Okonomiyaki has arrived in Santa Rosa.
Oko-whaaaa, you may ask? One of Japan’s most comforting, homestyle foods, okonomiyaki is a savory pancake filled with vegetables, seafood, pork belly, or in literal translation: “Whatever you like, grilled”.
Think pancake meets frittata meets latke.
Popular from Tokyo to Hiroshima, each version is inspired by regional ingredients. And so it is at Oko Loco, a fledgling pop-up stand at Santa Rosa’s West End Market (Sundays from 10a.m. to 2p.m.) serving a California-style version of the pancakes filled with local cabbage, kale, onions, mushrooms, chard, mustard leaf, beet, broccoli slaw and potatoes. The okos go loco with the addition of sweet teriyaki sauce, habanero mayo, lemon veganaise, bacon, avocado or a fried egg.
Inspired by a friend’s delicious Facebook post about authentic Japanese okonomiyaki, owners David, Michelle and son/cook Rory Keip, began developing their own version over several months, with a panel of gourmet tasters. Aka Rory’s friends. BiteClub’s take? Great hot, but even better cold.
They’ll run you $5 each or 2 for $9, making them a steal of a deal and a heck of a Monday lunch.