350 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Located in Little Tokyo, Chinchikurin Okonomiyaki serves up their famous okonomiyaki to the masses. When we arrived, we were able to sign in on our own, and stood outside to wait. We waited a good 30-45 minutes before we were seated for lunch right before they closed. At one point during the waiting, the hostess removed the sign in sheet so that no one else could sign in anymore to keep their 2pm closing time on track. When we were called in, we were offered seating at the counter, so we got to watch the chefs cook. We were provided with menus, and our drink order was taken. There are actually two restaurants running together consisting of the okonomiyaki side run by Chinchikurin and the takoyaki side run by TaNoTa, but you can order everything though your server. After reviewing the okonomiyaki and takoyaki menus, we were ready to order.
Today, we decided to order the 4 piece original takoyaki, the Chinchikurinyaki okonomiyaki, and the Hiroshima okonomiyaki. While sitting at the counter, we watched the chefs cook multiple orders of okonomiyaki. Each okonomiyaki comes with batter, fish powder, cabbage, tempura crisps, bean sprouts, pork, noodles, egg, sauce, and seaweed. Depending on which okonomiyaki you order, you get different toppings or have some of the normal ingredients removed or switched around. The takoyaki arrived first, and this being our first time trying takoyaki, we did not know what to expect. The original takoyaki was tasty and had some savory flavors, but each bite was very mushy, and we really never got used to that texture. The Chinchikurinyaki okonomiyaki tasted flavorful at first due to it including beef instead of pork. Each bite contained plenty of noodles and beef. I found myself adding more sauce to every bite because the dish started to get bland. This dish was truly nothing like anything I have eaten before. The Hiroshima okonomiyaki actually had more flavor than the Chinchikurinyaki probably because of the pork and fried squid. Although, after eating that for a while still leads to the same flavors, which got repetitive.
Overall, Chinchikurin Okonomiyaki serves up an interesting traditional Japanese dish that incorporates many different types of food into one large meal. The long wait and fairly high prices for what you get are a deterrent to coming back again. The experience of eating here was nice since the food was served on a hot plate. For customers seated at tables, they had a warming area in the center of the table as well. If you are someone who loves Japanese food and have not tried okonomiyaki before, then you should give Chinchikurin Okonomiyaki a try.