Friday, October 29, 2010

Old Skool Way...

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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


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 the fried rice. It's good, but not that good...

There aren't too many places that you can get Old Skool food anymore. They either don't know how to cook or have no idea how it should be done. Everyone is looking for that type of comfort food. I'm glad that somethings never change and Bernie's Teriyaki is still around...

Bernie's Teriyaki
318 Glendale Blvd
(Between Temple Street and 2nd Street)
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 250-8413

Photos by Jay Terauchi

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Taco in a Bun

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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...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Noodle Inspiration

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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 ramen, would have to have a few carne asada taco breaks...

But today, it was all about noodles, so I went to Foo Foo Tei for lunch and ordered #11 - Ebi Wantan Men (shrimp wonton noodle soup)

Foo Foo Tei in Hacienda Heights

The Ebi Wantan Men (Shrimp Wonton Noodles)
Very hot steaming bowl

Served with shrimp, baby bok choy, egg noodles, and wontons.
A few minutes after I ordered, it arrived at the table steaming hot, the picture didn't come out too clear with all of the steam. A steaming bowl is a sign of a good Japanese bowl of noodles. Not sure why other ramen shops take so long, when they just serve noodles in different broths. Foo Foo Tei is really fast, especially with all of the components that were in my #11.

Ebi wantans with shrimp roe
The roe made the wantans POP!

One of the Best I've Had!
Murakami san is a Genius! Using the soup broth to flavor the gyozas is AMAZING! The bottoms are really crunchy, but the filling is well cooked and served with grated daikon (giant white radish).

I love eating at Foo Foo Tei, there's so many different ramen varieties, in addition to a great kitchen menu.  They do get crazy busy for lunch, so be prepared to wait.

I had lunch with Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) yesterday and she mentioned that people had sent their saimin stories to Mari and she posted another article "Saimin: I get it." So Mari, sometimes food like saimin doesn't make sense and there's a few out there that I don't get either. But for me, saimin is a part of growing up in Hawaii and spending time with my grandparents. I'll always remember that time in my life, because when you can't have saimin...that's when you REALLY want it...

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Tuna Good for the Environment?

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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 farms in Japan, which is an industry world leader.

This certified bluefin tuna meets his high standards
and is served at Sashi in Manhattan Beach

3 Different Bluefin Tuna Cuts
Akami (Red Meat), Chutoro (Medium Fatty Belly), and Otoro (Fatty Belly)

Most people don't like farm raised fish. Ahh, salmon comes to mind. The coloring is in this tuna is vibrant and the flavor is rich, not like farm raised at all.

A Certified Kindai Bluefin Tuna dish by Chef Makoto

Kindai Bluefin Tuna isn't the answer to overfishing, but it's an alternative to wild bluefins and not tapping into the current population. Until there is a better solution, we have this great tasting option.

Stay current with the bluefin tuna news
Follow "Friends and Family of the Bluefin Tuna"
on Facebook: FFBluefinTuna

A Very Special Thank You to Rand Gamble & Tricia Ting

Photos by Amy Cusack, Dave Kuo, Jay Terauchi

Arigato to Chef Makoto Okuwa and Sashi Restaurant

For more information:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Helping Others and Tuna too...

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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 Makoto Okuwa from Sashi in Manhattan Beach

Kindai Tuna Presentation at the awards ceremony
Chef Makoto Okuwa, Nick Sakagami: Kindai Tuna importer, and
George Gray: the evening's MC
Wild bluefin tunas have been overfished and Kindai Bluefin Tuna was introduced as an alternative, spawned at the Kinki University's aqua farms in Japan. Not only is it good for the bluefin population, but great tasting too...
Chef Makoto Okuwa demonstrated
Shikai Maki with Kindai Bluefin Tuna

Chef Makoto Okuwa also served
Kindai Tuna Tartare on Crispy Rice

I even jumped in to help...
As I write this entry, I'm drinking my Matcha Matcha Green Tea, something I became aware of at the FILManthropy Festival. It was very nice meeting Tricia Ting and giving me all of the information that I needed and also where to find it.
Many have asked about more information on the wild bluefin tunas, find out more at "Friends and Family of the Bluefin Tuna" on Facebook: FFBluefinTuna
Kindai Bluefin Tuna is served exclusively at Sashi in Manhattan Beach. Say Hello to Chef Makoto Okuwa. Thanks to Sashi's Amy Cusack.
For more information on the Sirens Society:

Thank you Sirens Society! It was a great event and
See You Next Year...

The End!
Curtain closes...House lights come up

Photos by Dave Kuo
Written by Jay Terauchi

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Street Food - Southern Cal Style

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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!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Missing The Garnishes...

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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 soup base with a wider noodle and topped with just green onions. The garnishes include limes and slice jalapenos. These jalapenos are seeded and the ribs removed, used more for texture than as a spicy flavor enhancer.

I did notice that the Hanoi style broth has more of a citrus flavor to it, maybe its because I love citrus and that's why I enjoyed it so much. But, I have to admit that I missed the garnishes.

I hope you learned something from my pho experience, please share your experience with us.

I'm not the pho expert, but I know someone who is... Checkout

Thank you for stopping by...

Pass the Siracha!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen

Monday, October 4, 2010

Anaheim Certified Farmers' Market

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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.