Jan 2017

YakiYan – Los Angeles (Hacienda Heights)

Yakiyan - Hacienda Heights - Los Angeles

If you’ve resolved to eat less meat in 2017, you should probably stop reading now. YakiYan is quite possibly the meatiest meeting place to open off of the 60.

Yakiyan - Hacienda Heights - Los Angeles

YakiYan, which has been operating in Taipei since 2004, opened its first U.S. location in Hacienda Heights this past December. As a yakiniku concept (Japanese barbecue), YakiYan takes great pride in serving the finest meat, locally sourced whenever possible. It’s all about pedigreed proteins around here.

The Astronomer and I stopped in on opening night to give the restaurant a go. Full disclosure: YakiYan is backed by my employer, Panda Restaurant Group. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Yakiyan - Hacienda Heights - Los Angeles

To start, we each ordered a cocktail. For me, the Bloody Ox ($12) with Cimarron Blanco tequila, beet juice, yuzu koshu, and lime. For him, a Red Crowned Crane ($12) with Royal Gate vodka, ginger, lime, and lychee. Both were well-balanced and refreshing—just what we needed prior to the parade of grilled meats.

Jan 2017

A Decade of Delicious! Cheers!

chinese sausages

Happy New Year! And happy 10th birthday to GastronomyBlog.com! In honor of a decade of delicious, the site’s been given a long-overdue refresh. I hope you’ll poke around and feel right at home.

Here’s to another decade of beautiful meals. Thank you for reading. Cheers!

Nov 2016

Sqirl’s Sticky Toffee Whole-Wheat Date Cake

Sticky Toffee Whole-Wheat Date Cake

Well, that was fun sharing a bit about The Suburban Years. Now, back to my favorite subject: dessert. This Sticky Toffee Whole-Wheat Date Cake from Jessica Koslow and the fine folks at Sqirl gets the honor of being the first cake to break in our new oven. Thankfully, the oven was calibrated properly and the cake turned out perfectly—gooey, caramel-y, and in short, everything I want to eat.

For cake

  • 14 tablespoons/200 grams unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), at room temperature, more for the pan
  • 8 ounces/225 grams pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup/80 grams dried currants
  • 1 cup/130 grams whole­ wheat flour
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/80 grams all ­purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup/165 grams packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For sticky toffee

  • ½ cup/170 grams agave nectar
  • ½ cup/110 grams packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons/28 grams unsalted butter
  • Fleur de sel

Make the cake

Heat oven to 325 degrees and butter an 8-inch square or 9-inch round cake pan.

Sticky Toffee Whole-Wheat Date Cake

In a small pot, combine dates, lemon juice and 3/4 cup/180 milliliters water. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer gently until dates soften and start to fall apart, about 6 minutes. Add currants to the pot and set aside to cool completely.

While date mixture cools, stir together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and salt.

Sticky Toffee Whole-Wheat Date Cake

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla and cooled date mixture, followed by flour mixture.


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