10.09.2011

Doya Doya - Authentic Osaka-Style Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki served sizzling hot on a cast-iron skillet at Doya Doya.
Ever since moving to the South Bay, I've discovered a wealth of Japanese regional cuisine that is a departure from the ubiquitous California roll or chicken teriyaki offerings found in less culinarily diverse communities. To name a few, I have been delighted to enjoy tonkotsu ramen at Ramen Yamadaya, the tokusen toroniku at Santouka, the homemade tofu and udon at Oumi Sasaya and now, authentic Osaka-style okonomiyaki at Doya Doya.

Doya Doya is the new eatery I mentioned in my Beach City Baked Donuts post. The chef uses cage-free eggs for his baked donuts and in the homemade batter for the savory Japanese pancake. He shuns preservatives and seeks to offer high-quality ingredients in his comforting menu at both establishments.

Doya Doya storefront and place setting
Located in a strip mall at Artesia Boulevard and Van Ness in Torrance near Gardena, the restaurant can be a little hard to find. Look for the black-and-white signage with large Japanese characters and "Doya Doya" in red. It's closer to the Van Ness side. The four times I visited Doya Doya, they accepted cash only, so be prepared if that is still the case.

Doya Doya's shrimp in garlic butter sauce. YUM!
Doya Doya offers a nice array of appetizers that will whet your appetite. Mr. DG and I especially loved the shrimp in garlic butter. What is not to love about this dish?! Succulent, perfectly cooked shrimp in a savory sauce that will make you want to pick up the dish and lick it clean. Don't forget to add a squeeze of lemon juice for a little acid to cut through the buttery yumminess.

Cheese crisps; Ms. DG drinking cold green tea.
We also tried the crispy cheese chips, which included six airy, crunchy sticks to one order (most of which were eaten here before I remembered to take a photo!). The cheese crisps were accented with different flavors including seaweed and curry. For us, the cheese crisps were decent but were outdone by the garlicky shrimp and my new favorite, chorizo over lightly crisped potatoes.

Chorizo over potatoes; patience sign at Doya Doya
Oh, divine chorizo! This appetizer reminded me of a bolognese-type sauce over lightly browned chunks of potato. There is a deep, long-cooked flavor to the chorizo topping, as if it'd been simmered for hours. Also, I'm a sucker for potatoes in almost any iteration, so this was a total win for me.

The chef cooking okonomiyaki with Berkshire pork
As the sign says, "Please be patient" for your okonomiyaki order. It's made fresh and it'll arrive searingly hot on a cast-iron griddle. I ordered the okonomiyaki with thin, bacon-like slices of Berkshire pork wrapped around the thick pancake. The pork melds into the crispy outer layer of the pancake, which envelops a fluffy, moist interior of cabbage and what appeared to me to be small shreds of pickled ginger. A thick, caramel-colored okonomi sauce is spread across the top of the pancake and served to you. Please resist the urge to touch the griddle, it is HOT!

The finished okonomiyaki with Berkshire pork
Being novices to this culinary creation, Mr. DG and I were probably a bit too conservative with our additional toppings of Kewpie mayonnaise, whispery-thin bonito flakes and ao-nori seaweed powder the first time. The bonito flakes are particularly fun to add because the radiant heat makes the bonito wave and dance as if they were alive.

Okonomiyaki toppings: bonito flakes, ao-nori powder & Kewpie mayonnaise

We were more generous with the mayo and toppings on subsequent visits. The okonomiyaki at Doya Doya is made for you by an expert chef. My first experience with this tasty omelette/pancake/frittata-like dish was at Gaja, where you can make it yourself, or have the waiter do it for you. For me, I'd rather have the chef do the heavy lifting. There is a novelty of some sort to cooking your own food in certain situations, but I'd rather choose a professional when it comes to Osakan okonomiyaki.

Doya Doya's okonomiyaki with Kewpie mayo, ao-nori (seaweed) powder and bonito flakes
Should okonomiyaki not be quite your thing, Doya Doya also serves a heaping portion of yakisoba. We ordered ours with egg, and a thin egg pancake covered the noodles and were topped with sauce and some ao-nori powder, I believe.

Doya Doya yakisoba being wrapped with a thin egg pancake

The yakisoba arrived like a sunny gift of deliciousness. A bright pink tangle of pickled ginger was presented on the side of the noodles. This may be a surprise, but I used to avoid ginger at all costs. If I bit into a slice or ate a shred, I would make a face and try to get rid of it as soon as possible. The pungency and texture were quite unappetizing. In the last year and a half, I have become a huge fan of ginger in fresh and pickled forms. I guess you really do get wiser with age. :)

Doya Doya's yakisoba with egg is served.

Another delicious flavoring I used to avoid was black sesame. For a gal born and raised in Los Angeles on Neapolitan ice cream and fruit-flavored treats, black sesame seemed to be an odd choice for a dessert or pastry. Once again, I've wised up and now thoroughly enjoy black sesame, especially in ice cream. And Doya Doya's black sesame ice cream is very good. A great way to end a meal of comforting Osakan cuisine.

The perfect ending at Doya Doya: black sesame ice cream

DOYA DOYA
2140 Artesia Blvd., Suite N
Torrance, CA 9050
(310) 324-2048

TU-SAT: 11:30 am - 2 pm
TU-SAT: 6 pm - 9:30 pm
SUN: 12 pm - 4 pm
Call before you go to confirm hours.

6 comments:

  1. Wow, Donna, this is mouthwatering. I'm actually headed to your neck of the woods in November, but will be busy at a photography workshop (!), so I doubt (sadly) that I will be able to check Doya Doya out. But I'll be adding it to the list, just in case I'm able!

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  2. I've only recently been to BCBD & heard that they own Doya Doya. Thanks for taking us inside. Those "Pancakes" look yummy, I'll have to try some. I've also never seen yakisoba served that way. Interesting. Def. on my list!

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  3. @Liren Hello! Lucky you w/the photography workshop. How fun. Have a great time and I look forward to hearing/seeing what you learned.

    @Bianca Thx 4 dropping by. Would love to hear your take on DD. Like I said above, the chorizo over potatoes and garlic shrimp apps get 2 thumbs up.

    @Gastronomer Thanks, Cathy!

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  4. Hi Ms.Donna,

    How are you? This is Gina. I work at Doya Doya and I used to work at BCBD.I met you these places before. I just found out your page about Doya Doya. It is very nice and I ready like it. Thank you. I would you like to share your doya doya page with our facebook. If you do not mind, please let me know.

    Here is Doya Doya facebook site : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Doya-Doya-okonomiyaki/593972170634293


    Thank you,


    Gina

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    Replies
    1. Hi, @Samejima Gina! So nice to hear from you. I'd be delighted to be included on the Doya Doya FB page. Feel free to share the direct link to this post:
      http://www.dishygoodness.com/2011/10/doya-doya-authentic-osaka-style.html

      Many regards! Donna

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