Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dinner for Two at Chaya Downtown

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It's hard to believe that
is celebrating their 5th Anniversary.

They're located between the twin towers
at the old ARCO Plaza
(now known as City National Plaza)

Did I just show my age? 

Celebrating their 5th Anniversary
with a Special $55 Shared Dinner for Two menu
(through October 2014) 

It's a shared 2 course dinner
with dessert for $55.

See What Jay Eats...

 We started off with some La Brea Bakery bread
while looking over the special menu 
and also regular menu.

We pretty much wanted to try the special menu,
but there was one dish we HAD to order from the regular menu...

One of Chaya's specialties is the Tuna Tartare
which is prepared table side.

Did you know that Chef Tachibe
created the tuna tartare at their
West Hollywood restaurant in the 1980's?

Manager Michael told us that
Chef Tachibe's chef coat and knife
are in the Smithsonian for the creation
of the tuna tartare. 

Chef Tachibe's Original Tuna Tartare
with avocado, micro shiso with crispy crostini

I remember hearing that a Los Angeles restaurant
had created tuna tartare and just recently
found out it was Chaya.

It's was good to enjoy it prepared the way it was created.

Miyazaki Wagyu Beef Carpaccio

served with moro miso aioli, parmegiano-reggiano, arugula
and seaweed grissini.

This was the one dish I was looking forward to
and was not disappointed at all.

Our server Brendan suggested that
we wrap the beef over the seaweed grissini.

It added a nice texture to the flavorful beef
and a fun way to enjoy the carpaccio.

Before we ordered, we were introduced to 
Executive Chef Atsushi Kenjo.

We informed the chef what we ordered
and we were telling him that we had
the Crispy Branzino at Chaya Venice 
for their Annual Garlic Festival menu
and it was amazing!

Chef Kenjo san suggested that we
try the Salt Roasted Branzino (for two)
off the regular menu.

The Branzino (Mediterranean seabass)
was uncrusted and plated table side.

We don't see many restaurants doing much 
table side preparation anymore, tonight was a treat!

I always listen to the chef's suggestions,
so we agreed to have it in place of the 
Sake Steamed Branzino 
from the Anniversary menu.

I apologize to Chaya Downtown,
I know this picture doesn't do the dish justice.

It was a very flavorful fish with
thyme and fennel. 

Served with a Yuzu Beurre Blanc,
side of kale, carrots, and potatoes.

I love roasted sides and went really
well with the Branzino.

I can see why the chef suggested it for us.

Pumpkin Tiramisu & Maple Apple Tart Tatin
with maple vanilla sauce and vanilla ice cream

It was a wonderful evening,
with great food and excellent service.

This Special 5th Anniversary menu
runs through October 2014.

525 S Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 236-9577

Complimentary parking for the first 4 hours
with validation for dinner 
at the City National Bank Plaza underground garage

Thank You!
Mike Javaherpour
Atsushi Kenjo

NOTE:  I was an invited guest of Chaya Downtown and
thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ramen Monday - Ramen Yokocho Pomona 2014 Recap

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A Special Ramen Monday
Recap of the Pomona Ramen Yokocho 2014

It's Ramen Time

The Fairplex in Pomona

First Stop, Hide Chan from Hakata, Kyushu, Japan.
No line, what a perfect time to be here.

The most famous ramen shop in Hakata, the birth place
of Tonkotsu ramen.

See What Jay Eats...

Hide Chan
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen

I love the thin noodles!

Next Stop, Kohmen in Tokyo.

From the ramen hotspot in Ikebukuro in Tokyo.

Jukusei Spicy Ramen
from Kohmen.

Served with chicken and pork chashu,
loved the greens and spicy paste.

Ran into my friend Mathew
from MenOh in Little Tokyo.

Home of the famous Tokushima tonkotsu ramen.

MenOh has a vegetable ramen (at their Little Tokyo location)
and topped with lots of veggies.
I enjoyed it.

 One of the specials I was looking forward to
is Keizo Shimamoto's Burger Ramen
from the Original Ramen Burger.

It's a deconstructed Ramen Burger (I guess you call it).
A 100% Certified Angus Beef patty with white American cheese,
Hirauchi (flat) noodles with Keizo's secret shoyu glaze, baby
arugula, and topped with crumbled bacon.

I enjoyed this dry-style (soup less) bowl,
Asian flavors but American
(just like the Original Ramen Burger).

At least I had the right shirt on today
to try the Burger Ramen
from the Original Ramen Burger
at the Southern California debut.

First served in Brooklyn and then San Jose,
and now in L.A.

Speaking of the Ramen Burger,
this was the first time Keizo Shimamoto's
Original Ramen Burger was at the
Ramen Yokocho in Southern California.

It was a perfect day, not too hot and
not too crowded...

There was other food too, like my friends from Fluff Ice.

Miso Ramen by
Wakamusha & Tanatsumono

This collaboration from two
leading ramen shops
in Fukushima, Japan.

I'm glad there was a miso ramen,
served with corn.

Just when we thought we had our favorite,
we try another good one...

Tonkotsu and Chicken Ramen
by Norio

The Number 1 local favorite
in Osaka, Japan.

Loved the thin noodles!

It was a nice end to the food festival season for 2014.

My Favorite of the event was the Hakata Tonkotsu
from Hide Chan in Hakata, Kyushu, Japan.

The only complaint I have, I've also heard others say the same thing, the portion sizes are too big.  IMO, the purpose at food festivals is to try as many different vendors as possible, the reason for 11 ramen vendors from all over.  The portion sizes should be a 1/3 of the size and patrons would have a chance to taste more vendors.  This is my opinion for a better event, something to chew on...

Ramen Yokocho

NOTE:  I was an invited guest of Ramen Yokocho and
thank them for the invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Sunday, October 12, 2014

My 2014 Food Favorites of the 626 Night Market Season

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Now that the 2014 

626 Night Market Season is Over,

Here are My 2014 Food Favorites
(Not in any order)

The Surf & Turf Ramen Burger

The Specialty Ramen Burger 
at the July 626 Night Market

As most of you know, I'm friends with the creator of the original 
Ramen BurgerKeizo Shimamoto, and a fan of his creation.  
I've tried each of the specialty burgers and my favorite is the 
Surf & Turf with an Angus beef patty and a salmon patty 
(this one had La Sriracha Macha too - see below).

See the background story on the Surf & Turf Ramen Burger
and checkout their first L.A. brick and mortar location

Rainbow Tacos

One of two Rainbow Tacos 
from Oh Thit! at the
September 626 Night Market
and October OC Night Market.

IMO, Oh Thit! has one of the best skewers at 626 Night Market.

A lemongrass grilled pork with fresh cabbage, onions, cilantro,
and topped with the special Oh Thit sauce on corn tortillas.
The lemongrass pork has great flavor and the Oh Thit sauce
has a nice kick on the finish.  

If you're not in the mood for tacos, try their filet mignon skewer 
or roasted corn with scallion oil.

Follow them for their upcoming events HERE

Red Velvet Bubble Waffle with Mochi

at the September 626 Night Market

I'm not really a fan of Red Velvet, but Puffect Bakery Cafe made a 
believer out of me.  They suggested adding mochi to my waffle, 
to my surprise,  it was really good.  

Honorable Mention goes to their bubble waffle with  Banzai Jerky's 
Bacon Jerky.  I was going to share it with others, 
but ended up eating the whole thing myself.

Visit Puffect Bakery Cafe at their store in Walnut.

The La Sriracha Macha Shark Taco

From the makers of La Sriracha Macha,
the Shark Taco from the July and September
626 Night Market in Arcadia.

I LOVE tacos and what goes better with a flavorful Asian and Mexican
Sriracha? How about...SHARK!  
Thankfully, it wasn't something heard at the beach.
Shark is one of those proteins that if over-cooked, it gets really dry fast,
but Lincoln Lee (La Sriracha Macha creator) knows how to cook shark.
It went really well with their sauce.

Now that the Night Market season is over,
you can buy La Sriracha Macha online HERE

Uni Cream Tater Tots

at the DTLA Night Market

Just before the DTLA Night Market in June, I wrote about using
social media to look for food finds at the Night Market.
See my Night Market Survival Guide HERE

Since I was working at one of the booths, I didn't have time to
walk around like I usually do.  So I took my advice and saw
a few people talking about the tater tots with uni cream.
I'm glad I tried it and loved their other menu items.

Follow Lotza Tots to see what's next HERE

The Crack Bacon & Avocado Musubi

at the July 626 Night Market

I've been a fan of Mama Musubi and have been fortunate 
to collaborate with them.  They use quality products in their 
musubis and have a variety of non-traditional fillings.  

It was a hard decision to pick my favorites, but knew this musubi 
needed to be on the list.  The Crack Bacon & Avocado musubi 
stuck in my mind.   Sugar and spiced caramelized bacon served 
with avocado aioli AND who doesn't like bacon???

Follow Mama Musubi on Facebook HERE

UFO Fried Mussels

From Pop'd Up
at October OC Night Market

Mussels in a fried batter, reminds me of something similar to takoyaki.
It was delicious and a complement to their Thai desserts and drinks.  

If mussels aren't your thing, try their mixed seafood.
Each was very good and while you're there, 
checkout their traditional Thai popsicle maker.

Follow Pop'd Up on Facebook HERE

Pho Taco

From Rakken
at the July 626 Night Market
and October OC Night Market.

If you follow me, you know I LOVE pho!
It tasted like pho, but in a taco.

Follow me on Instagram for my noodle obsession

Honorable Mentions
They're just as good...

Maple Bacon Croissant Donut Burger

Photo Courtesy of Chomp Eatery
(shared booth with La Sriracha Macha)
at the September 626 Night Market
(one appearance only)

Thanks to Kelsey at Pop'd Up, got to meet Chomp Eatery
and tried their Maple Bacon Croissant Donut Burger.
I've had donut burgers before and they taste like a 
donut burger.  But Chomp Eatery used an inverted 
croissant donut with good products.  The maple bacon 
got me to try and I was SOLD!

It was so good, will have to visit Chomp Eatery at their 
Santa Monica location for another one.


From Roasted Corn
at May and October OC Night Market
and July, August, and September 626 Night Market.

When I think of summer festivals, I think of corn on the cob.
So simple, but it reminds me of summer and growing up
in Los Angeles.  
Elote or Mexican style corn, I like mine with mayo, butter,
cheese, and I add some lime juice and other seasonings.
It's not anything special, just good in my book.

Corn with a C!

Mochi Puffs

at the July and August 626 Night Market

These mochi coconut cream puffs made their Southern California
appearance at 626 Night Market in Arcadia at Mama Musubi.
They're about the same size as mochi ice cream, but instead
of dairy, it's coconut cream (so no dairy) and VERY GOOD!
They come in 5 flavors, mango, yuzu (Japanese citrus),
green tea, chocolate, and strawberry.

Maybe Mama Musubi will have them again in the future.

The Ramen Burger Keychain

at the May OC Night Market

May the Ramen Burger be with you Always!

Get one at their L.A. brick and mortar location
at Vermont and 3rd in Koreatown.

More info on the brick and mortar opening HERE

Ahi Poke Taco with Uni

My collaboration with Mama Musubi
at the September 626 Night Market
(the quail egg was part of the secret menu)

It was a hit with customers AND of course,
it was one of my favorites...
(YES, I'm Bias!)

What could be better?  Ahi poke
with uni and a quail egg.
Nuff said...

NOTE:  I've collaborated with Mama Musubi on a couple of menu items.
They were kind enough to open their kitchen and we were able
to create some good stuff and I thank them for the opportunity
to work with them and their staff.


I hope you were able to attend one of the 2014 626 Night Markets,
either in Arcadia, Orange County, or in Downtown Los Angeles.

With over 130 food vendors, there's something for everyone.

One reason why I love street food is
being able to sample a lot of food items
all in one place.

Follow 626 Night Market for their 2015 schedule.

Thanks for Following 
See you in 2015!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
unless noted
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Preview: Sunset & Dine in Hollywood - 2014

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I was invited to the preview of the 3rd Annual Sunset & Dine, a celebration of the area's culinary concepts and the community in Hollywood.  Organized by the Central Hollywood Coalition and presented by The Los Angeles Film School, I was able to get a taste of what Sunset & Dine is all about.

I grew up not too far from Hollywood, we'd go to the Chinese Theater for movies, Tower Records for music, and various venues to see bands.  I guess in those days, I never really thought of Hollywood as a place for food.  Over the years, I've noticed that new places were opening up, but they weren't just 'new' places, they were creative concepts.    

See What Jay Eats...
at Sunset and Vine

I've been wanting to come to Field Trip,
but they're only open until 3 pm.

Being invited to a special evening tasting
is a special treat! 

From the cold brew bar,
the 10oz Mint Honey Cream.

Something refreshing on a warm summer evening...

I really enjoyed this!

The restaurant is very casual atmosphere
and it's contemporary feel made
me feel like something good is about to happen.

Chef Betty Fraser
from Grub and Top Chef (Season 2)
gave us an insight to the food happenings
in Hollywood and intro into Sunset & Dine.

Chef Betty Fraser
was kind enough to share some Grub's 
"Fosse Cookies"

Chef Betty shared the cookie story with me,
"our GM Libby is the niece of Bob Fosse
and the recipe has been in their artistic family 
for decades!  We are so happy she shared it with us
and we serve dozens fresh daily."

It was a very good cookie and
I'll have to go to Grub for more Fosse cookies.

Chef Minh Phan 
(Gaji and Beachwood Cafe)
explains tonight's dishes
and shares how this casual, farm to table
restaurant works.

I was surprised to find out that
Chef Minh follows me on Instagram.

Crispy Rice + Egg Meurette
Kendor Farms eggs soft poached in red wine with mushrooms,
Chinese sausage, with crispy heirloom Kohuko rice, served
with pickles and veg.

This makes a great brunch menu item.

Short Rib Sandwich

A short rib with good flavor, sauce, and house made pickles.

Chef Minh Phan
announces they will be open for dinner in October
and offers us a flourless double-chocolate and
peanut butter cookie.

I'll be back to Field Trip
for dinner, beginning in October.

1555 Vine Street #119
(corner of Selma and Morningside)
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 467-7600

This is only a sample of what to look forward to

Get your tickets HERE

Our next stop is a place I've been before,
Shophouse Kitchen

is a Southeast Asian concept 

The operation looks the same,
but the pans in the steam table
are filled with different ingredients.

Shophouse is strictly bowls,
with choice of white or brown rice,
rice noodles or salad.

Add a meat or tofu,
a vegetable, a sauce,
and a garnish.

Time to Eat!

If you like ginger ale,
you must try the Bruce Cost Ginger Ale.

I've tried the original on my first visit
and the Pomegranate with Hibiscus tonight.

Both were very good!

I started with salad as the base,
the Pork & Chicken Meatballs (with 1/2 steak),
1/2 charred corn and 1/2 green beans,
with a Tamarind Vinaigrette,
herb salad, and topped with crushed peanuts.

The menu has changed a bit since I first visited,
just after opening last summer.

Everyone raved about the Pork & Chicken meatballs,
I was fortunate to have had a chance to get 
half meatballs and half steak.

The meatballs were light and flavorful,
not solid like most meatballs.
I'm glad I listened to the 'regulars'

Coconut Rice & Mango Parfait
Sweet coconut rice topped with mango.

A nice dessert to cool down 
some of the spices from the
flavors of Southeast Asia. 

If you've never been, I do suggest checking out
the menu first and looking for the heat index on the menu.
Some of the items are spicy.

Thanks to Claire,
we got a behind-the-scenes look
into the kitchen and some of the ingredients

It was good to hear that they
use seasonal vegetables,
so the menu will have a variety.

like sibling Chipotle Mexican Grill,
sources organically grown produce whenever practical.

Their food offerings are entirely gluten-free, wheat-, and dairy-free, 
and a selection of Responsibly Raised® meats.

Besides, it was a good Asian inspired bowl.
Look for more Shophouse Kitchens opening.

6333 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 462-28856
Open daily 11 am-10pm

Don't forget, Sunset & Dine is October 2nd
and tickets are available HERE

Our 3rd stop of the evening was Fabiolus Cucina,
on the SE corner of Sunset & Vine.

Fabiolus Cucina owner, Fabio Conti,
invited us to enjoy the evening and
introduced his dishes from Verona.

As we were seated,
a caprese salad was on the table.

My favorite! 

Piatto Agricolo

How can you not like grilled seasonal vegetables?

Bruschetta di Pomodoro
with fresh mozzarella, tomato, oregano, on a toasted ciabatta bread.

Everything was so good,
it was like Fabio knew what I like...
Do other people like these dishes too???

A pizza is not a pizza
at Fabiolus Cucina.

They use an organic Kamut flour, very low in yeast and
needs 3 days to slowly rise.  It's a crispy and light
crust that doesn't ferment inside of your stomach.

I was satisfied with the dishes on the table, but Fabio was finished...

Gnocchi Radicchio e Salsiccia
Potato gnocchi, radicchio, Italian sausage, and sliced garlic.


Polenta e Spezzatino
Slow braised beef stewed with red wine,
onion, celery, and carrot over soft polenta.

As much as I love gnocchi,
I think I'll have to order this dish in the future.

One more thing...
OK, 3 more things,
remember Fabio is bringing out dishes.

Blueberry Cheesecake 

Apple Pie

Chocolate Cake

All of the desserts were delicious
and a nice ending to an incredible food evening.

6270 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 467-2882

If Sunset & Dine is any indication
from the food tonight, 
you must get your tickets NOW for this food event!

The restaurants and exhibitors at Sunset & Dine:

Amoeba Music
Broadway LA / Pantages Theatre
Doomie's Home Cookin'
Fabiolus Cucina
Field Trip / Hollywood Farmer's market
The Los Angeles Film School
Los Balcones
McDonald's on Vine
Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen
Village Pizzeria

I attend many food events a year, 
most are in the $50 - $200 range.
Sunset & Dine is a chance to sample
food from the area, with beer and wine,
AND a live concert,
ALL for $25!

Get your Sunset & Dine tickets HERE

For more information on Sunset & Dine,

October 2, 2014
Taglyan Complex

Proceeds benefit The Center at Blessed Sacrament

Thank You!
Central Hollywood Coalition
Fabio Conti
Claire Curtis
Genevieve Haines
The Los Angeles Film School
Chef Minh Phan
Nerissa Silao
Devin Strecker

Follow #SunsetandDine

NOTE:  I was a guest of Sunset & Dine, Field Trip, Shophouse Kitchen,
and Fabiolus Cucina.  I thank them for the invitation and hospitality.
All opinions and comments are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi