Japanese Food & Sake Collection: This Sunday, Jan. 29

Tuna Tataki Sashimi Salad with Matsuhsia Dressing
Tuna Tataki Sashimi Salad with Matsuhsia Dressing
Eiichi Takahashi

This weekend, instead of just going out for sushi, why not add some traditional Japanese culture to your plate? The Japanese Food & Sake Collection Festival is taking place Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Hilton Hotel Sierra Ballroom in Universal City from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and should be a hijō ni ureshī good time. With the ongoing problems related to last year's tsunami, we think it's a great effort to support.

To kick things off in a welcoming way, there will be a sake tasting contest at 11:30 a.m. Good morning! No need to sign up, it's first come-first served. All you have to do is identify four different brands of sake in a blind tasting to win a bottle of each. The rest of the day includes traditional taiko drumming performances, a sushi-eating contest (sorry, entry is closed) and 10-minute cooking demonstrations by local and international celebrity chefs Nobu Matsuhisa, Katsuya Uechi and Hitoshi Sugiura.

All-you-can-eat (or until they run out) food includes all the classics: sushi, yakitori, ramen, yakisoba, okonomiyaki, tempura and more from local restaurants and a variety of Japanese food companies. There will also be sake from several brewers; Sapporo, Kirin and Asahi beer; and non-alcoholic choices.

Tickets can be purchased online for $50 presale and $60 on site. They have negotiated special parking rates of $9 self-park/ $14 valet. (Yes, that is special. Normally at Universal City it's double that.)

Follow Rachael on Twitter @chickswknives.

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