Showing posts from 2010

My Maui Favorites...

I've been asked for my Maui grindz recommendations. It's been a couple of years since I visited the homeland, here's my favorites:

Sam Sato - Wailuku

* dry noodles
* manju

Tasaka Guri Guri - Kahului

* Strawberry
* Pineapple
(cross between sherbet and ice cream)

Komoda Bakery - Makawao

* cream puffs

Aloha Mixed Plate - Lahaina

* plate lunch

Da Kitchen - Kihei

* plate lunch

Roy's Kahana

* nightly special
* chocolate souffle (must order 45 mins in advance)

Sansei Seafood and Sushi Bar - Kapalua & Kihei

* small plates
* sushi

Star Noodle** - Lahaina

* garlic noodles
* steamed pork buns
* mini-malasadas

Hula Grill - Kaanapali Beach

* lunch
* pupus
* drinks on the beach

Nobu's Lunchwagon** - Lahaina

* plate lunch

Mala Ocean Tavern - Lahaina

* great ocean view
* Dessert - Caramel Miranda

Old Lahaina Luau - Lahaina

* one of the best in the islands

Honokowai Okazuya - Lahaina

* plate lunch

Merriman's Kapalua - Kapalua

* great ocean view
* daily specials

Pineapple Grill - Kapalua

* great ocean view
* daily …

I'm Addicted!

I'm Jay Terauchi and I'm addicted to Betty's Best Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies...

Geez, it's been maybe 15 years now since I've been addicted to these cookies... My auntie in Honolulu would always get cookies for me to bring back to my family here. She wouldn't tell where she got these cookies, since she knew what I liked. It wasn't until a friend took me to Wholesale Unlimited and the first words out of my mouth, "Ahhh, this is where my auntie gets them..." I know everyone in the store heard me loud and clear.

My friend Teri recently returned from Hawaii and picked up some cookies for me. I knew they'd be gone in a heartbeat, so I had to put them out of sight. I've had them for almost a week and still have half a bag, I did share some with my friend Jeff (No Twitter name yet).

One Week Still have some left...
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie I know what you're saying, I don't like oatmeal either, but these cookies don't have a lot of oatmeal a…

Burger Epilogue

Monday, November 1st was Sushi Day in Japan and I was all set for a sushi lunch. Massive phone calls and project deadlines didn't allow me to leave my desk. While on the phone, I happened to see a picture posted on "Burgers on the Edge" Facebook page and it looked so good... Right @jlieu?

Avocado Burger If you missed it...I asked my interim assistant to pick up lunch on her way back from FedEx. She returned with a California Roll and tried to convince me that "The LA Sushi Guys" should eat sushi today... The real truth was that she had no clue where to get a burger that I had described, this is why she's an interim assistant, j/k... It was good and satisfied my need for a good burger, but was NO "Burgers on the Edge" and the fries were overcooked... It was close, but we aren't playing horseshoes... BOO! So, I'm still in search for a great burger and have to thank "Burgers on the Edge" for setting the bar so high...

What? No burger today...

In Japan, today is Sushi Day. This morning, I was all set to have sushi for lunch in celebration of sushi day. Somehow, I got stuck on the phone all morning. While on the phone, I was checking Facebook and saw a picture of an awesome burger combo with fries from Honolulu's Burgers on the Edge. That's all I could think of...

Since I was stuck on the phone, I had to scramble to get a few things done today. Now it's 3 pm and didn't have a chance to grab lunch yet. I described the awesome burger to my interim assistant and asked her to pick up lunch for me on the way back from FedEx.

This is what she picked up for my lunch today...

No burger combo for me today...She said that I would probably regret not having sushi on sushi day, since Jeff Nitta and I are launching "The LA Sushi Guys" site today. She then told me that she had no idea where to get the kind of burger that I described and didn't want to disappoint me.

Solution: I just have to get on a plane and go…

Old Skool Way...

One of my favorite places to eat growing up was a small teriyaki hut just outside of Downtown LA. Spending lots of summers in Hawaii, I was used to eating plate lunch. But at home, there wasn't anything close, except for Bernie's Teriyaki.

Bernie's Teriyaki Closed on Sundays

The interior really hasn't changed since I was in the 9th Grade
Bernie's is one of those places where the food/recipes hasn't changed in years. It tastes the same as it did back in the late 1970's. The taste and smell reminds me of the church fundraisers in Hawaii selling Huli Huli Chicken, but can't find anything close to it these days.

My Favorite Menu Item Chicken and Beef Combo $5.25
Other things on the menu: teri burgers, teri chicken, wonton soup, and taquitos. But, everyone orders the combo plates. The last time I was there, there was a young couple who read the Yelp review and knew what to order. Guess they didn't know it came with fried rice, because they ordered two sides of …

Taco in a Bun

Took a break from all of the gourmet food that I've had in the last week. So today, Jeff Nitta (not on Twitter) and I had our weekly meeting at "Rick's Drive In" in Pasadena. We tried the "Taco in a Bun" and Spuderito (a burrito with French Fries).

Taco in a Bun Both had promise and with a bit more seasoning, they would both be something really good. It was a good lunch and meeting. Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement...

Noodle Inspiration

I was reading Nonstop Honolulu the other day and came across Mari Taketa's (@nonstopmari) "What is it about saimin?" Saimin is a noodle soup unique to Hawaii with Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino ingredients. Spending a lot of summers in Hawaii with my grandparents, I grew up with saimin and still love it many years later. Although there aren't really good saimin places in Southern California, I had to look for a noodle place that would satisfy my urge for this local favorite.

A few months ago, my friend introduced me to Foo Foo Tei in Hacienda Heights. Foo Foo Tei is a unique place that serves 31 different types of ramen or at least that is the base. My friend happened to read postings from . OK, this is a small world, I know Keizo (@GoRamen) who heads the site and is the ramen master in my book. Keizo tried the 31 different ramens each day for a month, you can read about his ramen adventure on his site. I don't think I could eat that much …

A Tuna Good for the Environment?

A few of you have asked for additional information on Kindai Bluefin Tuna as mentioned on an earlier post. My friend Jeff Nitta introduced me to Kindai Tuna at an event a few years ago. After hearing about the plight of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, I knew that I had to stop eating wild bluefin tuna while the tuna population regenerates. I haven't had any wild bluefin tuna in years.

Kindai Tuna was well represented
at the FILManthropy Festival

The FILManthropy Festival educates, inspires, motivates, and raises the awareness to forgotten or unknown issues, such as wild bluefin tuna, through a variety of films. Thank you to the Sirens Society for helping to educate at the festival.

Chef Makoto Okuwa verifies that it's the real deal

Each Certified Kindai Bluefin Tuna comes with a certificate, so you know it wasn't a wild catch. The certificate states where the tuna was born, where it was raised, what it was fed, etc. Each certified tuna was spawned at the Kinki University's aqua…

Helping Others and Tuna too...

A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I started my career working for a major Hollywood studio. While there, I was fortunate to screen a lot of films during my 10 years in the industry. I still love films and filmmaking, so when my friend Jeff Nitta introduced me to the Sirens Society and heard about their festival and giving back, I knew I had to attend. You see, the Sirens Society promotes philanthropic activities within the community and their FILManthropy Festival actually "OPEN YOUR EYES" to some great films but also to raise awareness to unknown issues.

I saw some great films, met some AWESOME people, had some wonderful food, and made a difference in many lives too. I know the money raised will help a lot of people.

FILManthropy Festival 2010 Cinespace in Hollywood October 2 -3, 2010

Hollie Stenson (Left) Festival Director, Jodi Fung: Festival Founder & Exec. Director, Anne Archer: FILManthropist of the Year 2010

Jodi Fung with Chef MakotoOkuwa from Sashi in M…

Street Food - Southern Cal Style

Last Saturday was the Long Beach Street Food Festival. Wanted to try a couple of the trucks that I haven't been yet, so I got up early and headed to Long Beach.

Gogi Balls from Great Balls of Fire on Tires Enjoyed the short lines when we got there

Can't decide what to try...

Longest line we waited, ordered the Gogi Balls (Korean marinated beef)

Tried a new sushi roll truck...

Cream Cheese Explosion from the Yatta truck

If you don't cut the meat correctly, it's stringy, but the taste was great From Ahn Joo truck

Probably the best Korean short rib tacos that I've had...From Bool BBQ
Just a quarter of the line for Nom Nom, they had the longest line I spent about 3 hours and we hit 4 trucks, considering I wasn't that hungry, not bad. The food was pretty much what I had thought, but I'll have to go back for the Korean short rib tacos at Bool BBQ. It was a nice way to spend a Saturday lunch!

Missing The Garnishes...

On a recent trip to the Bay Area, my friend Curtis suggested that I try this pho place. Pho is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup, with either beef or chicken, and served with garnishes and a variety of sauces.

Curtis mentioned that the place he wanted me to try is a Northern Vietnamese style pho place in San Francisco called Turtle Tower, which really intrigued me. I was wondering what the difference was between this Northern style and the style that I was familiar with? I asked around and not many knew the difference, hence this blog entry.

Southern Vietnamese Style with Garnishes

The style of pho that I'm most familiar with is the Saigon style (Southern Vietnam). This style uses a noodle similar to the size of linguine and served with a variety of garnishes: bean sprouts, cilantro, Thai basil, sliced jalapenos, limes, chili sauce, hoisin sauce, etc.

Northern Vietnamese Style with Garnishes

The style that I tried at Turtle Tower is Hanoi style (Northern Vietnam) which uses a lighter so…

Anaheim Certified Farmers' Market

For all of you who attended my demo, Thank You! Although it was a hot afternoon, we were able to have some fun and answer a lot of sushi questions. Would like to Thank the Anaheim Certified Farmers Market for having me come down to cook for everyone...

Here is the CORRECTED Spicy Tuna Recipe: 1 lb chopped sashimi grade tuna (chop with a knife) 2 TBS mayonnaise (a good quality one) 1 TBS togarashi (Japanese chili pepper) 1 TBS sesame chili oil 1 TBS Siracha (Asian hot sauce) 1 TBS Sambal 1 TBS soy sauce (low salt) Taste salt chopped green onions (optional)
Have fun making handrolls for your next party.

Ahi Poke

Spending lots of summers in Hawaii, one of the dishes that I most looked forward to was Poke. Everyone has their own special recipe, but I like the simple ones that highlight ahi, esp since my grandmother knew I love tuna.

Here's a quick Ahi Poke recipe that I use:

2 lbs. Sashimi Grade Yellowfin or Bigeye Tuna
1 pc Octopus
1/4 Maui Onion (or any sweet onion)
3 stalks Green Onions
4 TBS Soy Sauce
Dash chili oil
Hawaiian Salt to taste

Cube tuna and octopus into bite size pieces and add to bowl. Slice Maui Onion and chop green onions and add to bowl. Add soy sauce, chili oil, and Hawaiian Salt.

Refrigerate before serving. If too dry, add more soy sauce. Remember to keep it cold and enjoy...

Please Note: Wild Bluefin Tuna was NOT used in this dish.

Photos and recipe by Jay Terauchi Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

By Popular Demand

Linguine with Sausage

This simple recipe is my nieces' favorite pasta dish and easy to make.

1 lb bulk pork sausage (I like to use Italian Sausage, but can use any)
2 leeks (thinly sliced)
1 Cup whipping cream
linguine pasta

In skillet, cook sausage (break into pieces) until brown. Add leeks and cook until tender. Drain fat, depending on the sausage usually not much to drain off. Add cream to sausage mixture; heat through. Serve sausage mixture over linguine and top with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4

Not So Easy…

Recently, I got a call from a restaurant owner in need of someone to run his kitchen. He runs his restaurant and considers his staff as family. His chef, who had only been there for 9 months, was in the process of changing the menu to reflect the more economical desires of their customers. The owner didn’t like the look of a couple of the dishes and got in the kitchen to show the chef how he wanted the cabbage to be cut. RED FLAG on the play! You might consider the guy family, but you don’t go in to his domain and show him how to do it, especially if he’s the expert.

I guess that was the straw that broke the camel’s back; he couldn’t take the micro-managing anymore and gave his notice. If this owner goes into the kitchen to demonstrate how to cut cabbage, why does he need someone to run his kitchen? Not so easy… I see this often, management doesn’t educate their philosophy and then when the staff gets mixed messages, the system fails.

Roy’s Restaurants, headed by Chef Roy Yamaguchi, doe…


On Twitter, my followers love the daily food holidays that I tweet as #foodcalendar. As a restaurant consultant and chef, marketing is very important to the success or failure of a business. How many restaurants or businesses have you been to and thought that the food or products here are great, but they have no business? It’s an occupational hazard for me and I see it all the time.

One of the fun ways that my restaurant clients love doing is promoting items which they serve on special days. When you sit down at a restaurant and the server rattles off the specials, how many actually listen? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear: “Today is “National Cherry Cheesecake Day so save some room.”

May restaurants promote their daily or weekly specials with a small “s”. Shouldn’t a special come as a Special with a Capital “S”? It’s all about how you promote your product or service. Think about the last salesperson you dealt with, was he/she passionate about their product or service? Did you buy?

Remember: …

Not a Whale Tale: Epilogue

The restaurant that was caught serving illegal Sei whale meat will be closing its doors in apology. I’m not surprised that “The Hump” in Santa Monica will be closing. I’ve heard that they’ve been a ghost town since they were caught, even during Happy Hour. The Hump has also been plagued by protestors, which hasn’t been good for business either. So, it’s not surprising that they’re closing their doors.

In a statement posted on The Hump’s website, they hope that their closing “will help bring awareness to the detrimental effect that illegal whaling has on the preservation of our ocean ecosystems and species. Closing the restaurant is a self-imposed punishment on top of the fine that will be meted out by the court. The owner of The Hump also will be taking additional action to save endangered species.”

What’s sad is that they’re saying all of the right things now after they got caught.
What if they didn’t get caught? Would the owner of The Hump make a substantial contribution to a charity d…

Not a Whale Tale

Whales have been in the news lately, a Killer Whale trainer dies at Sea World in Orlando and a trendy sushi restaurant in LA is caught serving whale meat. The Hump in Santa Monica is being investigated for illegally serving Sei whale, which is endangered. A few people have asked me what I thought about serving whale meat? Besides being illegal in many places in the world, the taste in my opinion is HORRIBLE; I did try piece of whale meat while visiting Japan in 2001. The taste was very gamey, after all it’s a huge wild animal. I didn’t like it at all and even said I would donate money to save the whales when I got home, I did by the way make a donation. I remember it was on the expensive side too, 6 slices for about $15 (retail), I can imagine it would be doubled or tripled in a restaurant.

In my opinion, there’s so much legal exotic seafood out there, it depends on a chef’s skill and experience. The term “sushi chef” is used too often in my opinion. A chef is someone who can create im…

Lessons from Toyota

I’ve been enjoying the late night jokes about Toyota and adding in my own on social media. With my experience in branding and working for one of the best known brands worldwide, I know the importance of branding, marketing, and PR. Toyota did damage to their brand and created a PR nightmare. From what I know about their situation, rather than fixing the problem right away, they waited. Not sure what they were waiting for, but they waited. If the reports are true, they waited many years and saved millions of dollars at the time. My guess is that they thought it would go away. I am glad that they took the blame for the safety issues, but it seems that the “fix” they have may not be the answer.

I’ve seen this many times in the restaurant industry. For example, many people who like to cook think they can set-up or run a restaurant kitchen. They prepare food a certain way and since they haven’t gotten sick, then it’s OK. The health department gives the restaurant a list of items to fix to b…

My Honolulu Food Favorites

Jay Terauchi's Honolulu Food Favorites:

Zippy’s – My #1 Favorite Place growing up and still is.

Yummy’s Korean BBQ
For that quick Korean fix

Rainbow Drive-In
Plate lunch

Lahaina Chicken – InterIsland Terminal & Ala Moana Center

Liliha Bakery
Coco Puffs
Breakfast – sit at the counter
Closed Mondays – otherwise open 24 hours.

Young’s Fish Market
Kalua Pig (traditional imu) One of the best I’ve had – retail.

Palace Saimin
Saimin, won ton mein, teri beef sticks.
Street parking

Uncle’s Fish Market and Grill
Mahi-Mahi tacos
Fish & Chips – local fish daily

Side Street Inn – Sports Bar
Pork Chops – Enough said…
Kim Chee Fried Rice

Helena’s Hawaiian Food
Maui Onion with alae salt

Angelo Pietro
Raw Potato Salad
Create your own Japanese style pasta entree

Gyotaku – Old style Japanese Combinations
Okinawan Sweet Potato Haupia
Bento to go

Bar 35 – …

Crashed and Burned…

It’s always sad when I see a business close because the owners had no idea of how to run their business. In the restaurant business, everyone thinks it’s the food. I’ve seen places that the health department has closed because of lack of permits or food handling experience. Just because you like to cook and serve people, doesn’t mean that you’ll make a good restaurant owner.

An acquaintance of mine had a restaurant that he couldn’t run and did a lot of things wrong, though he’s had many years of restaurant experience. In my opinion, he hired the wrong people to manage the front and he oversaw the kitchen & food quality. He spent more time handling all of the restaurant problems and didn’t have time to take care of the food. The kitchen operations went down hill fast, now customers were complaining about the food quality. The managers that he hired didn’t have the experience to handle the front end problems. He recently closed his restaurant and let his staff go.

Looking bac…

A New Year and a New Outlook…

Hard to believe that January is almost over. I look forward to a great year and so does the food service industry. Last week in Southern California, it rained the entire week, it’s been awhile since that has happened. Because of the rain, a few restaurant owners told me that they’re worried that business has dropped off for the week. Ahh, Southern Californians don’t go out in the rain… I mentioned to them that business will improve over the weekend and to keep focused, sunny skies forecasted for the weekend. The weather reports were correct and made me look like a genius.

Most restaurant people (OK, business owners too) don’t know what’s happening around them. What’s the weather going to be next week, what other businesses are around that we can cross promote, is there a big movie at the theaters next door that I need to prepare for, or I need to have desserts on my menu but there are so many bakeries in my strip mall. Just take a look around you and see what your environment i…