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No. 98, Takoyaki at Takoyaki Tanota

takoyaki_tanota_balls (Small).JPG
Edwin Goei

Hey, kids: guess what time is it? It's time to restart that Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!

Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for us Forkers--an opportunity to highlight dishes from restaurants we'll never full review, or secrets from old standbys. Anyhoo, let the march continue..
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Calling Takoyaki Tanota a food truck is too generous. It is a cart--nothing more than a propane powered griddle on wheels with a trailer hitch. But in its stripped down existence lies the hook. Essential to the experience is watching your takoyaki being prepared. If it were a truck, this wouldn't be possible.

On the cart, you see its birth from the beginning, starting from the batter. You witness the liquid being poured into the greased dimples, a nugget of cooked octopus meat dropped into the middle. And then you see them being coaxed and teased by an attendant equipped with nothing more than a sharp stick until they miraculously transform into perfect spheres.

The popovers are then drenched in a sticky-sweet glaze, showered with pulverized aonori (seaweed), squiggled with drizzles of Kewpie mayo and a fistful of chopped green onions.

You eat it right there, standing, within seconds of cooking, because the crispness of the outer layer is tenuous. If you're not huffing and puffing at how insanely scorching the custard-like interior is, then you've waited too long to let them cool. To eat them any other way than scalding is to miss the point of takoyaki.

Follow Takoyaki Tanota at takoyakitanota.com, or follow them on Twitter  @takoyakitanota

The list so far:

99. Fiesta Noodles at Jollibee
100. Chilaquiles Verdes Con Huevos Estrellados at La Tablita California

Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2010!
Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2011!

Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook! And don't forget to download our free Best Of App here!


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