Monday, January 26, 2015

Ramen Monday - Ramen Champ - January 26, 2015

Pin It

It's Ramen Monday!

Ramen Champ
Grand Opening
January 19, 2015


Don't get me wrong, I like a traditional ramen.
BUT, I do Love a good non-tradtitional ramen too!
See Limited-Edition Ramen at Animal HERE

Chef / Owner Alvin Cailan of Eggslut (Grand Central Market)
opened his ramen outlet in Chinatown's Far East Plaza.
This location may sound familiar with neighbors such as
Roy Choi's Chego and Chef Andy Ricker's Pok Pok Phat Thai.

If you follow me, you know I'm a fan of Eggslut,
read more HERE.

Chef Cailan joins forces with Nathan Asamoto, Johnny Lee,
and Michael Sudjati to create Ramen Champ.


A true ramen shop with 22 counter seats only,
No tables...just like Japan. 

This is how a ramen shop should be!


Similar to ramen shops in Tokyo, Ramen Champ
takes your order before being seated at a counter.
By the time you sit down, your bowls and 
sides start to arrive.


See What Jay Eats...

Condiments on the counter include
sherry vinegar, garlic oil, sriracha oil, and a house-made togarashi. 


 Yuzu Punch
$3.95

I love yuzu and this had a nice punch
of yuzu and tartness.


 Tako Tots
$5.50
Potato fritters with octopus and salted cod,
topped with house takoyaki sauce, spicy mayo, chives,
and bonito flakes.

It was a nice touch with mashed potatoes,
gave it a different texture and something I enjoyed.


 Tonkotsu Ramen
$12.99
with slow cooked chashu (pork), egg, scallions, with radish, 
toasted sesame seeds, and black garlic oil.

All soups are made from scratch using all farm fresh
and free ranged ingredients.


 Chicken Shio
$12.99

I'm not a traditionalist when it comes to garnishes
and loved the radish and carrots.

The chicken broth was light with chunks of chicken.


Extra Noodles are $1.99

The 3rd ramen is Shiitake Shio (vegetarian) $10.99,
made with shiitake mushrooms and konbu dashi. 

This was the Highlight of the Evening!

I would've been very disappointed if the
egg wasn't perfect, especially since
these guys are from EggSlut.

I was very happy when I saw this
runny soft-boiled egg.


Being in the restaurant industry, I don't like
to form an opinion with a new restaurant,
must give them time to work everything out,
but I did like what's going on here.

If you like more of a traditional bowl of ramen,
this may not be your place.

Great Job and I'll be back!


Far East Plaza
727 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 316-8595

Open from 4pm - 12am
Daily




Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Limited Edition Ramen at Animal

Pin It

I had heard chef / owners of Animal Restaurant, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, were working on ramen.  I remember thinking that the proteins would be amazing and wouldn't be surprised if they created a new style of ramen.  

It's good to have foodie friends that share info from around town. @BackyardBite informed us that Animal's Limited Edition Ramen was at available on Mondays and Tuesdays (from 9 pm to close) at the bar only.  We arrived at about 8:15 or so and got our names on the waiting list, the bar only seats about 7-8 people.  I forgot to mention, there are only 20 bowls each night...


Chopped Chili and Garlic 
on the bar for ramen

We were seated around 9:30 and after our drink order
was taken, the ramen seemed to arrive right away.

It was suggested to us that we have the ramen first
and then order any additions after.


See What Jay Eats...

The Limited Edition Animal Tonkotsu Ramen
$18

with pork belly cha siu, ham hocks, and topped 
with bean sprouts, kale, and Swiss chard.

The bowl seemed a bit smaller than
(what I consider) a regular ramen bowl.  BUT, I have
to say that it's Packed with noodles, pork, and veggies.
The tonkotsu (pork) broth reminded me of Chinese flavors,
with spice but not spicy. 

I knew that chef/owners Jon and Vinny would not disappoint
and it would be a really good bowl.

I enjoyed it!

The thing I really liked was the "Noodle Reload" as you're finishing,
you can get an extra order of noodles for $3.


Instead of dessert, we opted to end the meal with
Chicken Liver Toast.
$4

It was delicious!


I wouldn't think of comparing it to a traditional bowl 
of Japanese ramen.  But it's this creative, free-thinking style
that will change Japanese food in L.A.

Do you remember the California Roll?
It was this free-thinking creativity that probably set up
the huge sushi growth at a time when sushi was just yucky raw fish.
The California Roll was created in Los Angeles (Little Tokyo).


I'm hoping that this #trialrun turns out to be something of a new
concept and will have the chance to enjoy their ramen on
a regular basis (and hours too).



435 N Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323-782-9225





Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Exotic Meats...A Walk on the Wild Side

Pin It

Photo Courtesy of Val of Trippy Food
"A Walk on the Wild Side" begins...

Before we get to the exotic stuff, just some background
on how all of this came about.

I've been fortunate to meet some really interesting
and passionate food people along my food journey.

While attending a restaurant tasting with food 
adventurer, @KristieHang, we happened to sit next to 
@trippyfood and @cuethecritic.  A conversation began, 
funny thing, we've been following each other on 
social media and a true pleasure meeting both of them IRL.

Next thing I know,
exotic meats are mentioned and weeks later
@trippyfood sets up a tasting at Exotic Meat Market in Perris.

I love Extreme Cuisine, so I was thumbs-up for joining in.

Now you're caught up...

Our host, Anshu, of Exotic Meat Market.


No one mentioned Thanksgiv..., I mean, the "T" word.


Of course this ranch had some lambs.


A llama.

A llama?
Oh, that's right, this is the
Exotic Meat Market Ranch.


There's ALWAYS someone trying to meet Kristie Hang.


Birds of a feather flock together...

An ostrich and emu,
just some of the ranch inhabitants.


A Flock of Emus

 I learned the male emu has a blue neck and
makes a drumming sound.


Whenever I'm at an event with Kristie Hang,
there's always a someone telling her they're a fan. 


Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
Thanks, but I've already met Kristie Hang.


Before we leave the ranch, we got a chance to
taste some really rich goat's milk.


A cobra and a scorpion walk into a bar
or was it a bottle?
 It was something like that...

(The cobra has the scorpion's tail in it's mouth)


See What Jay Eats...

First on the tasting menu is a
Scorpion Fish
(before being roasted)

Toxins are found in the toothpick-size spikes on the top.


While the fish is in the oven,
Kobe Beef
Japanese Wagyu  
Grade A5

You don't find this grade of Kobe Beef in the U.S.,
although some will say it's the same thing.

NOPE!

There are two ways to enjoy beef at this level,
raw or seared.

It was served raw with wasabi and soy sauce.



This reminds me of my trip to Japan
and I tasted a true Kobe Beef for the first time.

It was from an award winning ranch,
which happens to have the same last name as me.
No relation that I know of...

Today was just as good!

There are no words for me to properly describe this...

To top it off, Anshu served it with fresh grated wasabi.

AMAZING!



Out of the oven
the roasted Scorpion Fish
on a bed of rice served with lime slices.

You can see the poison spikes on it's back.


It's a white fish with flakey meat,

I've had many different kinds of fish,
this was a very unique texture.



The texture is similar to lobster
and the flavor is really good.


And now the piéce de résistance... 

Extreme Cuisine!
This was a form of culinary jeopardy,
we had no idea what was in each bowl.

I haven't tried a wide range of exotic meats,
except for seafood,
so I have a smaller reference to go by.

As in poker, I was all in.


First up, what I found to be Yak.

When I think of a Yak, I think of a long haired cow looking
animal up in the Himalayas.

The flavor was very mild, but it kind of made sense,
since it's a family member to domestic cattle.



The most interesting IMO was the beaver.

All I could think about was this would make
good tacos.  I never thought I would enjoy
beaver, but it was actually pretty good.

If I lived on a river, I would fill it with beavers
and would sell tacos on the dam they would build.
That's if they don't give a dam...



This was the eye opener of the day...

I was surprised to find that lion looks like a white meat after cooked.
I would think the meat of a large lion would be a darker color,
but has a similar color and texture to pork when cooked.
(all meats were sous-vide) 

BTW, I didn't make it to the Double Jeopardy round,
I think something was wrong with my buzzer...
(I had no clue what was in each bowl)


Yes, I got to try some legal exotic proteins that I would've not had the 
opportunity to try before.  It's not like my local Ralphs has iguana
(popular in parts of Mexico and Central America).

When I would serve customers exotic seafood, I 
wouldn't tell them what it was until they tried it.  Some trusted 
me and enjoyed it.  Others wouldn't get past their fears and 
I guess they'd never know if they liked it or not.

Today was one of those days, I was glad to have the opportunity 
to try something new.  Without pre-judging, all of them really didn't 
taste like you'd think it would, whatever that would be.
It just goes to show you, try it before you say you don't like it.
  
Would I be able to taste the difference between bison and 
water buffalo?  Probably not today...
  
But I do now have an appreciation for beaver, 
I'm still thinking TACOS!


More info on Exotic Meat Market HERE  



Thank You!
Anshu
Claudia
Exotic Meat Market
@KristieHang
@TrippyFood

It was nice meeting fellow foodies
@noellecarter
@WrecklessEating





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

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ramen Burger and Mama Musubi Creates Something Delicious!

Pin It


Have you ever wondered what would happen if two of the most popular night market vendors got together and created something really good?  

Well...

It Happened!!!



One of the most popular vendors 
and longest line at this year's 626 Night Markets.

AND


One of the original 626 Night Market vendors
and IMO the second longest lines at this
year's 626 Night Markets
(behind Ramen Burger).


What happens when Mama Musubi's popular pork belly
is paired with the Original Ramen Burger noodle buns?

If you like Mama Musubi's
pork belly musubi,
you'll like this burger...


Introducing the
Mama Musubi 24 Hour Pork Belly 
Specialty Ramen Burger!
(Limited Time Only)


Mama Musubi's 24 Hour Pork Belly
(Berkshire pork belly) 
served with cucumber pickles,
arugula, onion marmalade, 
and a hoisin karashi mustard sauce
on the famous Ramen Burger noodle buns.


The pork belly is tender (cooked for 24 hrs)
with a sweet mustard sauce that goes
well with the pork, onion marmalade,
arugula, and crunch of the cucumber pickles.


Ramen Burger's L.A. brick & mortar location
is working with local chefs
to create specialty Ramen Burgers.
(be sure to check the board in the window)

This collaboration with Mama Musubi
is available for a limited time only,
through the month of November 2014.


239 S Vermont Ave
(at 3rd Street)
Los Angeles, CA 90004 


Follow Ramen Burger


Available at the Ramen Burger takeout window.

Tuesday - Wednesday:  5p - 12a
Thursday - Friday:  5p - 2a
Saturday:  12p - 2a
Sunday:  12p - 12a
Closed Mondays


Now that the night market season is over,
follow Mama Musubi to find their next event:



It's been a pleasure meeting these folks
and being invited to take a ride with them this year.
They've both invited me into their kitchens
and have had the opportunity to work with them 
and their teams.
I'm looking forward to see what 2015 will bring.
Until then, I'll be enjoying this burger...



Thank You!
Kristie Hang
Carol Kwan
Phillip Kwan
Jeffrey Shimamoto
Keizo Shimamoto
Miho Shimamoto




Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Blocks of Food at KTown Night Market - October 2014

Pin It


The Last Night Market of the Season!

organizers presents the
Halloween Food Fest

October 25 & 26, 2014


My post of the first KTown Night Market in April 2014

6th Street was closed to traffic in KTown.

 Over 70 vendors lined the street
between Mariposa Ave and Berendo St.

 The Ultra-Popular Original Ramen Burger was in attendance.
They're so popular, they even had a line before
the event opened!


OK, so it was the Original Ramen Burger crew
in their new red shirts...



See What Jay Eats...
Just a few things I had

 I stopped by the Chilly Ribbons' ski chalet
to try their latest flavor,
Red Bean.

You can see the red bean pieces...

Now ready to go
with red beans, mochi, and almonds.

It was sweet without being sweet
and had a nice flavor. 

Now that the night market season
is over, I guess I'll have to get out to
their store in Westwood.

I tried the Sweet Mixed Grain Smoothie

It's made from different grains, tasted like
barley tea.  It then hit me, barley is a grain...Duh!
I enjoyed it very much, without being too sweet. 

Photo Courtesy of KTown Night Market
A return vendor from the 1st KTown Night Market,

Besides grilled chicken skewers,
they introduced Niku Maki


Niku Maki

Pork wrapped around a rice ball.

It was good, but the rice
was a bit too wet with sauce.
IMO needed more of a char on the outside.
Otherwise something new.



Yes, had to stop at the Lobsta Truck
for a crab roll with butter.

Nuff said... 



Mama Musubi returns with their
"KTown Night Market Special Musubi"



The Super Spicy Tuna Musubi

Cooked albacore tuna w/spicy aioli,
spicy gochujang, and spicy furikake.
(A Ktown Night Market Exclusive)


Photo Courtesy of KTown Night Market
If you follow Mama Musubi, you find out
all of the secret menu items and specials.

You might even win a Mama Musubi T-shirt
or Limited Edition Musubi Boxes.

Follow them on Instagram



Jinya Ramen
brought their Spicy Ramen.

I thought it needed a bit more heat if you're
going to call it spicy.
It wasn't a bad first time dish tho. 


I seem to attract new products...

Met the Toki Hot Sauce guys
at the night market.
They gave me some samples of their new hot sauce.

The sauce is a bit sweet
with a kick at the end.



It was a nice end to the 2014 Night Market Season.


Follow me on Twitter and Instagram
or right here for my food finds...

See you in 2015!



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