Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hidden Little Tokyo: Fu-ga Izakaya & Bar

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As part of the 130th Anniversary of Little Tokyo, I'd like to explore some of the places off the beaten path that are part of what I consider Hidden in Little Tokyo.  First is Fu-ga Izakaya & Bar on San Pedro Street, between 1st and 2nd streets.

is downstairs off of San Pedro Street

Also participating in the Taste of Little Tokyo

Get your Stamp HERE! 

A modern interior that goes with the menu

is a place to eat and drink
in a casual setting.

Fu-ga serves a wide range of
sushi rolls, grilled meats, salads,
and has a small plate menu.

Open for lunch too...  

Speaking of sushi

I saw Jiro Ono there,
the famed sushi master
from "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"

 Let me explain...

 OK, he was on the TV monitors
while I was there.

He wasn't there in person...

They have some private rooms available

What's an izakaya without good cocktails?
A Premium Cocktail Menu 

 To go with a beautiful bar

 Fu-ga has a 50 person banquet/private room
for private lunches or dinners.

We'll be back to taste their new menu...

Don't forget to get your 
Taste of Little Tokyo

Read my post on the 2014 Taste of Little Tokyo HERE
April 25 - May 4, 2014

Kajima Building
111 S. San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 625-625-1722

Parking is FREE with validation
in the Kajima Building.

Will be back to try the new menu

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Monday, April 28, 2014

KTown Night Market: April 2014

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What happens when you mix K-POP,
corn-on-the-cob, some grilled meat,
a fried potato, a few food trucks,
 and a chance to win a pink stuffed pig?

It's the KTown Night Market!
April 19 and 20, 2014

A few of my friends and I went to the inaugural KTown Night Market,
there was a lot of food, entertainment, games, and food trucks.
It was a great line up and lots of people showed up.

Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools
701 S Catalina Street
Los Angeles, CA 90005

See What Jay Eats...

First Stop was the Ramen Burger,
the line wasn't that long yet.

While Keizo Shimamoto is opening RAMEN.Co NYC on the East Coast,
brother Jeffrey Shimamoto is handling West Coast operations.

It was nice to go to a festival and
not see a Ramen Burger knockoff.

How do you know if it's the Original Ramen Burger?
Look for Keizo Shimamoto's artwork.

Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
We tried the New KTown Ramen Burger

100% Angus Beef Patty, Keizo's shoyu glaze,
market fresh greens, scallions, AND the
Exclusive KTown Sauce, between the Original
ramen buns by Keizo Shimamoto.

What's a Ramen Burger?
Read my post HERE
Read the OC Register article HERE

Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
A lot of my friends think I eat a lot.
It's all about tasting and research purposes,
AND I had to try the New KTown Ramen Burger.

I did like the bit of heat in this KTown version, 
but I'm a purist and prefer the Original.

James Beard Nominated Chef, Jeff Osaka
of twelve restaurant in Denver
tries the Original Ramen Burger ($8).

I kept telling him that this ramen doesn't come in a bowl...

Look for Osaka Ramen in Denver later this year.
Stay Tuned!

All kinds of food and
too many choices.

A spiral potato, fried squid legs, and a Japanese pancake
walk into a bar...

The FOOD TOWN area was a tight squeeze,
the line for the Ramen Burger was right down
the center.

We headed over to see what was happening

Fluff Ice brought one of their trucks.

They're always a favorite and
right now, no line!

Speaking of lines...
Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
If the Ramen Burger had the longest line in FOOD TOWN,
the longest line in FOOD TRUCK ALLEY
was for Seoul Sausage Company.

We decided not to wait, but still hungry.

Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
We headed back to FOOD TOWN
and saw our friends at Mama Musubi.

We tried Mama Musubi's Super Spicy Tuna,
created special for KTown Night Market.

Cooked Albacore tuna with spicy aioli,
spicy gochujang, and spicy furikake.

It was Super Spicy to the 3rd Power!

It had a kick to it and pretty spicy,
hence the spicy to the 3rd power.

If you follow me, you know that I'm a fan of Mama Musubi.
We had the 24-Hour Pork Belly, BBQ Beef, and Miso Chicken.

Each one is good on it's own.
But in my book, this is the trifecta!

If you're not familiar with Mama Musubi,
Read my post HERE

Bits of octopus in a light batter,
a traditional Japanese street food item. 

Chicken, beef, and pork adobo tacos from
White Rabbit truck.

Needed a bit more vinegar for my adobo taste.

a Mexican street food favorite.

Corn on the cob with crema (Mexican cream),
chili powder, lime, salt, seasonings, etc.

brought their grills and traditional charcoal

("Welcome" in Japanese)

If you've been to their restaurants,
you know what I'm talking about... lol

Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
3 yakitori skewers (grilled chicken)

Two Banh Mi Tacos from

The beef was tender, but was missing something...

Overall, it was a good first KTown Night Market.  
area was a bit crowded and in a tight area.  

The food was a nice mixture of what makes Los Angeles
diverse.  From Filipino adobo, Japanese ramen, 
Taiwanese pop cake, Mexican corn-on-the-cob, 
to a Korean sausage, it was a good eating event
(just to name a few).

Looking forward to the next

Follow Them

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Photos Courtesy of Kristie Hang
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dodger Stadium: New Food Items for 2014

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Two of my favorite things in life, baseball and food. 

I grew up in Elysian Heights, which is the next hill over from Dodger Stadium, and would go to games with my dad.  We'd have Dodger Dogs, frozen chocolate malts, a double-bagger of peanuts (for those who remember them and why), and a Cool-A-Coo.  I've been trying to calculate the number of Dodger Dogs I've had in my lifetime...

From crab cakes in Baltimore, clam chowder in Seattle, fish tacos in San Diego, a BBQ stuffed potato in Houston, to Rocky Mountain Oysters in Denver, ballpark food across the country has changed.  It's no longer just hot dogs, peanuts, and cracker jacks.

Welcome to the 2014 Dodger Stadium!

On this beautiful day...
While the Dodgers were getting ready to face the Philadelphia Phillies

We were getting ready to taste the new food for the 2014 season

With Janet Marie Smith,
Dodgers' Sr VP of Planning and Development.

She developed the new areas of Dodger Stadium
and the reason we're checking out the new food and venues.  
The Dodgers are lucky to have her,
she's worked at a couple of my favorite
ballparks, Oriole Park at Camden Yards
in Baltimore and Fenway Park in Boston.

She has a job I would love to have and
live vicariously through her.

First Stop:  Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria
in Right Field.

A classic Italian-inspired menu
is featured at this new venue.

Dodger Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda's
career is chronicled on the side of the building.

As the great Vin Scully says, 
"It's Time for Dodger Baseball"
AND it's time to

See What Jay Eats...

Who can resist a slice of pizza while watching a game?

I enjoyed the pepperoni pizza.
Each pizza is made on site and sold by the slice.

Chicken Parmesan 

Easy to eat while at your seat.

Not sure if other sports venues across the country
has Italian food this good, I hope they're jealous...

Not only is Tommy Lasorda's name on the 
restaurant, he works with Dodger Stadium
Executive Chef Jason Tingley (standing behind) and 
approves each menu items served at the Trattoria.

Penne Pasta with Meatballs

When asked how Tommy likes the meatballs,
he said they're good, but not as good as
his mother's...

I did like the pasta and meatballs,
but then again I like meatballs.

Sausage and Peppers

Too many good choices.

With Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda

It was truly an honor to meet him,
since we both love baseball and food.

We both eat at the same Chinese restaurant,
read about it HERE

We had to keep moving, so much to see and taste.

A must stop for any Hello Kitty fan,
get your Hello Kitty Dodger merchandise in the outfield plaza.

It was a special treat to have
Janet Marie Smith
give us a tour of the stadium enhancements.

Next Stop:  Think Blue BBQ

Think Blue BBQ
behind the Left Field Pavilion
near the Dodger Bullpen

BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich

If you follow me on Instagram, you know
I love pickles and onions with my BBQ.

This beef has a great smokey flavor.

Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
Grilled Elote Corn
(Mexican Corn-on-the-Cob)

I've had elote 3 times within the last 2 weeks,
this one was the best I've had out of the 3.

Philly Cheesesteak 
with Peppers with Onions

Juicy with good flavor.

With all of the food we sampled thus far,
it was good to walk from Left Field
up to the Top of the Stadium.

Next Stop:  Top of the Park

Top of the Park

I know I'm bias, Dodger Stadium
is my home stadium and where I grew up.  
I've been to 22 of the 30 MLB cities/stadiums.
Dodger Stadium is still one of the most
beautiful stadiums around.

With Dodger Stadium Executive Chef,
Jason Tingley,
overlooking Downtown Los Angeles.

It was really nice to learn that Dodger Stadium
uses local food producers and purveyors.

Chef Jason gave me an insight into their latest
creation from the Think Blue BBQ

Photo Courtesy of Chef Jason Tingley
1/2 Smoked Jidori Chicken
with Kettle Chips and BBQ sauce

This is on my list of foods to try on
my next Dodger Stadium visit.

Next Stop:  United Club Suite

When we got to our seats, it was good to
see Matt Kemp back in the lineup.

You're probably wondering, 
how could you sit after eating all of that food?
We weren't even in the 3rd inning and more food appeared.

One of the Extreme Loaded Dogs
"Doyer Dog"
with nacho cheese, chili, jalapeƱos, chopped tomatoes and onions.

Other Extreme Loaded Dogs (not pictured):
Big Kid Dog with creamy mac & cheese and Fritos
Frito Pie Dog with chili, shredded cheese, and Fritos

When you visit Dodger Stadium,
a must have is the famous
Dodger Dog!
Even if you've eaten a ton of food already...

there's more...
One of the things Janet Smith told me
was to be sure to try was the 
Major League Helmet Nachos

A 64-ounce helmet filled to the brim with crispy 
tortilla chips and topped with creamy refried beans,
nacho cheese, carne asada, sour cream, and pico de gallo.

Doubtful I could eat this by myself,
will have to have it again with friends.
Loved the carne asada!

It truly is Major League!

On the field, Dodgers' Shortstop Hanley Ramirez at bat.

It was about this time that Chef Jason announced
It's DESSERT Time!!!

Chef Jason describing tonight's dessert cart selections. 
From chocolate cake to caramel apples,
there was something for everyone.

I paid special attention to
The Popular Lemonade Cake

My friends know I like anything citrus and
this lemonade cake was delicious.

The Root Beer Cake

Chef Jason mentioned you could smell the root beer,
it was a very good cake.

I love when the description is something interesting
and ends up being really delicious.
This is one of those times.

Meanwhile, Hanley Ramirez gets to 3rd Base

What's dessert without something chocolate?

The chocolate cake was good,
but I do love anything chocolate.

NOTE:  The Dessert Cart is available in the suites

With fellow foodies
@TammyLaLaLand, @KristieHang, and Patrick

Watch @TammyLaLaLand's Tastemade Video HERE
If you blink, you might miss my cameo

Read @KristieHang's LAist article HERE
Her expanded post HERE

See what the other foodies had to say
on the Dodgers' Blog HERE

Among these Dodger Greats,
here's my Dodger food favorites:
(not in any order)

It was a tough choice, since so many good items

Penne Pasta with Meatballs
(it's pasta and meatballs...)
Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria

Pepperoni Pizza
(who doesn't love a pizza while watching a game)
Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria

BBQ Beef Sandwich
(I love smoked meats)
Think Blue BBQ

Elote (Mexican Corn-on-the-Cob)
(CORN, nuff said)
Think Blue BBQ

The Extreme Loaded Dodger Dog
(when a regular Dodger Dog isn't enough)

The Major League Helmet Nachos
(It truly is Major League!)

On my next visit, I'll want to try the
Jidori Chicken from Think Blue BBQ

It was a FANtastic Food Tour of Dodger Stadium!
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Takumi

The new area behind the outfield is the place to be, they have
two new dining destinations (Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria & 
Think Blue BBQ), two new outfield bars (overlooking the bullpens), 
expanded restrooms, and lots of tables to enjoy the new food items.

My suggestion, get to the game early and explore!
The best part of this day with the Dodgers, 
I cheered along with 40,775 other fans
as the Dodgers beat the Phillies 5-2.

There's so much to do and eat now at Dodger Stadium,
I'll have to come back to do more exploring
and trying more food
AND watch another exciting baseball game.

Thank You!
Los Angeles Dodgers
Steve Brener
Tommy Lasorda
Janet Marie Smith
Chef Jason Tingley

NOTE:  I was a guest of the Los Angeles Dodgers and
thank them for the invitation and their hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

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