New restaurant: Yaki Yaki Miwa
Left: Miwa special tama and pork modan yaki; Right: ton pei yaki
Eating at Yaki Yaki Miwa is fun—a communal experience that lends itself to drinking, as long as you mind the hot griddle in the middle of the table. Okonomiyaki, which make up a third of Yaki Yaki Miwa's menu, are a cross between an omelet and savory pancake. They come in four varieties here, with different fillings such as pork, beef, cheese and natto:
- tama: made with cabbage, flour, eggs and grated mountain yam
- ton pei: more like an omelette, with egg and sliced pork belly
- modan yaki: with noodles folded into the batter
- negi yaki: a thinner pancake made with green onions
Each is made to order and transferred directly from the chef's griddle to yours, to keep warm as you slice it up like a pizza and share it with fellow diners.
The first three are slathered with okonomiyaki sauce, similar to tonkatsu or Worcestshire sauce, making for a sweet and savory bite. I wish the okonomiyaki were crispier around the edges, but even so, I'd come back for them.
Supplement your meal with appetizers (though I wouldn't order the mixed seafood special again, $28 for an uninspiring mix of seafood and cabbage), and finish with fried noodles, rice or both, with the sobameshi.
In the corner of the menu, you'll notice "Andy's okonomiyaki," created for the owner's son, who's autistic and sensitive to gluten. So Andy's okonomiyaki is made with rice flour instead of wheat flour. (The sauces, however, are not completely gluten-free. Be sure to let your server know if you are gluten intolerant.) Robert Daisuke Asai, who opened this branch of Yaki Yaki Miwa in Hawaii (there are five other locations in Osaka and Tokyo), started the restaurant so his son would have more options dining out. Expect more gluten-free menu items in the near future, such as wheat-free noodles. "This is for my boy," Asai says. "So we can eat together."
1423 S King St., 983-3838