Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Pub at Chino Hills - New Gastropub Menu

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There's nothing better than starting the weekend
with cocktails and a gastropub menu, right?

Thanks to Tanaya's Table for the invitation 
to sample the new gastropub menu

After ordering my Firestone 805 (blonde ale),
the first course arrived at the table.

See What Jay Eats...

Cauliflower Ceviche, Laotian Style Beef Jerky, 
and Fried Pork Belly Bites.

The Cauliflower Ceviche served with
tortilla chips and diced tomatoes, serrano peppers,
garlic, onions, and cilantro,
marined in lime juice.

This was a nice alternative to fish
and something I would have again.

The Laotian Style Beef Jerky goes
great with a beer (or two).

Fried Pork Belly Bites
fried and served with herbed creme fraiche.

Not your typical bar food and
a nice way to start the evening...

 A variety of sandwiches
put together by the kitchen
for us to try.

One stood out was the Pub Melt (center)
with ground beef, onions, two types of cheese,
and bone marrow butter on toasted rye.

From what we sampled, there really
weren't any misses on this plate.

 If you're not a meat eater,
there's the Soyrizo Burger.

A house made patty with black beans, farrow,
soy, Portobello mushrooms, and roasted peppers.
Served with arugula and Portobello mushrooms.

 White Lasagna
with layers of fresh pasta sheets, wild mushrooms,
duck confit, herbed mascarpone cheese, and parmesan
béchamel sauce.  Topped with truffle oil.

I love duck confit, I enjoyed this dish.

 Chicken Pappardelle
Tossed with mushrooms and spinach in
a spicy cream sauce and 
topped with fried prosciutto.

It wasn't really super spicy, but had a spicy finish.

Thyme Pork Tenderloin
A thyme basted pork tenderloin served with 
roasted carrot puree, wild mushrooms, mustard
greens, and candied walnuts.

I loved the mushrooms with this dish.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake, Flourless Chocolate Cake,
and a Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich
to end the tasting. 

5771 Pine Avenue
Chino Hills, CA 91709
(909) 597-2224

The Pub at Chino Hills has just taken it up
a notch with their new gastropub menu.  
While we were there on a Saturday night,
they had live music to a almost full bar area.
There are tables in the back and TVs to
watch the game. 

Thank You!

NOTE:  I was a guest of The Pub at Chino Hills.
I thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Texas Monthly - The 120 Tacos You Must Eat

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The 120 Tacos You Must Eat Before You Die
(according to the Texas Monthly)

 The current cover of Texas Monthly
caught my eye, TACOS!

On this Taco Tuesday, I thought to take
a sneak peak at the list...

Having traveled to Dallas,
Fort Worth, and Houston,
I can honestly say I haven't been to
any of these taco places...
(they're on the list now)

on my trip to Austin last month,
I did go to Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ in Austin, TX
can be found in a gas station parking lot.

I already knew this would be good...

 It wasn't a hard decision, being in Texas,
had to get a brisket taco first...

See What Jay Eats...

Cowboy Taco (Left) and Brisket Taco

The Cowboy Taco had pulled pork, house slaw,
and BBQ sauce.
The Brisket Taco comes with sliced brisket, tangy slaw,
and of course BBQ sauce.

I actually liked the Cowboy Taco better.
But maybe I need to go back and try
the brisket taco again...

Both tacos were good and didn't need
any sauce.  But then again I'm a purist,
good BBQ doesn't need additional sauce.
The tortillas were really good too.

To see the entire list of the "120 Tacos You Must Eat
Before You Die", you'll have to get a copy of Texas Monthly

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Monday, November 9, 2015

Okamoto Kitchen - Japanese Comfort Food on Wheels

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Not your typical Japanese food truck,
some common Japanese comfort food
with some lesser known dishes added in.

Chef Chizuru (Okamoto) and Gerald Abraham
have created this Japanese mobile menu.

I met the folks of Okamoto Kitchen at the September
626 Night Market at Santa Anita Park.
Since I was busy working, I only had time
to try their Green Tea Parfait, which was really good.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Okamoto Kitchen
was kind to invite me to a tasting of their menu.

Shidosha in front of the Okamoto Kitchen truck
and ready to serve their tasting menu.

See What Jay Eats...
Let the tasting begin!

Cheese Mochi Sticks*
(serving sizes 6 or 12 pcs)

Cheese infused mochi

Interesting spin on an Asian classic,
mochi (sweet rice) with Parmesan cheese.

Spicy Tofu Rice Cake

Crumbled tofu mixed with their spicy house mayo
and cucumbers served over a crispy fried rice cake

For those who don't like spicy, it didn't have
a lot of heat.  Nice texture with the cucumbers
and the crispy rice, which wasn't greasy at all.

Classic and B.C.C. Croquettes*
(3 croquettes in an order)

The 'Classic' Croquette (Left) is a deep-fried
mashed potato mix with onions and
battered with panko breadcrumbs.
Served with Tonkatsu sauce.

The 'B.C.C.' Croquette (Right) is the
same panko mashed potato mix with chopped
bacon, cheddar cheese, and chives.
Served with a mayo dipping sauce.

The 'Classic' was a very good croquette,
something that when it's good, it's very good.
This was a very good one.

The 'B.C.C.' was like a twice-baked potato
and I enjoyed this one very much.  Not sure
if it's because it's different than the classic.

Decision:  Toss up

Japanese Fried Chicken (J.F.C.)*

Okamoto style (Left) and classic style (Right).

Okamoto style is served with a special glaze,
sesame seeds, and green onions.
The classic style is with lemon and mayo.

We got to sample each version.  The Okamoto
style was good, tossed in their special glaze.
But I'm a traditionalist and liked their
classic style better.

Okamoto Curry

Their signature Japanese-style beef curry
served over rice with shredded Gouda cheese.

For those who know me, I'm not a curry fan.
I'm usually the wrong person to be commenting 
on curry, but this one was different.
It was a balanced curry, not too beefy 
or too sweet, it was just right.  

You can also order it with a deep-fried
chicken or pork cutlet for an additional charge.

Nom Bomb Sandwich

Deep-fried chicken with a sweet-and-sour teriyaki glaze
with shredded cabbage, tartar sauce, and jalapeño 
on a brioche bun.

One of my favorites of the day.

Pork Chashu Sandwich
a slow-cooked Japanese-style pork belly 
with Ichimi mayo, shredded cabbage, green onions,
ginger, sesame seeds, and special glaze served
on a fried rice bun.

With the pork, green onions, red ginger,
and sesame seeds, it reminded 
me of a bowl of tonkotsu ramen.

Katsu Curry Sandwich
with a deep-fried chicken (or pork) cutlet
with the Okamoto curry, shredded cabbage,
pickled onions, and Gouda cheese on a brioche bun.

If you like katsu and curry, then you'll
like this sandwich with Okamoto's
signature curry.

Chef Chizura with Coffee Jelly

Jellied coffee, custard, and caramel sauce
layered in a cup topped with whipped cream.

This dessert was the perfect end
to a great tasting.  The dessert itself
isn't too sweet and complimented their menu.

Look for the Okamoto Kitchen truck
around Los Angeles.

Most menu items were recognizable to me, not sure if
 it's because I've been to Japan or have worked in 
few Japanese kitchens.  It's the type of dishes that 
my Japanese co-workers would make for staff 
meals at the restaurants.

It you like Japanese comfort food,
be on the lookout for the Okamoto Kitchen truck.

* - These are tasting portions.  
Please refer to the menu for actual serving size.

Check their website for locations,
menu, and contact information.

Thank You!
Chizuru and Gerald Abraham
Kristie Hang
Okamoto Kitchen

NOTE:  I was a guest of Okamoto Kitchen.
I thank them for the invitation and hospitality.
All opinions and comments are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Food Day Off in NYC

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Welcome to New York!

 I spent two weeks in New York City working,
but had time off to checkout the food scene
(and some of my NYC favorites too).

 The day started off in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The New York Times calls Smorgasburg
"The Woodstock of Eating"
and Mario Batali calls it 
"The single greatest thing I've ever seen 
gastronomically in New York City"

So, of course it was on the list!
(the season closes on November 21, 2015 for this location)

Being toward the end of the season,
there weren't as many vendors,
but I got a great taste of what it's all about.

Something not to miss,
if you like food.

See What Jay Eats...

 The Short Rib
Bone marrow, roasted red peppers, and almond
from Carnal at Williamsburg Smorgasburg.

So tender, I could've had another one.
But more food on the way...

 Cheese Curds

Fried cheese, so good.

the place where it got it's start...

They had a line, but not as long as 626 Night Market.

 Yup, had to try the New York version,
just as good as the West Coast sibling.

 Time to catch the subway and head into Manhattan.

Where is everyone?

Am I really in New York or am I on a sound stage in Burbank?

First Manhattan stop,
Meat Packing District and Chelsea Market

 Oysters at The Lobster Place

When in NYC...

 I'm from L.A., so when you say the tacos are really good,
they'd better be...
(Chelsea Market)

They were the best I've had in NYC!

Read my "Best Tacos in New York City" HERE

Before leaving Chelsea Market,
stop at the Doughnuttery
for some mini donuts.

Check to see what their new flavors are.

 It was then onto Mario Batali's Eataly.

I could live here.

Too many good choices at Eataly.

The Grande Piatto Misto Di Salumi & Formaggi board
at Eataly

Just a snack... 

Need to do some walking now...
 One thing that I did want to do on this trip was to

 Many years ago, I came here and looked
up at the towers in amazement.

This time, I looked down in remembrance.

One World Trade Center
"Freedom Tower"
is currently the tallest skyscraper in the 
Western Hemisphere.

 Trying to figure out the Starbucks ordering system,
near Wall Street.

Keep walking...

 South Street Seaport,
another Smorgasburg venue.

I got to see this one before closing for the season.
(Closed on November 1, 2015 for the season)

Sampled the house-made mozzarella sticks
from Big Mozz
Since I missed out at Williamsburg.

 Headed Uptown to Grand Central Terminal

Didn't feel like the Oyster Bar Restaurant

 What's a trip to NYC without a stop at Shake Shack?
So, a quick burger and shake at Grand Central Terminal.

Walked over to Times Square
to check to see that it was still 2015.

Hopped on the 2 subway to 72nd Street
 I just had to...

 Or maybe I should've said "two"?

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice Practice Practice...

 Trying to decide where to eat next?

I think I left my wallet in my other jacket...

Next trip.

One is the loneliest number...

Late night slice to complete
a busy day off.

Goodnight New York!

See my other NYC/Brooklyn posts,
search "JayNYC2015"

Thank You!
Jeff Shimamoto
Keizo Shimamoto

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi