Archive for the 'Japanese' Category

Ivan Ramen – New York City

At the pace I’m writing these days, I’ll be posting my 2015 “Year in Delicious” retrospective sometime in early spring. So it goes… Onward!

Ivan Ramen - New York City

Following Chop Stick Nation, The Astronomer, June, and I drove to New York City for our first official family vacation. Traveling with June, 10 months old at the time, was pretty great because she was starting to take in her surroundings and appreciate little adventures, especially culinary ones.

Ivan Ramen - New York City

For our first meal in the city, we headed to Ivan Ramen for a late lunch. Ivan Orkin, a self-described “Jewish kid from Long Island,” made a name for himself in Japan prior to opening two outlets in New York. We had the restaurant all to ourselves at this hour.

Ivan Ramen - New York City

Before noodle slurping commenced, The Astronomer and I shared two starters. The L.E.S. Bun ($11) paid homage to the restaurant’s neighborhood (the Lower East Side), stuffing pastrami in between steamed buns with karashi mayo and a daikon slaw.

While the bun was plush and the pastrami well-seasoned, the mustard-infused mayo was sinus-clearingly potent and unfortunately dominated every bite. Continue reading ‘Ivan Ramen – New York City’

n/naka – Los Angeles

N/Naka - Los Angeles

I try not to throw around the word “perfect” too often, but there’s no way around it when it comes to Chef Niki Nakayama’s n/naka. From food to service and ambiance, this place is as perfect as they come. There, I said it.

N/Naka - Los Angeles

Chef Niki serves a 13-course “Modern Kaiseki” nightly ($185). The menu changes with the seasons, and with the chef’s whims, while the flow of the meal adheres to Japanese traditions. The three hour experience is beautifully orchestrated and paced  just so, leaving diners pampered, satisfied, and feeling thoroughly justified for indulging in something so extravagant.

n/naka - Los Angeles

Our meal began with Saki Zuke, “a pairing of something common and something unique,” grilled Japanese scallop with ikura (salmon eggs) and English pea soup. Continue reading ‘n/naka – Los Angeles’

Q Sushi – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Q Sushi - Japanese - Downtown - Los Angeles

I had the pleasure of dining with my mom at Q Sushi a few Fridays ago. She’s been taking care of June while The Astronomer and I are bringing home the bacon, so this meal was a small token of our gratitude. Bà Ngoại is the best!

Q Sushi - Japanese - Downtown - Los Angeles

Chef Hiroyuki Naruke, who ran a six-seat sushi bar in Tokyo’s Roppongi district prior to relocating to Los Angeles, serves a hyper-traditional, omakase-only sushi experience at Q. I am a total purist when it comes to sushi, so I knew that Q and I would get along swimmingly from the start.

Priced at $165 per person, the omakase typically begins with a slew of tsumami (small appetizers), followed by a perfectly orchestrated parade of sashimi and nigiri sushi courses. All in all, it’s a 2.5 hour feast comprised of 20 or so courses that passes by much too quickly.

Q Sushi - Japanese - Downtown - Los Angeles

Taking care of Mom and me this evening was Chef Rui. He seemed a bit chattier than Chef Hiro, which was a good thing, because I had plenty of questions up my sleeve (per usual).

Continue reading ‘Q Sushi – Los Angeles (Downtown)’

Musubi Cafe Iyasume – Honolulu (Waikiki)

Musubi Cafe Iyasume - Waikiki - Honolulu

I never got around to writing about the trip to Oahu that The Astronomer and I took last April because “morning” sickness hit hard soon after we came home, putting me out of blogging commission for quite a while. But now that Baby June’s out and about (yay!), and all is right with my appetite (double yay!), it’s finally time to revisit the ono grindz that made our stay a fabulous one.

Musubi Cafe Iyasume - Waikiki - Honolulu

The eatery with the honor of being visited the most was Musubi Cafe Iyasume, a shoe-box sized spot serving musubi and onigiri that is adored by locals and visitors alike. The J Gold peeped this place in Food & Wine, and as luck would have it, it was located a stone’s throw from our Waikiki abode. Win!

Musubi Cafe Iyasume - Waikiki - Honolulu

The Astronomer and I visited Iyasume on our first morning in town for a relatively light breakfast of two musubi and two onigiri.

The bacon, egg, and Spam musubi ($2.48) was as tasty as hoped, with the bacon and Spam providing a double savory punch while the egg and rice balanced out the whoosh of saltiness.
Continue reading ‘Musubi Cafe Iyasume – Honolulu (Waikiki)’

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