302017Jun

An Evening of Izakaya in the Mission

Friday night and we were in the mood for food and drinks. So what comes to mind, Japanese food, izakaya to be exact. And with all the places catering to this fanfare, it was difficult to choose. But we knew we wanted, quality and the ability to venture out for round two for drinks. Enter Izakaya Rintaro, which is nestled in the Mission and within walking distance to many of our favorite bars like Butter and the Willow and whatever happened to Holy Cow. Is it still the local bar…

122017May

Dipping Those Chewy Ramen Noodles

2pm. That’s about the perfect time, for those who hate waiting, to arrive at Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles Annex. This was of course an additional restaurant to the one across the street. However, at this time, the original location incurred a lower health score, so I decided to try the annexed location. There was a small line at 1:30pm which cleared up after I finished lunch. And by cleared up, I meant no lines, and several open tables. Inside, the majority of the place is dedicated to the ramen bar that surrounds the noodle chef with…

112017May

Enjoying Sawtelle Nanbankan Style

If you know Sawtelle Boulevard in West LA, you may know about all the wonderful Japanese restaurants there. Well, if you head a few blocks north and turn left on Santa Monica you can find Nanbankan. A restaurant serving up great Japanese izakaya at a surprising price. While they do have your classic dishes, including your favorite skewers, they do have specials which will have you coming back for more. It was late, 9pm to be exact. Parking was pretty easy at this hour. Inside, the place was still packed, but we…

212017Apr

A Taste of Hitachi Japan

Can you imagine a craft beer from Japan opening a gastropub in the states? In San Francisco of all places? A city where people flock to the latest micro breweries, eagerly anticipating a new flavor discovery. Well, Hitachino Nest Beer stepped up to the challenge. Not only did they bring their beers, but they brought food and ingredients from Hitachi, a city in the Ibaraki Prefecture. Their noteworthy gift, Hitachigyu, a well known brand of wagyu in Japan, and a cooking style that’s got people curious for a taste. One thing to note is that…

142017Apr

Omakase at Sushi Yoshizumi

If you pay careful attention, you’ll notice Chef Akira Yoshizumi and his staff are carefully timing the courses. Each time you’re finished, within minutes you’re presented with the next along with a detailed explanation. That is how you should be treated during omakase. Include amazing food and an intimate atmosphere and you got yourself Sushi Yoshizumi, a modest and unassuming establishment in the heart of downtown San Mateo. Sure, you may walk by it. Except with all the rave reviews and that prestigious Michelin star, you’ll be seeking this place out. I sure did….

312017Mar

Mara Premium Hand Roll Bar

What exactly is a premium hand roll bar? Well, at Mara it’s a casual restaurant that serves good quality fish wrapped up in a nori. You might think of temaki, the cone shaped hand roll. But it’s not a cone. You may think it’s an uncut futomaki, made with several ingredients. But that’s not it either. The hand rolls here are made to emphasize the crispness of the nori while giving you the same sushi quality of fish and rice. All while being tucked inside The Market within the Twitter building. I guess this place…

242017Mar

Happy Hour at Roka Akor

Need a place for a quick bite and drinks after your tough work week in the FiDi? Well, if you don’t mind spending a little for some high quality bar food, we found such a place for happy hour. Roka Akor, once Michelin recommended, has been on my list for quite some time. Given that it was Friday afternoon with no plans made and a few friends ready to start the weekend, we decided to check out their happy hour. The restaurant was huge in comparison to most Japanese restaurants in the…

312016Dec

Omakase at Yoinn

New Year’s Eve brought a great omakase experience in both the food and the atmosphere. With so much competition in the realm of high end Japanese restaurants in Taipei, what I find rare are those places that add in a bit of character to their restaurant. That’s exactly what we were given at Yoinn Japanese Cuisine. There are three price points for their omakase $1880 NTD, $2380 NTD and $2880 NTD. We went with the middle $2380 option thinking this would be a good sampling of the foods offered here. What I…

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