Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cooking your own: Gaja

I finally got to try okonomiyaki at Gaja Restaurant in Lomita! When you first open the door to this place, it will smell and feel similar to a korean bbq restaurant - the smoke! At Gaja you make your own okonomiyaki on the teppans that they've built in the tables, although they will also make it for you in the kitchen if you're not confident with your own cooking skills ;)

The place is busy, so you go in and put your name down, then wait outside. They have a few chairs outside and a cart filled with games like othello, cards, chess, etc. So if you're quick enough to grab chairs and a game, the wait is easy. Next door is the bakery Chantilly (whose cream puffs Jonathan Gold raved about. They ran out that night, so I'll have to review them next time).

I wanted to get the full experience, so when they offered to cook it for us because it was just so obvious that it was our first time, I quickly said No! We got an order of the "Modan Mix" (Modern Mix) ... whatever that was. (They probably thought "Stupid gaijins")
They heated up the teppan and brought us our order. The bowl of ingredients. Yeah! A sheet of instructions, a bowl of stuff, and a hot teppan! I think we're ready!

First cook meat, then cook noodles,.. *hum* *hum*

Don't those bacons look GOOD?!

Towards the "Flipping" step of the whole cooking process though, we ran into some trouble :(
One of the chefs from the kitchen was making his rounds, so he grabbed the spatula from us and showed us The Proper Way.

Eventually, we got this amazing looking thing (left side with mayo for me, right side for the other party who for some obscure reason does not like mayo):
*sniff* so proud of ourselves. Now I don't know if I thought it tasted so good because I made it myself, but I'm sure other people would feel the same way :D

You can close the meal with one of their dozens of parfaits if you have room.
It was good okonomiyaki, and a totally fun experience :) You can either bring someone who knows what they're doing, or bring someone totally new and just have fun together.

Gaja Japanese Restaurant (misspelled as "Japenese")
2383 Lomita Blvd Ste 102
Lomita, CA 90717
Phone: (310) 534-0153

Gaja on Urbanspoon


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