Okonomiyaki pop-up OK Yaki opens Tuesday, December 15, as a restaurant in East Atlanta. The Osaka-style street food restaurant, owned by Corban Irby, resides in the renovated Seville complex along Moreland Avenue, next door to Hodgepodge Coffeehouse.
OK Yaki currently offers seating on its heated patio as well as takeout. Masks are required when not seated at a table. Once the restaurant opens for indoor seating, the dining room accommodates 45 people between a 15-seat bar open to the kitchen, four booths, and six bar stools along the wet bar in back.
The menu for OK Yaki mimics Irby’s popular pop-up, serving Osaka-style street foods like yakisoba noodles, gyoza dumplings, and okonomiyaki — a savory, onion and cabbage-filled griddled pancake topped with meats or vegetarian proteins and okonomi sauce. Irby expanded the menu for the restaurant to include other dishes, such as karaage Japanese fried chicken, Japanese curry, aged onigiri, and a burger made with beef, kelp, and bonito topped with mozzarella, coleslaw, and okonomi sauce.
Expect shochu, whiskey highballs, and Japanese-style draft beers in frozen mugs from the bar once the restaurant receives its liquor license. For now, OK Yaki remains BYOB.
Irby’s love for Osaka, Japan, and okonomiyaki began when he was a student at Georgia State University and entered the school’s exchange program with Osaka University. Weekends were spent throwing dinner parties with friends and other students from the school, where Irby often cooked okonomiyaki on an electric griddle. Those dinner parties continued upon his return to Atlanta. Irby says the year living and eating in Osaka had a “huge impact” on him, calling the experience an “immersive Japanese language program.”
After graduation, Irby worked as a sales representative for Japanese food importer Nishimoto Trading Company in Norcross, then with a Japanese shipping container company based in Atlanta.
“I tried to be happy working a full-time office job, but I missed cooking Japanese food so much that I decided to start the Ok Yaki pop-up as a way to feel fulfilled,” Irby told Eater in May of the impetus behind the pop-up.
The first in a series of OK Yaki pop-ups launched out of the kitchen at We Suki Suki in East Atlanta Village in 2016. Irby has returned to Osaka and Japan several times over the last decade to continue his culinary training at various restaurants.
Take a look at the menu:
Open Tuesday - Saturday, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Order online for takeout. Patio dining only. Masks required.
714 Moreland Avenue SE, Atlanta. okyakiatl.com.