Wakisaka is a mom-and-pop restaurant that specializes in Osaka’s soul food: okonomiyaki. From what I could tell the small but cozy restaurant abuts their living quarters so that the pair don’t have far to travel. Mom works the floor while Pop works the teppan, the iron hot plate without which there would be no okonomiyaki.

On a recent visit we were the last ones in for lunch. As we sat at the counter, the master was happy to shoot the breeze while he went through the motions of mixing and cooking our okonomiyaki, a sort of pancake made from flour, eggs and cabbage. We had the usual unfussy fillings: pork and seafood. One came covered in a blanket of aonori, a fabulous and gorgeous green laver.

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