Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ebisu Mendokoro - Fountain Valley



I gotta tell ya...the Japanese sure know how to freak out a person with their food. When the okonomiyaki we ordered at Ebisu was placed on our table, I noticed that my friend froze. His eyes became transfixed on something, a look of terror on his face. I then saw that he was staring at the tufts of bonito flakes on top of the okonomiyaki, which were flailing and writhing like worms.

"Why...why is it MOVING?!?!" he stammered.

After I explained that the heat convecting off the hot pancake was causing the paper-thin fish flakes to billow, he laughed nervously.

I stifled a chuckle as we dug into the okonomiyaki. Darn, I thought, I should've made up something to make him freak out a little bit more. But being the man of science that he is, I figured the jig would've been up before too long anyway.

In any case, the okonomiyaki, which is a Japanese pancake consisting of shredded cabbage, batter, egg, and your choice of different meat mix-ins, was otherwise quite tame. The one I tried this time around had oysters in it; although they must have skimped on this ingredient since I only detected one or two small morsels in the entire pancake.

Instead, they compensated with a little too many squirts of the sweet soy sauce and the kewpie mayo. This overpowered the subtlety of the cooked batter, which by the way, wasn't as burnt as I would've liked it.

A plate of yakisoba we ordered, the Japanese version of chow mein, was good but unremarkable. The katsu don, which was a bowl of rice topped with scrambled egg and breaded pork was fine, but the meat needed to be more tender.

The standout of the night, however, was the dessert with the inexplicable name of "Chocolate Puffet" (which I am thinking of submitting to Engrish.com). What I think they meant to call it was "Chocolate Parfait," because that was what it was; a dessert consisting of several layers of 'stuff'.

This thing, which was served in a tall sundae glass, indeed fit that definition -- but just wait until you hear what is in those layers.

Starting from the top:

A Maraschino Cherry
Chocolate Syrup
Whipped Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes
and...
Del Monte Fruit Cocktail




"Frosted flakes, fruit cocktail and ice cream?!?!" my friend exclaimed, as he scratched his head for the second time that night.

Trust me, it tastes better than it sounds. Don't be surprised when I tell you that it's actually quite the winning combination.

Yup. Leave it to the Japanese to dare concoct such a dessert oddity and to make bonito flakes seem like its alive.

Ebisu Mendokoro
(714) 964-5993
18624 Brookhurst St # A
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

9 Comments:

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Kirk said...

Hey Elmo - Good okomiyake is a wonderful thing, though we always order ours without mayo (and get funny looks - how dare we...). Plus I really don't care for Kewpie Mayo. I like a good Tako-tama.

 
At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Kirk said...

Oh yes, and from peanuts w/dried shrimp, to Lucques and Torchio Pasta, to okonomiyake, to Del Monte fruit cocktail and frosted flakes - I'd say you've pretty much come full circle in the past couple of days!

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger hbgrrl said...

Thanks to you Elmo, I've been educated on Asian cuisines, I wouldn't otherwise have the nerve to venture into.

Unlike the Westminster pastry place, Ftn. Valley is right down the street! My DD loves Japanese, so maybe this would be the place to see what she's made of?? Actually, a thought just occurred to me...perhaps I'll order the okomiyake JUST to see her face with the 'dancing' fish flakes...hee hee
Then I'll REALLY see what she's made of...lol

I'm with Kirk with that full circle too! :-)

Any other dishes you'd recommend??

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger Professor Salt said...

This is one of the only places I'm aware of in OC that serves okonomiyaki. While the frantically waving bonito flakes are fun to freak out friends with, the version served here is not all that great. Dense, heavy dough is my objection. Being able to cook myself at the table would be better, too.

Will need to drag my ass to some of the joints up in LA county for this particular dish.

 
At 12:27 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Kirk,

You're absolutely right...I sure ran the gamut this week! Didn't even realize. It's a wonder I don't have an upset stomach or indigestion!

hbgrrl,

I'm so glad my little blog gave you some insight into Asian cuisines. I definitely am no expert on Asian foods (this was my second time trying okonomiyaki), but I find it fun discovering and sharing new stuff on Chowhound and on this blog.

As far as Ebisu, it is as Prof. Salt said, one of the only places in O.C. to get okonomiyaki. Being that I've only had it here, I thought it was good, but I believe him when he says there are better places out there. Unfortunately, the only one that seems to garner the most accolades is all the way in Lomita.

Ebisu has some pretty decent offerings and they are quite inexpensive (average of about $7 per dish). I've only tried the katsu don, yakisoba, and the okonomiyaki, but I bet their ramen and soba are good.

Prof. Salt,

I agree. The first time I had the okonomiyaki at Ebisu, I liked it a lot (seeing as how it was my first one ever). This second time, it was just okay. The batter was a little underdone.

BTW, I saw okonomiyaki on Honda-Ya's specials menu the other week. Didn't try it though.

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Daily Gluttony said...

I, myself, had a "puffet" recently at another okonomiyaki joint...this one was a "Japanese Deluxe Puffet"...no del monte fruit cocktail, but it did have sweet red bean mixed with corn flakes! Stay tuned for a post in the near future!

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Pam,

That does sound interesting...red bean and corn flakes...less weird than what I had. Well, less weird from an Asian standpoint.

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger edjusted said...

Great review and great blog! Yeah, their okonomiyake is just so-so at best, and yeah, Japanese people put kewpie mayo on all sorts of stuff. I know it's an old post, but if you still haven't tried their ramen or tendon (tempura don), you should. Good stuff!

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger christoofat said...

My waaay late comments on this place but...

I hit this place at least once a week
for lunch, and always get ramen soup in some form or another. I love this place! Always clean & staff is great & fast to serve you, and the huge bowls of soup are wonderful, especially on a cold rainy day. Haven't tried the other menu items, cuz I just love the ramen here too much. Killer!

 

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