Tsuyoshi Ihara is a Japanese actor who appeared in “Letters From Iwo Jima” alongside Ken Watanabe. He’s also a restaurateur. In August, he opened an L.A. outpost of Gottsui, a popular Tokyo okonomiyaki parlor that dates to 1991, with a name that means “great” in Osaka, one of okonomiyaki’s capitals. Their menu features handy okonomiyaki diagrams that list options like beef, mochi, shrimp and/or scallops, which all end up folded into the griddled savory pancake. One of our choices was Original Okonomiyaki ($13.75) featuring thin sheathes of omelet and pork that enshrouded supple shrimp and squid and big chunks of potato. Yes, this is comfort food, and yes, okonomiyaki can be heavy, but at least it packs a lot of flavor. The toppings consisted of squiggled mayo, sweet-savory okonomiyaki sauce, and “Dancing Bonito,” sheets of dried, micro-planed fish that look like pencil shavings and move to the heat. Unlike at Lomita’s Gaja Moc, where it’s DIY, Gottsui’s cooks prepare the okonomiyaki for you, which might not be as fun or interactive, but it’s certainly faster, and there’s less margin for error. Bonus: original okonomiyaki comes planted with an adulterated Japanese flag.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.