Saturday, July 30, 2011

National Cheesecake Day!

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July 30th is National Cheesecake Day!

Not that I'm a huge dessert eater, just ask my friends, but I do enjoy some of the simple desserts such as sorbets, key lime pie, chocolate mousse, and cheesecake. During college, my friends and I would go to the Marina Del Rey Cheesecake Factory and sit on the deck, order our nachos, potato skins, and then some outrageous cheesecake for dessert.

One of my favorites is Eli's Cheesecake in Chicago. I would always try to stop in or get one to bring home, loved their kiosk at O'Hare, sometimes I would forget to get one. BTW, "Eli's The Place for Steak" is one of my favorite Chicago steak restaurants.

Enjoy National Cheesecake Day!

Pass me a Spoon!

Jay Terauchi
Kahuna of the Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Savit Keawtavee

Friday, July 29, 2011

National Hot Dog Month!

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July is National Hot Dog Month!

There are way too many hot dog places to visit in a month. Here's two favorites:

The Guadalajara Dog

mustard, sweet relish, diced onions, diced tomatoes, and sour cream

Pink's Famous Hot Dogs
709 N LaBrea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Top Dog Frankfurter
with Stoneground Mustard
All Beef - Kosher Style

One of my all time favorite hot dog places...

Top Dog #1 (Southside)
2534 Durant Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

What's a good hot dog without a great mustard?


Bertman Ball Park Mustard
Cleveland, Ohio

While at an Indians game at Jacobs Field in '97, I was introduced to Cleveland's Famous Ball Park Mustard. It's a brown mustard that has a vinegar flavor and works really well with hot dogs, sandwiches, and anything you'd use mustard on. The hard part is finding this mustard outside of Cleveland. Yes, I buy it by the case directly from the company...

Pass the Mustard, Let's Eat!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen

National Lasagna Day!

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July 29th is National Lasagna Day!

Growing up, my mom would always try to incorporate more and more vegetables into her lasagna. Once she went overboard and it was almost like a vegetable terrine. Back then, my mom was way ahead of her time. I did grow up to appreciate a great sauce tho...

Hard to say where lasagna originated from, some say it's an ancient Greek dish and others a Greek pasta dish with flat pasta. I just want to know how the Italian version came to America to have some restaurants mess it up? Guess grandma can't be everywhere...

Classic Lasagna
Lunch Special
at a local pizzeria

You can imagine what their pizza looked like and why I went this route...

There was a great deli nearby that I would go every week, sometimes for the lasagna and other times for the baked pasta special. I got lazy and would buy their sauce and then go home to make something. Until the owner messed up his deli, bakery, and restaurant (all 3 under the same roof). Not sure what this guy was thinking, he took out the bakery to add a sports bar, I'm thinking ego. He added bar tables and 8 TVs. It seemed that it was more for the deli customers while they waited for their order or to eat there. In the times that I was there, didn't really see anyone ordering drinks. After 9 months, it was a drain on the business and the entire operation closed. There goes my favorite lasagna and friendly faces behind the deli counter.


Jay Terauchi
Kahuna of the Kitchen

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Milk Chocolate Day!

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Today is July 28th and National Milk Chocolate Day!

I Love Milk Chocolate! My favorites are Peanut M&Ms, Twix, Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, and Hawaiian Host Chocolates. I usually have some put away for the late night projects or early morning breakfast, just hope my mom doesn't read this...

There are some benefits for working late...*

My all time favorite is the Hawaiian Honey-Coated Whole Macadamias in Premium Milk Chocolate from Hawaiian Host.

The last time I stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, I was waiting for the elevator with a couple who was coming back from dinner. The woman opened her ABC Store bag and pulled out the Gold Hawaiian Host box and started to open it. I made a comment that she made the right choice, "It's my favorite one." She looked at her husband and said "See, I told you this was a good one." They offered me a piece and the 3 of us enjoyed it on the ride up.

Dark Chocolate Day?

P.S. How ironic, I'm watching CNBC Titans and tonight's titan is Milton S Hershey, the founder of The Hershey Company and the famed Hershey Bar...

*Photo by Jay Terauchi
Kahuna of the Kitchen
**Photo by Hawaiian Host, Inc.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Crème Brûlée Day!

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July 27th is National Crème Brûlée Day!

I don't say this often, but this is one of my favorite desserts. Who doesn't like to crack that caramel layer on top?

Crème Brûlée
"Burnt Cream"

Crème Brûlée is traditionally a vanilla custard, but sometimes flavored with a fruit zest, chocolate, coffee, or other fruit. It's topped with burnt sugar, which caramelizes and give it that hard caramel crust. The caramel can be formed by sprinkling sugar on top of the custard, then placing in the broiler or using a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar, this is the fun part.

Grab a Spoon!

Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen
Photo by CNN

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Fryday! - July 29

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Today is the Last Fryday of July 2011!

I have a couple of favorite places for French Fries, one of them being Wing Stop. Although not always consistent, I do like the seasoning that they use on them. My other favorite place is In-N-Out, I think it's because I've been going since high school and more of a package deal. Love a Double Double with fries and a lemonade, although it's pink.

I went to a food show with a client once, he was looking for a new frozen French Fries. We must have tried about 20 frozen and fresh cut, after awhile they all tasted the same. What it came down to was the seasoning they were using, which is one reason why I like Wing Stop.

Wing Stop French Fries

One of my favorites...

OK, I like the wings too...

Today, I opted for Lemon Pepper flavoring

I try not to eat much fried foods, but try and do are two different things... LOL!

Happy Fryday!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hot Fudge Sundae Day!

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July 25th is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day!
Shouldn't this be on Sunday?

y on this one...

The classic hot fudge sundae is usually vanilla ice cream, served with a hot chocolate sauce, whipped cream, nuts, and a single maraschino cherry on top.

Pass the Spoon!

Photo by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats
©Jay Terauchi

Sunday, July 24, 2011

#Carmageddon - The Week After...

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What a Difference a Week Makes...

Last weekend people in Los Angeles left town or stayed home due to Carmageddon. I headed back to the Westside for another morning meeting, but this time so were a lot of people.

North on the 110 Freeway
2:15 pm

Carmageddon Weekend
10 Freeway East
1:15 pm

Guess it's back to an hour, doesn't really matter where you go in Los Angeles.

What a Difference a Week Makes...

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ramen Monday - July 25

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My friend Keizo was in town from Japan this week, some of you might follow his blog GO RAMEN. It's been over a year since Keizo moved to Tokyo to study ramen, he's trained at some of the top ramen shops in Japan. But today, we met up for ramen at Zenya to catch up. Funny thing, he lives in Tokyo and knew about this New place in Torrance which just opened a week ago. Go figure...

Before we ordered, Keizo mentioned that Zenya's specialty is the Tonkotsu Ramen, the pork broth soup base. After the server took our drink order, we were told that they have no more Tonkotsu. WTH? It's 1:30 pm on a Saturday. I could understand if it was 10 pm on a Saturday, but lunch?

You could already tell that I'm not a happy camper, nor a Shio Ramen fan. They only have two types of ramen broth on the menu and their specialty was SOLD OUT.

Shio Ramen
Half Order

Since my first choice was unavailable, I opted for the half order Shio and small order of the Zenya tonkatsu over rice.

Since they were out of the Tonkotsu Ramen,
they offered us a FREE topping.

According to their menu, No MSG added...

The broth was OK, but the noodles had a dry powdery taste to it. Granted, they opened a week ago, I won't hold it against them. The place was packed, but service was attentive and well trained, at least the ones who work on Saturday.

Zenya's Fried Pork with Rice
No was a bit dry

Overall, today wasn't about the ramen, but catching up with Keizo. Love hearing about his ramen adventure in Japan...You can follow him at

2531 Pacific Coast Highway
Torrance, CA 90717
(310) 784-0812
Old Koraku location

Thanks Keizo!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ramen Monday - July 18

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It's that time of the week again...Ramen Monday!

Had to head down to San Diego to take care of some business and a lunch meeting at Tajima. Some may think I was avoiding Carmageddon - Day 2, but I did have some business in SD. Hidden between car dealerships and Korean restaurants, this restaurant is tucked away at the end of a strip mall.

Before heading down to SD, I checked my buddy's website on Tajima. His recommendation was to stick with the shoyu ramen, which was better than the tonkotsu one.

I took his advice and ordered the Original Tajima Ramen with the soy sauce base and thin noodles, other choice is a thicker noodle. Thanks Keizo!

Original Tajima Ramen
Thin Noodles

The broth was good and the noodles well cooked. I did overhear other customers ordering the same but wanted it spicy. The bowl included one slice of chasu (pork), half a boiled egg, sheet of nori, and green onions. I did do an add on...

I added the Kakuni Pork

Half of the pork belly was dry and overcooked, but the fattier piece was just right. It wasn't good as Yamadaya in Torrance and I could have done without it.

6 Piece Gyoza

The gyoza was good, they bring the sauce in a bowl, no chili oil on the tables.

If I was in the area again, I would probably go back. The service was good, very attentive on ice tea refills. The only thing I didn't like, they had the World Cup match on TV. The meeting went well, but I didn't want to watch, since I was recording it at home.

Funny thing, I stayed away from social media during and after the match. Listened to the baseball game on the way home, knowing that they wouldn't give the score. But, was notified on my phone that Japan had won. Thanks ABC7! Rootin' for Team USA, but Japan played a great tournament...

Tajima Restaurant #1
4681 Convoy Street, Suite 1
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 576-7244

There are two locations

See you Next Monday!

Kezio's website:

Congratulations to the Japanese Team!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen

#Carmageddon - Day 2

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Carmageddon 2011
Sunday, July 17th
Los Angeles
Day 2

Didn't stay in LA today, went to San Diego!

Day 2 of Carmageddon in Los Angeles and I headed South to San Diego. Not just to escape, but to visit some friends and eat.

Heading South
8:45 AM
Interstate 15

Entering San Diego County
9:20 AM
Where's the traffic?

Don't want to jinx's a beautiful day

Kate Murray
Founder and Sushi Chef of Miss Sushi San Diego
Also, main character in "The Zen of Fish" by Trevor Corson
You might even see my name in there too...

My first stop was to see my friend, mentee, and fellow sushi chef, Kate Murray at the Rancho Santa Fe Farmer's Market. It's been awhile since I've tasted her sushi creations and promised that I would, today was the day.

Red Head Roll
Shrimp tempura roll topped with spicy tuna, spicy sauce, and crunchies
Served with a seared tuna and cucumber/seaweed salad

You can visit Miss Sushi at the Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market
Every Other Sunday
or check her website for additional locations and times in the San Diego area

Here's the Traffic!
More traffic in San Diego than in LA
this weekend

Heading to Tajima Restaurant
for meeting and lunch

Regular Tajima Ramen
with Kakuni Pork

I met with a restaurant owner, who doesn't want to be identified, for a ramen lunch and meeting. Trying not to watch the #WorldCup game (recorded it at home), my phone was notifying me that news services were reporting that Carmageddon was over and the 405 was opening at 11:30 am. Wow! 16 hours ahead of time...

It was time to celebrate! So, I stopped off at the Lake Elsinore Outlets on the way home.

Went to checkout the Swoosh Stuff...

Now that the damage was done, it was time to head North for home...

Now I know I'm back in Los Angeles!
Traffic, How I missed thee...

We get to do this again next summer!

NOTE: "The Zen of Fish" is the hardback version, the paperback version is titled "The Story of Sushi" both by author Trevor Corson.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen

Miss Sushi - San Diego

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On Sunday, I headed toward San Diego to take care of some business and to eat some good food. My first stop was to see "Miss Sushi" at the Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market. I've know Kate for a few years now. I've watched her learn sushi, visited her at restaurants, and now running her own business.

Founder and Sushi Chef
Kate Murray
Miss Sushi San Diego

Appearing at the
Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market
Every Other Sunday

Kate working on sushi orders
for hungry customers in line.

I got there early, so the line wasn't as long as Harry Potter

Red Head Roll
Shrimp tempura roll topped with spicy tuna, spicy sauce, and crunchies
Served with seared tuna and cucumber/seaweed salad

Kate suggested I try the Red Head roll.
Nice contrast, good flavor, and a menu recommendation.

Kate's story was featured in the 2007 book zenzation
"The Zen of Fish" by Trevor Corson

You might notice another familiar name in the book...

In between sushi orders, Kate takes time to autograph books

Just be sure you get in the right line...

by Trevor Corson
Hardback Version

"The Story of Sushi"
Paperback Version

Kate Murray
Miss Sushi San Diego

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen

Saturday, July 16, 2011

#Carmageddon Eatz

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It's Carmageddon Weekend!

Where do you celebrate Carmageddon?

Tito's Tacos!

Tito's Tacos
Culver City

If you've been here, have you ever seen the line this short on a Saturday at 1 pm? As I was driving by, I knew I had to have Tito's today. I went inside and there was no line. I've been coming here for years and if they're open, there's always long lines. But today, THERE WAS NO LINE.

Two Tacos with Cheese
$2.35 ea
Chips included

I got my food to go and headed back to the World Headquarters. Still amazed at no traffic in Los Angeles, amazing... (Did you see my post "#Carmageddon - Day 1"?)

Beef Enchilada

My friend Stuart says he always gets the enchiladas and I don't remember ever having one. So, today was the day. You get a good amount of beef and cheese, but I like a zestier sauce.

Tito's Guacamole and Salsa
Salsa is complimentary

Considering that I had to drive into the Carmageddon Hot Zone today, I did score with a Tito's lunch and the traffic wasn't bad at all today. At least for Day 1. Hey LA, we get to do this all over again next summer! Ooh, I can't wait...

Made Fresh Daily!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen