Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Kogi Truck

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It All Began Here...

If you're a follower of gourmet food trucks,
I'm sure you've heard of Chef Roy Choi and
the Kogi Truck.

The gourmet food truck trend and social media phenomenon
began with the Kogi truck.  Not only did they create a new
food category, but also a new menu items not seen before.

Chef Roy Choi said that his food tastes like L.A.
If you think about creating menu items that represent
Los Angeles and it's food culture, Chef Roy hit it right 
on the head.  A taco which has a Korean short-rib filling
and served with a Mexican/Asian sauce.  

They began with one truck and Twitter
back in 2008.

Today, there are 4 Kogi trucks
servicing Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Check the Kogi Truck website
for days and times

Just look for the line...

Now, what to order?

Kogi Truck Menu
Not your typical taco truck cuisine.

See What Jay Eats...

A chicken taco and short-rib taco (signature taco)

The chicken is marinated in a ginger-soy marinate before
being grilled.  The short-rib is a double caramelized Korean
barbecue short-rib, with a salsa roja (made from Korean
and Mexican chillies).  Both taco are served with their 
cilantro-onion-lime relish and chili soy Kogi slaw,
served over two corn tortillas.

The Short-Rib taco which started it all!

Short-Rib Burrito
with the same short-rib as in their tacos,
shredded cheese, chopped onions, cilantro,
chopped romaine, and cabbage lettuce tossed
in their Korean chili-soy vinaigrette. 

This is a personal favorite of mine.
When I think of food trucks in the morning,
I think of breakfast burritos.
Kogi doesn't make a breakfast burrito,
but they sure make a great short-rib one. 

Kogi Kimchi Quesadilla
with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses
and caramelized, buttered kimchi.
The quesadilla is topped with their classic
salsa roja and sesame seeds.

When I first saw this on the menu,
I thought "what?"
After I tried it, I really enjoyed it.
It does have a kick, so if you're not into spice,
you may want to avoid this one.

Kogi Sliders
(two per order)
with short-rib, sesame mayo, cheese, salsa rona and a
cabbage-ramaine slaw tossed in a chili soy vinaigrette
on toasted buns.

This is just like their tacos
but on a bun.

Blackjack Quesadilla
with caramelized onions and spicy pork
together with melting cheddar and jack cheeses and
topped with a citrus-jalapeno-roasted-garlic salsa verde.

I liked this one over the kimchi quesadilla.
Maybe because of the spicy pork
and onions.  The kimchi one is spicier, 
but I like citrus so maybe the reason why I
liked this one better.  Either way,
you can't go wrong.

My first visit to the Kogi truck was back in 2008.

I waited with 100 other people.  The truck was late,
I checked Twitter and saw that they were just stuck in traffic,
By the time we got our food, we had waited about 2 hours.
But the food was different (in a good way).
Still today the short-rib burrito is my favorite item.

The Kogi Truck, something you need to do at least once.
Just look for the line...

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Late Night Ramen at Ramen Burger LA!

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Unfortunately Late Night Ramen
has been cancelled.
The demand has been overwhelming
and had to turn away customers.
Stay tuned for updates...

The Original Ramen Burger's
Late-Night Ramen
in KTown!

They've heard you ask for ramen in a bowl
and they're introducing limited late-night ramen.

Updated Post

 The Original Ramen Burger will serve
Late-Night Ramen on
Fridays and Saturdays
from 10 pm until Lock & Key closes.

Limited to 20 bowls of each per night.

Two types of ramen served,
Tonkotsu-Shio (pork based)
and Torigara-Shio (chicken based).

Chef Devin Hight has created two ramen classics with
his spin (in a good way).

Peter and Fernando will get the
bowls out to you.

See What Jay Eats...

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Shimamoto
Tonkotsu-shio Ramen
topped with sous-vide chashu,
egg, kikurage (mushroom), sake-infused 
menma (bamboo shoot), crunchy scallions, and nori.

Chef Devin's tonkotsu is flavorful without it
being too fatty.  The creamy white broth
was very good.

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Shimamoto
Torigara-shio Ramen
topped with sous-vide chashu, egg, moyashi (bean sprouts),
enoki mushrooms, crunchy scallions,
and nori.

But my favorite of the night was this chicken
ramen.  Not sure if I've had one this good!

Enjoying ramen with owner,
Jeff Shimamoto.

Ramen nights began Friday, April 17, 2015

239 S. Vermont Ave (at W 3rd St)
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(213) 380-2399

See You at Vermont and 3rd!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Photos Courtesy of Jeff Shimamoto
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Show Dog from Papoo's Hot Dog Show

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Photo by LeahRodrigues24
Los Angeles Times
Papoo's Hot Dog Show
August 24, 2011
Burbank, California

During my entertainment industry days, I would have lunch at Papoo's Hot Dog Show.  Usually would order a hot dog, I mean the place is called "Hot Dog Show", right?  Years later, I heard that Papoo's Hot Dog Show closed after 62 years.  Evidently, this historic location, which started out as a hot dog shack, needed some extensive remodeling which the owner wasn't in a position to do.

Fast forward to today,
this spot is now the Burbank location for
Umami Burger.  The new owners did add an
"umami" twist to Papoo's hot dog menu.

I'm glad that this location was kept the Papoo's
look and feel, just updated.

Photo by Claudia Esguerra-Herrera
With Valentino Herrera

When Valentino mentioned revisiting Papoo's Hot Dog Show
and "The Show Dog", I was trying to remember if I had
one back in the day.  As a hot dog fan, I was intrigued 
with Valentino's story of this famous dog and knew
I wanted to check it out.

So we met up one Saturday at the old Papoo's location,
which is now Umami Burger, Burbank.

See What Jay Eats...

The SHOW Dog
(Umami Burger)
with Hak's bbq sauce, minced bacon, beer cheese,
and topped with onion strings.

It's been years since I've been to Papoo's
and didn't get a chance to visit before closing in 2011.
But I'm glad that Umami Burger kept the place
close to the original, just updated.

This version was sweet with the BBQ sauce,
gooey with the cheese sauce, and
crunchy with the bacon and onion strings.

After Papoo's Hot Dog Show closed,
some of the employees headed a couple of blocks
down the street to the HoneyBaked Ham Restaurant
in Toluca Lake.

They brought over some of the Papoo's recipes,
including the famous "Show Dog"

"Main Event Dog"
with grilled spinach, bacon, melted Swiss cheese,
topped with onion rings.

It's a split grilled hot dog with a slice of bacon, grilled spinach,
with melted Swiss cheese and topped with onion rings.

I enjoyed this dog with the spinach
and crunchy with the onion rings.
It was old skool with simple flavors.
I'm glad that I got to try both versions
and able to get to compare both. 

It's another one of the old skool menu items
that I got to try.

Watch Trippy Food Episode 7
of the two hot dogs.

Umami Burger Burbank
4300 West Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 433-3680

Honeybaked Hams
10106 Riverside Drive
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
(818) 766-3958

Thank You!
Claudia Esguerra-Herrera

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

Saturday, April 4, 2015

California Pizza Kitchen Celebrates 30 Years!

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March 27, 2015

What a 30 Years it has been!
With over 280 restaurants in 208 cities and in 15 countries around
 the world, the Next Chapter begins.

CPK Beverly Hills
Opened on March 27, 1985.

Where it all began,
tonight's celebration is exactly 30 years to the day.

My CPK adventure begin while attending CSUN
and working for Nordstrom at Topanga Plaza years ago.
  My Nordie friends and I would go to CPK for lunch 
and got me hooked on the chopped salad.  
That's how this addiction began...

Tonight we celebrate their 30 years in business!
(which makes me 35 tonight...)

 Blueberry Ginger Smash
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Monin Organic Agave Nectar,
Domaine de Canton Ginger, Fresh Blueberries & Lime,
and Cranberry Juice.

It was berry good,
but I felt it needed something at the finish.

The perfect place for a party,
at the Original CPK!

To celebrate the Next Chapter
with a new look, a new menu, and new customer experience.

 Hand-Shaken Agave Mojito
with Bacardi Superior Rum, Fresh Agave Sour,
Fresh Mint and Lime, and Organic Hawaiian Sugar Cane.

A very good cocktail
and something I'd have again.

Loving the idea for the Next Chapter.
Every dish is made to order and
prep is 90 percent from scratch.
The menu changes with the seasons*.

The pizzas are hand-tossed artisan pizzas
and looking forward to trying them.

See What Jay Eats...

California Flatbread:  Bacon + Brussels
Roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet caramelized onions,
Nueske's applewood smoked bacon, creamy goat cheese,
Romano and cracked black pepper.

I love bacon and Brussels sprouts,
put them on a was good.

A festive evening with lots of
food, cocktails, music,
and sharing CPK stories.

 California Flatbread:  Bianco
Whipped truffle cream, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, and fresh sage.

Multiple cheeses, how could you not like this?

Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
 Avocado Club Egg Rolls
Hand-wrapped crispy wonton rolls filled with avocado, 
chicken, tomato, Monterey Jack and Nueske's applewood
smoked bacon.  Served with house made ranchito sauce
and herb ranch.

This was one of my favorites of the evening.
Crunchy with lots of flavors and textures.

 Wild Mushroom Pizza
Shaved Cremini, Shiitake, Portabello, and white mushrooms
with slivered scallions, cracked black pepper, Romano and
Mozzarella.  Finished with Parmesan.  Option to add white truffle oil.

This maybe my New favorite pizza at CPK.
I love mushroom pizza and this one has all of my
favorites.  The option to add truffle oil made it!

Salted Caramel Pudding
Rich caramel pudding, black cocoa cookie crumbs, house-made 
whipped cream, caramel sauce, and natural flaked sea salt.

Loved the texture of the cookie crumb base with the caramel pudding.
The caramel sauce and whipped cream made it 
come together.

CPK's CEO G.J. Hart
thanked everyone for attending the first 30th celebration
and said to look forward to the next 30!

As someone who works with restaurants,
most are lucky to get past the 1st year
and very few get past their 7th.

What's an anniversary party
without cake?

Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
Got to sample the top tier of the cake,
Red Velvet.

It was a great evening filled with new menu items,
cocktails, and desserts.

Congratulations CPK!

Photo Courtesy of CPK
Always fun to celebrate with friends,
with Kristie Hang and Karsha Chang.

Looks like I changed shirts...

Photo Courtesy of Kristie Hang
With Nerissa Silao,
discussing the other eateries on Beverly Drive.


It's now been a week since the celebration.  I'm in the food business and work with restaurants and food product companies.  I rarely go to the same restaurant twice in the same week/month.  After reviewing the pictures from the anniversary party, I got that craving for the Avocado Club Egg Rolls and Wild Mushroom pizza.  I picked up these favorites from the Pasadena CPK and headed home.

Avocado Club Egg Rolls
with the ranchito sauce and herb ranch.

Wild Mushroom Pizza
and added the white truffle oil (+$1.50),
which made a difference! 

My last visit to CPK was in February, I was disappointed
that my old time favorites had been changed and were not
the same.  *The menu will now change with the seasons. 
I now look forward to the changes of the #newCPK
menu, I get it.
(I have new favorites now)

Too many times, we sit back and let tradition or how
 things are done dictate how business will continue.
CPK is going back to their heritage, history, and
building on what made them what they are.

I look forward to seeing what this Next Chapter brings.

Thank You!

NOTE:  I was a guest of the California Pizza Kitchen
and thank them for their invitation and hospitality
at their 30th Anniversary party.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

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