The pleasures of a late-night taco are a defining L.A. experience, a few bites of food constructed seemingly to sate whatever urge drove you to some no-name truck in the first place. But if I could replace even a handful of the city’s countless taco trucks with carts or stalls or itinerate vehicles of some kind cooking up Japanese okonomiyaki, I wouldn’t hesitate. Thankfully, there’s Doya Doya in Torrance, which caught my eye for the L.A. Times last month.
Lomita’s house of Japanese pancakes for the District:
PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES
There’s no easy American analog for okonomiyaki, an amorphous Japanese dish defined by an infinitely variable cast of ingredients. All meals considered, it’s most like a pancake: a thick, savory batter is plopped onto a griddle, cooked to a golden brown, then flipped and lacquered with sauce. Okonomiyaki, however, needs no comparison—it’s a dish fully aware of its role as a homely stomach-stretcher best divided between three or four sets of chopsticks and equal amounts of alcohol.