cakes with a thin fried egg layer, a la Hiroshima-style. The okonomiyaki is full-sized, meaning it can feed two moderately hungry adults or one really hungry person.
442 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
If you've ever wondered why okonomiyaki is often called 'Japanese pizza', Hashi has the answer to your question. Unlike the first two restaurants we mentioned, Hashi isn't a dedicated okonomiyaki restaurant so their pancake isn't what you'll find in more traditional shops. Instead, they offer a large, thin-crust okonomiyaki cut into chewy triangular shapes, just like a regular pizza pie. Okonomi sauce, mayo, aonori and finely cut bonito flakes are all drizzled delicately on top, with meat mixed into the batter. If you like Neopolitan-style pizza, you'll love its okonomiyaki cousin.
16123 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90247
Similar to Hashi's thin-crust style, Azume serves up their okonomiyaki as a large, flat pancake loaded with toppings. Aonori and bonito flakes feature here, as does the tangy mayo that acts as the main source of flavor instead of traditional okonomi sauce. Inside the pancake, you'll find plenty of cabbage and octopus bites. Spicy pickled ginger on the side rounds out the complex flavor profile for okonomiyaki that's fresh and filling. This dish is only available on the dinner menu.
25310 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505
Similar to Go Squared2, Iccho's fluffy okonomiyaki is loaded with cabbage and topped with okonomi sauce, mayonnaise, aonori and swaying bonito flakes. Pork belly lines the bottom of the cake for a meaty crunch. Unfortunately, Iccho only serves okonomiyaki at dinnertime as an appetizer, but this hearty pancake is filling enough to be a meal by itself.
Five locations throughout L.A. and Orange County
This chain gets an honorable mention for their "okonomiyaki stick", a long, skinny Kansai-style pancake bar filled with cabbage and covered in okonomi sauce and bonito flakes. While it doesn't have the fancy fixin's you're probably used to on okonomiyaki (meat, mayo, aonori flakes), it does have that familiar grilled cabbage and batter taste. You can find this small bite on their appetizer menu, so order a few if you're really craving okonomiyaki.
TOT / Teishokuya of Tokyo
345 E 2nd St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
Just on the outer edge of Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo, T.O.T. is a small restaurant serving up "Okonomiyaki on a Stick". Two corn dog-style cakes come on tiny wooden sticks, topped with okonomi sauce, mayo and dashi flakes. The okonomiyaki are pretty true to the traditional flavor, but the challenge of eating your cake on a stick is definitely a novelty.
Mitsuru Sushi and Grill
316 E 1st St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
If you find yourself in Little Tokyo at night, stop by Mitsuru on 1st St. for a heaping plate of okonomiyaki. This traditional Kansai-style pancake is enough to feed one hungry person or two somewhat peckish people and is full of egg, cabbage, bacon and shrimp. Sauce and mayo in an intricate design decorate the top, garnished by aonori flakes and ginger strips.
Ebisu Japanese Tavern
356 E 2nd St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
Ebisu's "Ring Yaki" comes with two thick pancakes that taste a little bit like regular pancakes. We weren't able to ask why they called these "ring yaki", but we're guessing from the sheer density of the okonomiyaki that they're cooked in tall ring molds that give them their circular shape. Pork belly, cabbage and ginger strips are baked into the batter and the top layer of egg is smothered in okonomi sauce and mayo. A thick mane of bonito flakes sits on top of it all.
Oba Sushi Izakaya
181 Glenarm St. #110 Pasadena, CA 91105
Tucked away in a cozy strip mall, Oba Sushi Izakaya isn't the easiest place to find but once you do, you'll be happy to know that okonomiyaki awaits you - if you can find a seat in the popular eatery. Oba's okonomiyaki is small, meaning you probably won't want to share it, but each of the seven pre-cut pieces is packed with okonomiyaki flavor. Cabbage, batter, bacon, bonito flakes and of course, okonomi sauce, make up the main ingredients in this unfussy dish.
2627 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Takuma is a dinner-only izakaya and the okonomiyaki takes about 20 minutes to cook, so be aware if you come in starving. The appetizer-sized pancake is served cut into four triangles, making it easy to share if you're inclined. For the most part, this is your traditional cabbage Kansai-style with pork belly, sauce, aonori and bonito flakes on the top. Slivers of ginger mixed into the batter give it a subtly spicy crunch.
600 S New Hampshire Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Inside an eclectic restaurant in Koreatown, you can find Kansai okonomiyaki on the izakaya-style menu. Thick and chewy, the pancake contains pork belly, octopus, cabbage and a blend of veggies. Traditional toppings of okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise and bonito flakes top the generously-sized dish.
4498 Lincoln Ave, Cypress, CA 90630
This Japanese/Korean fusion restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes and okonomiyaki happens to be one of them. You'll be treated to a large, pizza-style okonomiyaki stuffed with cabbage and carrots, drizzled with okonomi sauce and mayo and then sprinkled generously with bonito flakes. Your options for protein include traditional pork belly, seafood or half-and-half. Whatever you choose, you'll most likely be saving a few pieces for lunch the next day.
11613 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
Inside this traditional-looking izakaya you'll find a personal-sized okonomiyaki that comes with its own hera for serving. You can choose from a variety of protein options; squid, shrimp, pork, veggies or a combo are all available. It doesn't get much more traditional than this thick and fluffy Kansai-style pancake topped with mayo, okonomi sauce and ginger.
3470 W 6th St #2A, Los Angeles, CA 90020
It's hard to see just how fluffy this pancake is because it's hidden under a mountain of bonito and aonori flakes, but your fork will have a hard time finding the bottom of the plate. Yakitori Ten's okonomiyaki features plenty of seafood such as chunks of octopus and mussels, and mixes things up a little with carrots and crunchy pieces of fried onion. Order one per person - we promise you won't feel like sharing.
Update: Because we've found so many restaurants in the Southland and don't want you to have to scroll forever to read about all of them, we've created individual pages for each region. You can find our updated listing for Los Angeles here and our updated listing for Orange County here. As always, if you'd like to recommend a restaurant that serves okonomiyaki, comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!