Kappabashi Coffee

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Kappabashi Coffee

We were in route for one of the highly recommended unaju in Japan. However, they weren't going to open yet so we decided to take a small detour to Kappabashi coffee. Just a few blocks away from the Asakusa station is where this small cute little shop stands. 

3丁目-25-11 Nishiasakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0035, Japan

Their menu is really straight forward and somewhat interesting when it came to the food items. Not in a bad way of course, but I was expecting corned beef toast or croque monsieurs for that matter. 

The cafe has an organic feel from all the wood designs on the wall.

A simple pour over to start the day. 

Ham sandwich. Simple and strangely satisfying since it's cut evenly in 1/3's.

Delicious croque monsieur I must say. I think the toast really makes this a winner. The ham also has a nice smoke which brings out some umami flavor to this dish. So simple, but the execution was spot on.

Ok another delicious dish. Corned beef toast might be my next favorite thing. Served with some whole grain mustard, sauerkraut, and corned beef. I really need to remake this at home. It was that good and memorable. 

This coffee shop is definitely out of your way. There really isn't much around this cafe, but that's pretty much like a lot of places in Japan. You will find random spurts of restaurants whether it seats 5 people or 20. It really varies. And it seems like most of these cafes/restaurants cater to the locals which makes this even more charming. I'm sure many of you will run into this place on your way to Obana. I recommend it. 

3丁目-25-11 Nishiasakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0035, Japan

 

Kappabashi Coffee

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Tatemichiya

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Tatemichiya

Not a lot of people know this, but I was really sick with Bronchitis on my way to Japan. It actually got worse during my flight and at times, I thought I was going to die. I was desperately buying vitamin juice packs from our local 7 Eleven down the street from our hotel in Ginza. This was during winter so the cold frosty air didn't help my cough much. Luckily, I conquered a few days before visiting the emergency room. But, let's save that conversation for a different day.

Before visiting the hospital we saw one of my dearest friends, Ami Tsuchida, who lives in Tokyo. She recommended a local Izakaya that she's been going with her mom. It's as rock'n'roll and divey as it gets. 

This was shot from their little upper level seating. Tons of people were also smoking which didn't help my coughing much, but to my surprise, the alcohol helped. They have tons of sake, shochu and beer. If you don't finish your bottle they can tag it for you.

Marinated hotaru ika - Briny and sweet squid pairs perfectly with Japanese beer. I switch off between Sapporo and Asahi.

I believe this was shiokara over cream cheese. Shiokara is pretty much squid fermented with their digestive parts. It sounds gross if you're not familiar with these kinds of food, but I really like this.

A very traditional home dish Japanese people ate as a kid. Ham katsu. It sounds weird, but does it really? This isn't something that's bizarre, but this was one of the most memorable dishes I ate because of it's simplicity yet addictively delicious. 

Fried Oysters. One of my favorite izakaya items. Served with tonkatsu sauce and an egg tartar. SO GOOD. Where's my beer?

White fish with shiso deep fried. Served with grated ginger.

Sashimi moriawase.

Agedashi tofu with natto. Came out hot and sizzling. I love how a lot of restaurants serve natto!

Tsukemono. I always order this at every Japanese restaurant. It's nice to have with drinks. It also acts like a palate cleanser. 

Tonkotsu ramen to end our dinner before heading to a cigar lounge.

I forgot to take photos of yakitori, but we had it as well.

B1F, 30-8 Sarugakucho, Shibuya 150-0033, Tokyo Prefecture (Shibuya / Harajuku / Ebisu) +81 3-5459-3431

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CHANG Beer

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CHANG Beer

Chang Beer

I attended Chang Beer's Sensory trail not too long ago. It was an event in Los Angeles that brought everything Thai to one place.

That day was actually the first time I've really drank Chang beer. Meaning I've had a few during this event. I don't know why I don't drink this, but I was really impressed. It's delicate crisp flavors really compliments any type of food. I can see this pair extremely well with bbq foods and spicy dishes. It has a nice sweetness to it without being overbearing whatsoever. 

Live music

Our dinner tasting was curated by Chef Bao Bao of Baoburg in Brooklyn, New York. The flavors held true to tradition done in a modern aesthetic presentation.

1/2 shell oyster with ikura, uni, fried shallots, and a spicy sweet chili sauce.

Papaya salad with fried catfish served on a bai cha plu.

Khang Hung Lay - Northern style pork stew curry with pickled garlic and ginger, pork rind served with sticky rice.

Khanom sai sai - steamed un-chan sticky rice flour with salted caramel coconut filling.

Drink CHANG beer!

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CHAYA Izakaya - Venice

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CHAYA Izakaya - Venice

A concept that has been in the making is now available for you to experience. I hold Izakaya very dear to my heart as I've worked in one for 3.5 years inspiring me to travel to Japan now twice. Izakaya is a very unique experience that is rooted deep in the Japanese culture. Feel free to ask the staff on how to truly experience the Izakaya dining ways. I like to see it as a Japanese tapas bar. You order drinks and a few dishes to accompany the conversations. Repeat this and you're good.

Here are some captures of the night.

Let's talk sake. There are plenty to choose from here. Pick from your Junmais and Daiginjo, they have it all. 

I enjoy sake, but I'm always an old fashion type of gal. I love this cocktail, but I've never had it with Japanese whiskey. They were making this with Toki by Suntory. I am pretty shocked how well balanced this came out to be. There was a nice balance of sweet and smokiness from the Toki which I've never picked up when drinking it neat or on the rocks. This will be my new whiskey of choice for old fashioned.

 

Oysters are life. These are 1/2 shells with a granita on top. Extremely refreshing and a wonderful play on the palate. 

Snapper on "daikon rice". 

Tsukune.

Beef tongue with kimchi.

Wagyu Chazuke - This is luxury at its finest. A dab of brocollini puree, crispy rice and luscious mentaiko butter topped off with a fresh pour of their savory dashi tea. Ochazuke is normally comforting. This is pure guilt on how good it is.

Tequila ramen. Yes there really is tequila in this ramen. Don't worry, you don't taste tequila, but tequila naturally has citrus notes which comes through in the broth. When I was in Japan I had a lot of fresh yuzu ramen. The citrus from the tequila reminded me of that. I hated myself after thinking about how clever this was.

Amazing Chef Wako doing his thing.

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Chef Yukou Kajino putting in last touches before the hungry crowd devours.

CHAYA MODERN IZAKAYA 110 Navy Street Venice, CA 90291 310.396.1179

 

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7 Fusion

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7 Fusion

7Fusion is the creation of husband and wife team, Shera and Edu Obasi, who after 2 years of delicate and painstaking work, designing a space and menu experience that would bring to life their multi-cultural backgrounds and travels to the far corners of the globe. 7Fusion offers diners a unique, sensual, multi-sensory experience, which artfully fuses influences from the Far East with California cuisine, delivering a true collaboration of flavors from each of the 7 Continents.

You can create your own meal cooked by chefs in the dining room facing open kitchen. You're able to choose from 7 house-made marinades, such as Red or Yellow Curry, spicy Chile Garlic and Miso Ponzu, organic vegetables, noodles, and a selection of exotic proteins and seafood. Another signature menu feature is the Hot Pot series; a fantastically presented stir pot service offering diners a choice from a large assortment of fresh, raw ingredients that will be cooked right at the table, in one of three flavorful broths including Fresh Beef Bone, Citrus Lime or Vegetable. 

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