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Interesting Chinese Discovery in Torrance

My parents used to live near there and I've eaten there a hundred times. The food is usually good, but can be greasy depending on who makes it. It's unbelievably cheap for the amount of food you get, especially for lunch. For $40 I can take home enough food to live off of for almost a week. Sometimes I can't believe they can make money on some of the dishes they serve. I've never been disappointed there, but don't go in having super high expectations. It's not a great place for live seafood or high end stuff like that, but if you're hungry it's good fun in a kitchy sort of way. If you're in the area it's more than decent and dirt cheap. Bring a lot of people unless you can eat two pounds of chow mein by yourself.

about 18 hours ago
la2tokyo in Los Angeles Area
1

Oo-toro sushi question???

As far as front vs back of the fish, the Otoro basically ends at the back of the gut cavity.

Jun 10, 2015
la2tokyo in General Topics

Oo-toro sushi question???

The picture is listing different sushi restaurants in Japan, not different types of Otoro.

Hagashi toro is made by peeling off (vb.= hagasu) the tendons between the layers of muscle in more layered otoro from the bottom of the belly of larger fish. Typically you would make hagashi from something that looks like the bottom row, right two, in the picture above. The yield is lower so very few people in Japan serve toro that way, even at the most expensive level. Additionally, most Japanese people understand that there are many parts of a tuna, and enjoy each portion for what it is, even if it may be slighty tougher or stringy. American people like things more homogenous and often return otoro like the bottom two rows in the picture, so hagashi is an easier way to sell otoro to picky eaters.

Although it's in Japanese Jiro San's book has good diagrams of tuna if you can get your hands on a copy.

Jun 09, 2015
la2tokyo in General Topics

Food storage Russian roulette: what's your riskiest food safety gamble that went okay?

When I was in high school I worked in a Japanese restaurant and they made a big employee meal every night. Usually it was some sort of stir fry, grilled meat or soup. For some reason, whenever there were leftovers, although they were covered, nobody put them in the fridge. The oldest chef there would come in every morning and eat them before we started prep in the morning. I always ate breakfast before I came to work, until I didn't. I started eating leftovers that had sat out all night, three or four times a week, for years. I never got sick. He had been doing this for his entire life, and as far as I know, he never got sick.

I laugh every single time I read other 'hounds worrying about their unrefrigerated eggs being left out overnight. To this day, if I have gotten fresh, unprocessed ingredients and cooked them to a high temperature, I never think twice about eating them if they have been at room temperature overnight. I'm sure everyone thinks it's madness, but not only am I still alive, I have never gotten food poisoning from something I made myself. I guess I am tempting fate. The health department would have thrown out the lunch my mom packed me for school every day, but I lived through that too.

High End Sushi in Tokyo (or should I stick with Sawada?)

In my opinion the only place that it is going to be socially acceptable is somewhere that there is a private room. Most of the places in this thread do not have a private room, but somewhere that is a little bigger operation like Kyubey might be a possibility.

As a side note, my father is a sushi chef, and he did not allow me to sit at a counter in his restaurant or any other restaurant until I was 15 years old. I remember very clearly the first time I sat at the counter, and it was after all the customers had left and I was celebrating something special. In his opinion it was disrespectful to the chef, the staff, and the other guests at the counter to bring a child with you to eat sushi. Every foreigner who brings kids into his restaurant thinks their kids are somehow more special than all the Japanese children who never sit at a sushi counter. Of course they get served without complaint, but I doubt you will find many Japanese people who think it's OK to bring a child to a nice sushi bar.

I have worked at quite a few restaurants in Japan with private rooms that were accommodating to foreigners with children, and nobody minded serving a kaiseki meal to an elementary school child in a private room. That said, it was only foreigners who brought children with them.

Feb 05, 2015
la2tokyo in Japan

Orange dust/powder on Kon(m)bu...

I have never seen that before but I seriously doubt it could hurt you. That said, the color of kombu is usually indicative of it's quality, and that is not the color of high quality kombu. My personal experience is that anything with brown or orange tones in the leaves makes horrible dashi. Expensive kombu is expensive for a reason.

Feb 05, 2015
la2tokyo in General Topics
1

Reco on michelin star/quality resto for lunch in Tokyo

I don't know about all of these, but neither Ishikawa, Okamoto, Yoshitake or Ryugin is open for lunch.

Dec 12, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

Where to buy good quality kani miso in Osaka or Kyoto?

You can get a katsuobushi kezuri at Aritsugu in Nishiki market. Very high quality. Probably about ¥15,000. It's not a big seller so maybe call ahead to see if it's in stock, but they make one for sure.

Nov 13, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

Name of Chewy Tofu in Japan?

+1

I would say goma tofu because it was an appetizer. Otherwise, even chewier would be nama-fu, but you don't get nama-fu by itself as an appetizer.

Nov 07, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

Let's talk about the accuracy of thermometers.

I have the same issue for deep frying in a commercial kitchen and I finally decided to purchase a hand held thermocouple. Although most of them cost around $200 there are some for around the same price as a thermapen. The thermapen is great, but a handheld thermocouple with a detachable probe is more versatile because you can change the probes from short to long, heat-proof, etc.. You get what you pay for, but even the cheap ones have less than 1 degree of error.

http://www.thermoworks.com/products/h...

Nov 04, 2014
la2tokyo in Cookware

reliable drip coffee maker

There are some more details in this writeup:

http://www.dearcoffeeiloveyou.com/com...

Another option for people with money coming out of their ears could be the Ratio:

http://www.clivecoffee.com/product/ra...

Nov 01, 2014
la2tokyo in Cookware

reliable drip coffee maker

I was in the market for a Technivorm and then I saw this new Wilfa product that seems to be exclusive to WIlliams Sonoma. Anyone have any experience with one of these yet? Given equal performance I would much rather have the Wilfa on my counter than the Technivorm.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

Nov 01, 2014
la2tokyo in Cookware

Soba - Hybrid?

Most soba noodles are made with wheat flour. However, the addition of flour doesn't really make them much firmer. Shorten the cooking time if you like it firmer. In a professional soba restaurant, soba is cooled at the exact moment it's been boiled enough, even for hot preparations. If it goes into hot soup it is warmed gently again before adding it back into the soup. For dry soba, even thirty seconds of extra cooking time can make a big difference.

Oct 13, 2014
la2tokyo in General Topics

The Tokyo-LA Sushi Gap is Closing

IMHO The existence of places like Sawada is why the LA-Tokyo gap can never be closed. Even if you take Sawada out of the comparison, because of places like Sawada, the aspirations of the mid-upper level sushi in Japan like Kyubey have competition that pushes the level of food extremely high. Everything Sawada San serves is fished from the perfect place in Japan at the perfect time - the ability to put all of those neta together for one meal is unreal. His fish always shows typicity - it's the best version of itself that it can possibly be. Even people who eat sushi constantly in Tokyo leave places like Sawada saying how many neta were the best versions they have ever had. That's no small feat.

The Tokyo-LA Sushi Gap is Closing

The main difference between sushi in Japan vs Los Angeles is the overwhelming use of farm raised fish in Los Angeles. Every top sushi bar in Tokyo uses wild fish. The showcases of most of the sushi bars in LA are filled with farm raised fish that taste nothing like their natural counterparts. If you asked for the farm raised hamachi that everyone in LA sells at a place like Kanesaka or Yoshitake they would laugh out loud. As long as Tokyo has Tsukiji, LA will never close the gap. The rest of Japan can't even close the gap with Tokyo because Tsukiji is such an incredible market. There are great sushi chefs in LA, but unfortunately the quality of fish here is still nothing like Tokyo. The best few places in LA may be using a lot of wild fish too, which is very admirable, but there's just not the incredible selection of stuff that there is in Japan.

Tokyo for new year 2014

Tsukiji Market is closed starting the 31st, so you would be lucky to get any sushi past the 30th.

Sep 29, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

How far in advance to book Jiro; Ishikawa; Ryugin; Saito (8 people)?

Ishikawa's biggest table seats six. You would have to be sat in separate rooms.

Sep 14, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

Tokyo 5 days,Kaiseki and Unagi choices.

Ishikawa is not open for lunch.

Jun 23, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

Matsukawa - Probably (the current) Tokyo's greatest restaurant

Basically, yes. I have been able to book before on my own, but I recently called and was told they were fully booked even though I had been there before. I had a friend who is a high profile customer call for me and they took the reservation immediately. Regardless of what they tell anyone on the phone, I believe they regulate who is permitted to book pretty severely. And, in case anyone is wondering, yes, IMHO it is still worth the hassle. Although the reservations policy is not democratic, Matsukawa San in one of the most hospitable chefs I have met in Tokyo and the food is second to none.

Jun 11, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

Tokyo / Izuhanto. Please review my trip.

Do you have Saito already booked?

May 09, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

A nice dinner out in Tokyo without breaking the bank....Kyoto recs?

If I was the one paying, and somebody put a gun to my head and asked me to pick between Gompachi and Inakaya, I would tell them to pull the trigger.

May 07, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

Sukiyabashi Jiro

Anything other than vomiting on their Prime Minister is an improvement!

Apr 27, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan
2

Cooking class with Yakitori Chef in Japan

If they don't have it in SF it's on the shelves at most major bookstores in Tokyo.

Apr 09, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

Cooking class with Yakitori Chef in Japan

There is an amazing yakitori book that is relatively new - there are step by step instructions with pictures for each step for yakitori preparations from a bunch of famous yakitori restaurants in Japan. Regardless of whether you find personal help, the book would be invaluable to you. Even without reading Japanese, you would probably learn more from the book than a single day in a yakitori restaurant.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/switch-lan...

Apr 08, 2014
la2tokyo in Japan

Squid Ink Reports All LA Sushi Chefs Forced to Wear Gloves

Sushi aficionados what say you?

http://www.laweekly.com/squidink/arch...

Jan 10, 2014
la2tokyo in Los Angeles Area

Otaninosushi

I went to Ootanino a couple months ago and had a wonderful meal. The food is excellent and the counter is absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn't put the sushi on par with the top-tier places frequently discussed on this board, but it's not as expensive as most of them, and it's an all-around wonderful experience. It's a great place to relax and have a long evening of drinks while you eat sushi, which is not something that can be said for all high-end sushi.

Dec 31, 2013
la2tokyo in Japan

Hand/Stand Mixer?

I use the OXO egg beater. Saves a lot of time over a regular whisk.

Dec 15, 2013
la2tokyo in Cookware

Matsukawa - Probably (the current) Tokyo's greatest restaurant

I love both restaurants. I don't really feel the need to compare the two - they are both favorites of mine for different reasons. I don't think Ishikawa wants to charge that much, regardless of if he can fill the restaurant at higher prices, or even if he can make more money. Ishikawa has a very large number of regular customers, and they are very happy doing what they are doing at the price they do it at. I felt the price at Matsukawa was fine for what I got, and I also think the price at Ishikawa is fair too. The only difference to me is that I can be a regular at Ishikawa, and I can only afford to go to Matsukawa once a year or so. I guess it all depends on the individual's budget though. Both are great restaurants.

Dec 12, 2013
la2tokyo in Japan

Matsukawa - Probably (the current) Tokyo's greatest restaurant

No doubt, Matsukawa is stellar. The one thing that bears mentioning is the price. The last time I ate at Matsukawa the food was twice the price of the most expensive menu at Ishikawa. IMHO it is worth it, and Matsukawa San is a wonderful host, but comparing any ¥20,0000 meal to a ¥40,000 meal is not a fair comparison. Matsukawa San is very friendly, the food is unbelievably precise, the ingredients are top-notch, and the technique is impeccable. That said, for those who are not familiar with high level washoku ingredients, and Kyoto cooking in general, be forewarned that Matsukawa San's food can be very austere. I was expecting things to be very lighty seasoned and I definitely got them that way, some things being so light that I wondered if there was any salt added at all. I have been twice, both meals very memorable, and I recommend it highly to many people, but it's probably not for everybody.

Dec 11, 2013
la2tokyo in Japan

Late Autumn Crab-Fest at Shunji Japanese Cuisine: A Pictorial Essay

How much was the food charge for this meal pp?

Nov 22, 2013
la2tokyo in Los Angeles Area