Loading...

Japanese Cuisine

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

KFC Japan chicken-themed keyboard - KFC.CO.JP
  • kfc.co.jp
  • KFC Japan chicken-themed keyboard
Remember the Ninja Burger? The amazing black-bunned monstrosity that Burger King Japan released last year? It was just one more reminder that Japan has all the fun when it comes to bizarre food items. 

Now KFC Japan is taunting us with their own kind of awesomeness: They're giving away chicken-themed computer accessories in celebration of "KFC Colonel's Day," whatever that is. Some very, very strange computer accessories. 

More »

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Albacore sashimi with salsa and pink peppercorn at Akatora - B. RODELL
  • B. Rodell
  • Albacore sashimi with salsa and pink peppercorn at Akatora
The faded red awning still says Katsu Sushi, but inside the building at the corner of Highland and Rosencrans in Manhattan Beach, the scene has changed considerably. What once was Katsu Sushi, a beleaguered neighborhood sushi joint, is now Sushi Akatora, a trendy izakaya/sushi restaurant from restaurateur Michael Cardenas. 

Cardenas, of course, has an important place in the history of trendy L.A. sushi spots, being a founder of Sushi Roku, the hyper-trendy restaurant that has grown into a swank chain since its inception in 1997. Cardenas grew up in Japan, trained as a teppan chef and worked in many of L.A.'s sushi restaurants, including a stint as general manager at Matsuhisa. Now he's just as well-known for being the owner of the Lazy Ox and other L.A. restaurants.

More »

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Japanese Cuisine

Kush Sake Bar Now Open in Echo Park

Comments (0)

By

Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM
1356 Allison Ave., home of the new Kush Sake Bar - B. RODELL
  • B. Rodell
  • 1356 Allison Ave., home of the new Kush Sake Bar
The space formerly occupied by Cortez in Echo Park has a new tenant: Kush Sake Bar, an izakaya-type establishment serving yakitori, Japanese small plates and sake. 

The tiny Allison Ave space has been empty since Cortez's owners (who also own Cookbook about a mile away) sold the spot back in April. Kush opened quietly at the end of June. The restaurant shares ownership with Silver Lake Ramen

More »

Friday, July 4, 2014

mochi - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • mochi
Unless you grew up in a Japanese or Japanese-American household, or knew someone who did, the only experience you may have had of Obon was Daniel-san's final fight scene in The Karate Kid, Part 2.

Often called the Japanese Day of the Dead, Obon is an annual summertime celebration that honors loved ones who have passed away. It comes from the story of Mokuren, a disciple of Buddha, who — while in meditation — saw his mother suffering. Buddha advised Mokuren to make offerings to the monks; upon doing so, he saw his mother's freedom and danced for joy. This dance is called Bon Odori, and it's at the center of Obon celebrations. Participants line up in concentric circles around a wooden platform called the yagura, the bandstand for the musicians. As the music begins, the dances proceed in a counter-clockwise direction.

Also at the center of Obon celebrations is the food — and there's a lot of it. Obon festivals offer a large variety of uber-comfort  food: Japanese, Japanese-American and Hawaiian dishes and treats. Many non-traditional dishes have also been introduced over the years, generating waiting lines reminiscent of the Kogi truck's first year on the streets. 

More »

Friday, June 27, 2014

LuckDish truck - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • LuckDish truck
If you didn't grow up eating Japanese food, you probably came to it through sushi, long ubiquitous in this town. Then probably ramen, thankfully pretty common lately. Then maybe other iterations of noodles or bar food, thanks to your local izakaya — assuming you have one, which you probably do if you live in L.A. But Japanese food also extends to the rarefied realms of kaiseki, and to other street food, of which there's a lot more than bowls of noodles. There's okonomiyaki and yakisoba and udon — and maybe the best comfort food of all, curry rice. 

You can find Japanese curry in restaurants, although not as many as you'd think and mostly in Torrance or Gardena. And you can find some pretty terrific curry on the road, courtesy of LuckDish, which is not a food truck exactly but a food trailer — or, more accurately, a refurbished 1968 Airstream. 

Tokyo native Hiro Seo, called Tomo, started LuckDish two and a half years ago, serving curry rice and other curry dishes out of the silver trailer. And this is not curry from a packet, as so many resort to, but homemade curry, which Seo cooks for 48 hours in his Airstream's tiny kitchen. 

More »

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Japanese Cuisine

3 Great L.A. Rice Bowls For Every Occasion

Comments (2)

By

Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM
uni dynamite bowl - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • uni dynamite bowl
Whether you're cooking at home or ordering at a restaurant, it can be easy to overlook the rice bowl. Rice in a bowl, even topped with very good things, just seems less interesting, less ambitious, less artistic, than, oh, omakase or bubbling hot pots. But when done with particular care, a rice bowl can be a magnificent thing, an intricate collage of ingredients and flavors that work precisely because they're all maneuvered into one place. One bowl. One spoon or set of chopsticks. 

Here are three particularly stellar bowls, each geared for different appetites and different budgets, one from the world of high-end Japanese dining, one from a happily noisy noodle shop, and a third from a place that, well, kind of defies genre. Because, especially in the hands of a good chef, a bowl is entirely what you make of it. 

More »

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Yellow Magic Orchestra - HOPE LEE
  • Hope Lee
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra
Nothing says "Los Angeles" quite like an all-vegan, macrobiotic, Japanese restaurant that spent last weekend hosting a St. Patrick's Day performance by a drag queen with a Hispanic name (Tia Wanna). 

Add these to the reasons to venture downtown to Shojin Organic & Natural. Another one is that the dishes coming out of the kitchen at Shojin are unlike anything you'll find at most restaurants - not counting Shojin's Culver City location, of course.

More »

Friday, March 7, 2014

Mama Musubi's salmon and kelp rice balls - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • Mama Musubi's salmon and kelp rice balls
Why some so-called street food grabs a city's attention and not others is a mystery for the anthropologists - or maybe the folks at Lucky Peach. There are, thank God, tacos and fruit carts on repeating corners in L.A. But it remains bafflingly difficult to find good omusubi, also called onigiri, the phenomenally delicious filled rice balls that operate like portable snacks in Tokyo. You can find sad refrigerated iterations in the cases at Mitsuwa and other Japanese groceries, but other than the Onigiri Truck and Sunny Blue, a very cool and very tiny shop in Santa Monica, there isn't much else.

Or so we thought until a recent pilgrimage to the Altadena farmers market, where Phillip and Carol Kwan have for the last year been setting up their Mama Musubi rice ball operation. The brother-and-sister team launched Mama Musubi at the first 626 Night Market in 2012, operate as a catering company, and attend the Altadena Wednesday market. Tonight, March 7, and for the next week, the Kwans will be popping up at Aburyiya Toranoko in Little Tokyo - their first pop-up event. 

More »

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Pocky truck - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • The Pocky truck

Looking for a food truck like it's 2008 might be the last thing you want to do at the start of this new year 2014, but maybe keep an eye out for this one anyway: For the last few weeks, Glico USA's Pocky truck has been roaming L.A. County, stopping here and there to hand out free boxes of the Japanese treat.  You can't miss it: It's a big red truck that, as they remind you on their Facebook page, is "NOT an emergency vehicle." Nonetheless, you still may as well stop. Because free Pocky.

More »

Monday, December 16, 2013

J. RITZ
  • J. Ritz
Kuishimbo is a Koreatown mainstay, cranking out Japanese grilled, deep-fried and stir-fried basics in a no-frills strip mall on the northwest corner of Wilshire and Wilton since 1979. While a visit to the restaurant might suggest it has remained mostly untouched by the neighborhood's relentless evolution, longtime customers recall a sad period when Kuishimbo Wilshire vanished. But this story winds up with a happy ending, and the original Kuishimbo is securely set to celebrate its 35th anniversary next year.

Kuishimbo shuttered in 2005, decamping soon after to the ground floor of an office building on Sixth Street between Kenmore and Catalina, next to popular K-town spots Ice Kiss and Ham Ji Park. Meanwhile, back on Wilshire, a new concept called Kalbi Burger replaced the business Petsuya ("Sam") Takayama had opened with his family more than two decades earlier.

Tokyo-born Takayama moved to Los Angeles from Japan as a student in 1968, and after studying accounting at LACC and Cal State L.A., he noticed a particular niche that needed filling for those in search of quality Japanese cooking.

More »

Now Trending