Na Kuanha wanted to open a stand just to sell takoyaki, Osaka-style octopus fritters
(which even have their own song
). But the Richmond storefront she found was too big to focus on just one street snack, so she added Japanese crepes, Taiwanese honey toast and grass jelly desserts, and Thai crepes. It's hardly cavernous, Na Ya Dessert House ― there's room for six small tables, plus a cash register and a small prep area where Kuanha assembles desserts.
Her takoyaki, made in a stovetop pan, are flecked with octopus and green onions, and striped in mayonnaise and takoyaki sauce. Pale pink bonito shavings scattered across the top flutter in the heat, twisting in a breeze too faint for you to sense. The contrast between the custardlike filling and browned exterior isn't as great as it should be, but they're easy to down. The Thai crepes are even more attractive, each finger-long roll decorated with a crisp coil of batter and stuffed with sweet fillings like pandan custard and red-bean paste. The later the hour, the more the room fills with teenagers and college kids looking for a quiet space where they can chase the sugar high.Na Ya Dessert House
, 5338 Geary (at 18th Ave.), 503-7707. Open from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m. Tue.-Thu. and Sun., until 2 a.m. Fri.-Sat.