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Showing posts from October, 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 $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

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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...

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 http://www.goramen.com/ . 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?

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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…

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 MakotoOkuwa from Sashi in M…

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!

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 so…

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.