Like the Denver Broncos, the Nikkei stock index and "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuarón, Japanese food is on a hot streak. Here at home, the revival of interest in classic regional fare known as B-kyū gourmet (B-level cuisine) has spread to supermarket shelves and fast-food menus around the country. Overseas, everyone from the casual restaurant-goer to the head of the U.N.'s cultural agency has been lavishing unprecedented levels of attention and praise on washoku.

And yet, there is a disconnect between the everyday cuisine that's enjoyed in Japan and the food that's singled out for acclaim by most foreigners. Sure, ramen has become a mainstay dish of trendsters across the globe, but the cuisine that generates the greatest interest abroad — sushi, sushi rolls, kaiseki and the like — is not a typical part of the Japanese daily routine. It's safe to say that even the most dedicated foodies living outside the country lack familiarity with down-home dishes such as yakisoba fried noodles, soup curry or tekka don (marinated tuna over rice).

That's what makes "Japanese Soul Cooking," published in November by California-based Ten Speed Press, such a welcome addition to the B-kyū bookshelf. Subtitled "Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More From the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond," the book celebrates the kind of food that's prepared and eaten in homes and restaurants across the nation. It features engaging anecdotes, lush location photography and more than 100 recipes, eschewing the likes of sashimi and sukiyaki in favor of fry-ups, rice bowls and noodles.