Okonomiyaki is one of the cutest words I’ve ever heard.

Japanese has a lot of beautiful words, but this is my new favorite, because it means something delicious! An okonomiyaki is a Japanese, savory pancake. Benjamin and I were lucky enough to taste these when our friend, Yusuke, prepared them for us.

What a perfect night!

We stepped out of our car, and we could hear classical music coming from Miko and Yusuke’s apartment. Our friend was playing his piano to welcome us. How nice!

Miko greeted us at the door and escorted us to our seats where our glasses were filled with Asahi, a lovely, bright Japanese beer. Along with our first sips, we were treated to an appetizer of egg-tofu and crunchy vegetables. Miko, Benjamin, and I chatted, while chef Yusuke was busy heating up the grill. When it was piping hot, he spread the batter into two giant cakes.

The batter had the consistency of German kugel or potato pancakes, but the main ingredients here were cabbage and pork.
We watched and licked our lips as the cakes began to turn golden brown. Yusuke sprinkled some fish flakes on them and then ‘decorated’ them with two sauces, first a darker, soy based sauce, and then a creamy layer of Japanese mayonnaise.

They looked beautiful and everything smelled so good!

Our chef gathered our plates and evenly distributed the pancakes. Oh my god, they were delicious! According to Japanese tradition, our glasses had to remain full, so this was extra fun! AND the beer was a perfect compliment to the okonomiyaki.

Satisfied, content, and delightfully buzzy, we moved to the living room. Once again, I felt grateful to be with our dear friends sharing conversation and laughing.

Miko showed me some of her favorite books. I opened them like precious artifacts. She showed me how they would be read in Japanese, vertically, from the left side of the page inward towards the right. Whenever I hear a language I don’t understand, it sounds like music, and whenever I look at a language I can’t read, it looks like art. Beautiful, beautiful art!

Yusuke was so sweet too. He helped Miko and me with one of our Calyx and Parlance projects. I was having trouble making our Cricut cut a poem correctly, and I showed this half finished piece to Yuskue. With infinite patience, he used some of his leather tools to successfully cut out the delicate poem. I felt grateful, happy, and inspired!

The whole evening was happy and inspiring. I love my friends, and I can’t wait for our next adventure! Thank you, Yusuke and Miko. Here’s to more dinners and drinks to come!