Friday, May 27, 2016

Sushi of Gari - Hollywood

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Photo by Sushi of Gari
 Now Open in Hollywood!

I was first introduced to Sushi of Gari years ago in NYC.
A friend invited me for omakase at a Japanese restaurant.
Omakase is "chef's choice" in Japanese,
meaning, the chef will serve the very best of the day.

Owner Chef Masatoshi "Gari" Sugio became a sushi chef in
Japan at the age of 19.  He was drawn to the artistic and
culinary world of sushi.  Years later, he opened his own
restaurant in NYC.

 I was invited to a media preview of their new
Hollywood location.  

It's not a very large space,
maybe 11-12 seats at the sushi bar,
and 6 tables (accommodating 2-4 people).
There's also a private room.

 Besides great fish,
the beverages are top notch too.

How about an $800 bottle of 
Dassai Junmai Daiginjo "Beyond"?

Photo by True Sake
In case you were wondering, 
here's what an $800 bottle of sake looks like.

It's waaaay Beyond me...

Gari san's logo
on the band around the chopsticks

The first time I had sushi at Sushi of Gari in NYC,
I wasn't expecting sauces or elaborate toppings, 
other than soy sauce, ponzu, or green onions.

When the first piece arrived in front of me,
my first thought was, why is there a tomato
on top of the fish?

It worked and it was all very good.
Although I've had numerous omakase
experiences, I knew this would truly be different.

We were invited to sample
six of chef Gari's Signature Sushi.
 (L)  BF Tuna w/creamy tofu puree
(C)  Japanese Red Snapper w/baby greens, pine nuts,
crispy lotus root and a wasabi-olive oil
(R)  Salmon with sautéed tomato and a sweet onion sauce

Not your typical nigiri sushi

(Back Row, Left)  Chu-Toro BF Tuna with grated Daikon and Ponzu
(Back Row, Right)  Seared Black Cod with miso garlic 
(Front)  Blow-torched Fluke w/poached quail egg, sweet onion sauce,
and White Truffle oil

All were Amazing!

As you can see, these pieces probably don't look like
the sushi at your favorite sushi bar.
Gari san takes pride in creating original sauces
and topping to enhance the individual fish served
to his customers.  But, it doesn't overpower
the flavor of the fish.  Good job
and I'm glad you're here!

"Welcome to Hollywood!
What's your dream?  Everybody comes here;
this is Hollywood, land of dreams.
Some dreams come true, some don't;
but keep on dreamin' - this is Hollywood.
Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin' "

~ Pretty Woman

Click HERE to view the a la carte sushi menu/prices

Kouske Ueyama

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

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

OC Night Market - May 2016

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April Showers brings May Flowers,
do you know what May Flowers bring?

Baseball and the start of the Night Market Season,
my two favorite Spring activities.

First one of the season,
(May 13 - 15, 2016)
the weather was a bit on the cool side.

But it was a good kick-off to the 
Night Market season
and to see NM friends...

Here's some of what I enjoyed at
the May 2016 OC Night Market

 Checking out Square Ice Cream
with their Square Donuts.

Can't decide?

Tried them all...

Of course I was waiting for this one...

The Rainbow Tacos from Oh Thit!
A grilled lemongrass pork with cabbage
and Oh Thit! sauce.

One of my all time night market favorites.

Oh Thit! also make a great filet mignon skewer
and grilled corn with scallion oil.

Speaking of tacos...
The Okamoto Kitchen truck
introduced their Pork Chashu Tacos

A slow-cooked Japanese style pork belly with 
shredded cabbage, ginger, green onions, sesame seeds,
and a special glaze served on soft corn tortillas.

 I'm a fan of Pop'd Up,
they have such great drinks.

I finally get to try their 
Blood Orange Elderflower soda!

They always sell out of this and today's
my special day!  I got there early enough
to finally (after 4 night markets) get to try it.

Their other flavors are good too.  

The Cha-Cha Matcha

A liquid nitrogen Matcha green tea ice cream
with classic oreo cookies.  
A twist on Singaporean ice cream bread.

They had an ice cream eating contest too...

Look for Crescendo Ice Cream at the Santa Anita Park
626 Night Market.

Look for the Chilly Ribbons Chalet

The Chilly Ribbons' Menu

My favorite, the Watermelon Bomb.

2 flavors of Chilly Ribbons 
and watermelon pieces
with condensed milk.

What's a Night Market without a spiral cut potato?
Had to get the Famous Swirls Potato 
with Ketchup seasoning from

Who would've thought a fried potato would
go great with Ketchup?

It was a great start to the night market season
and look forward to the next
June 17 -19, 2016

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Petitpot Now Available in So Cal

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I love getting packages,
especially when it's new food items to try.

 It must be something French...

Hence the "Bonjour" reference

 And Yummm!

It's a sampler 
of pot de creme
from Petitpot.

Without going through all of the
details, it's a type of custard.

The lids made it easy to identify.

 On National Vanilla Pudding Day,
this is what I'm celebrating with...

You can see the specks of
Madagascar vanilla beans. 

See What Jay Eats...

Yes, we had a Petit Pot tasting.

I had the pleasure of a pastry chef joining 
me in the tasting.

Great packaging
in re-usable glass jars.

They're all gluten-free and certified organic by CCOF
(California Certified Organic Farmers)

The Dark Chocolate
was really good and one of
my favorites.

Made with dark Belgian chocolate,
70% cacao.

Had a nice dark chocolate finish to it.
Something that was a nice surprise
for a pudding/custard.

Photo by Petitpot
The Salted Caramel
had a nice caramel flavor,
but I missed the salt or
too light I didn't taste any.

Photo by Petitpot
The Lemon Curd

Lemon is one of my all-time favorites.
Made with organic California lemon juice,
it had a nice lemon tartness.

I wasn't a fan of the texture of this one,
a bit too liquidity for me.
My friend the pastry chef said she has an
idea to use this with a dish she has in mind.

The Strawberry & Cream
was the same consistency.
Good rich strawberry flavor.

Photo by Petitpot
When I think of pot de creme,
the Vanilla is the closest to what I know
(in my mind anyway).
Great flavor and texture.

All 5 flavors are great tasting and can
see why they're popular in Northern California.

Now Available 
in selected Southern California
Whole Foods Markets

(Arroyo, Brea, Jamboree, Fairfax, El Segundo,
Playa Vista, Venice, Downtown LA, Glendale, 
La Jolla, and Irvine)

 Petitpot also sent me some 
of their cookies.

BTW, they went great with the pot de creme.

Great idea,
inside of the cookie boxes.


NOTE:  I was invited to sample these products.
I thank Petitpot for the sample tasting.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Spread Mediterranean Kitchen - Downtown Los Angeles

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After the former tenant closed,
I would always take a look inside
and think this is a great casual spot.

I guess the owners of Spread Mediterranean Kitchen 
thought so too...

Located on Main at 4th in Downtown LA

On the other side of the intersection
from Baco Mercat and Kazunori.

I was one of the 35 invited guests to
sample their menu.

Thanks DamonEats for the invite!

When you walk into the restaurant,
it has a very comfortable feeling.
The bar and bar tables are to the right,
and on the left, you'll see a long communal 
table and a few intimate tables on the side.

See What Jay Eats...
at Spread Mediterranean Kitchen

Hibiscus Rum Punch
with light & dark rum, tropical juices, hibiscus tea,
blackberry & thyme Demerara sugar.

Hummus & Mushrooms
a traditional Tehina hummus and roasted mushrooms.

Really good,
I could've eaten a 3 pan of this.

Watermelon Salad
with spicy Feta-Lebneh,
pickled grapes, and red onions.

One of the best watermelon salads I've had in
a long time.  Usually it's ruined for me
when it's a bit mushy.  Every piece I had
was just right.

One of the items not to miss
are the craft cocktails.

Not only are they very good,
but they're only $9.

This is where the magic happens

Fresh and natural ingredients
and one can taste the difference.

Harissa Margarita
with Blanco Tequila, Fresh Citrus Juice,
Harissa Spices, Cointreau, and garnished
with a shishito pepper.

When is a margarita not a margarita?
When it's a Harissa Margarita!

This was my favorite cocktail of the tasting.  
The others were good, but this was my favorite.

Za'atar Fried Chicken
and served with Za'atar Ranch.

A lot of times when seasoning is added,
it's usually too much.
This fried chicken was not only a nice
balance of Za'atar, but also juicy and tender.

This is item is only available from the Dinner Menu,
for now anyway.  I make it sound like
I have a say in the matter... lol

Flatbread with Harissa Braised Beef,
Spicy Slaw, Pickled Red Onions, Feta Lebheh Spread,
and Harissa Spiked Yogurt.

I love how they serve this dish
and also the sticker.

IMO, the flatbread was a bit thick,
but very tasty and went well with the beef.

Falafel Hash
with a Poached Egg, Herbed Lebneh, and Tehina Sauce

Another Dinner menu item.

This was a nice combination with the egg and sauce.
Chef Brandon Weaver said he had the chance
to work with chefs from the Middle East
when he was at The Peninsula Beverly Hills.
The falafel was a combination of different
recipes that he observed from the various chefs.

Ending the tasting with...
Fro Yo
Homemade Greek Frozen Yogurt
with Spread Toppings

(it comes in a trio order, but I only had room for one)

334 S Main Street
Los Angeles, CA  90013
(213) 537-0284

Spread Mediterranean Kitchen is a casual eatery
serving modern Middle Eastern food with a twist.
The flavors are balanced and the dishes are made
to be shared (Dinner menu).  At lunch, you can
customize your order, lots of options.
View their menu HERE

Besides having a bar and craft cocktails,
the entire menu is reasonably priced.

Thank You!
Brandon Parker
Brandon Weaver
Dan Coury

NOTE:  I was a guest of Spread Mediterranean Kitchen.
I thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi