So, yes, I am a food nerd, and I had read all about okonomiyaki, actually several months ago. I can’t remember where I would have heard of this dish (except probably in an issue of Oishinbo), but I remember researching it eagerly, gravely, and wondering when, when would I ever have the opportunity to try some okonomiyaki? So I was a fan long before I ever tried a bite.

Corinne and I ate a lot of delicious things at Chizakaya Friday night, but the okonomiyaki was the best dish of them all, and I’m so glad it didn’t disappoint. It’s really kind of a miracle it didn’t disappoint, because I had built it up quite a bit in my head. Chizakaya’s okonomiyaki is stuffed with shrimp, squid, generous strips of bacon, topped with katsuoboshi (bonito flakes) and drizzled with spicy Japanese mayo. It’s perfectly crispy on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside, and my picture doesn’t do it justice. Have you ever had pajeon? It’s a seafood pancake you can find at most Korean restaurants – okonomiyaki is like pajeon in substance, but it’s thicker, with a more delicate texture and more complicated flavors.

If you’re interested, “yaki” is Japanese for cooked or grilled – so yakitori is grilled chicken, takoyaki is grilled octopus, yakisoba is grilled noodles – and “okonomi” can be roughly translated to “what you like”. Everything I like, cooked in a pile all together. Oishii! Also if you’re interested, I came across the “BEST okonomiyaki recipe” on a site called “Okonomiyaki World.” Sometimes the internet just makes me so happy.

IN OTHER NEWS: I’m about a third of the way there on my Kickstarter! I’m so excited, you guys are the best!! I made a very preliminary sketch for the exclusive print that I’m offering at the $25 pledge level and above; I’ve uploaded it here, along with some production notes for the project.