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Japanese Food

Kappabashi Coffee


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





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


CHAYA Izakaya - Venice


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". 


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.


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

CHAYA MODERN IZAKAYA 110 Navy Street Venice, CA 90291 310.396.1179






Mori - JR Tokyo Station Yaesu basement Central Exit 1-minute walk

The food scene in Tokyo Station is something I recommend you checking out. Yes it can feel like a tourist trap, but it's one of those places you have to walk through at least once. We stayed in Ginza so walking to Tokyo Station only took about 15 minutes. What's great is how accessible it is to get from one destination to another. We had little hesitancies to go to different areas of the city because of that.

With plenty of food in Tokyo Station, I recommend going for what you really want to try or crave. It's also fun if you want to do a restaurant crawl down here and there's plenty of walking if you feel it's needed to digest. And... a Starbucks is also around for quick pick-me-ups.

I checked out Mori not because of the lines. Because there was none. But because I was craving beef tongue. And if you've ever had Japanese beef tongue, you will understand why the cravings were legit. The perfectly scored meat with the subtle smoke of the binchotan incasing it as the fat drips down. It's spectacular and there really isn't anything like this flavor.

Here is their beef tongue curry. Simple, but very delicious. Tender beef in a rich curry sauce to be accompanied by rice and fukujinzuke (best w curry).

My beef tongue came with rice, the most amazing scallion soup made with beef bones, and an incredibly delicious salad. I like to eat each piece of beef with a little wasabi followed by their pickled greens.

I can't really explain the comfort level of this dish besides it making me happy every freaking time. I assume this is oxtail tongue as it reminds me of Gyutan Tsukasa here in California (can find GT in Mitsuwa, Costa Mesa).




Big Catch - Universe


Big Catch - Universe

Uni is something that you hate or love. I've never met someone that's an in between. Even if you were, it's a lie and the most likely truth is that you hate it.

When I heard that Big Catch Seafood House is offering a special Uni-verse 8 dish course it's a no brainer that my heart just melted. Not even thinking that this would be the best place to take a date for valentines day, but a date that I can take myself. 

The uni is from Maruhide. Most of you know it as the Maruhide Uni Club. These red sea urchins are caught along the Channel Island off the Santa Barbara in California, also called Aka-Uni in Japanese. It has a sweet, creamy texture with a beautiful deep orange/red color. For a limited time, Big Catch is collaborating with Maruhide to create unique course such as this. It brings the Uni Club closer to you so you don't have to trek out to long beach. 

This is the full grand slam of the meal. The glass of champagne is additional and pairs really nicely. If you're not a fan of champaign they also have a full bar for your liking.

The 8 course consists of:

  • Uni Onsen Tamago - Hot Spring egg / Salmon roe/ dried seaweed/ pickled wasabi/ dashi soy
  • Uni Blue Fin Tororo - Blue fin tuna/ Mountain Yam/ pickled cucumber/ ohba leaf/ uni soy
  • Uni Oyster with Ikura - Kumiai oyster/ Salmon roe/ scallion/ ponzu
  • Uni Toro - Fatty tuna (belly)/ flying fish roe/ ohba leaf/ kombu soy
  • Seared Uni Scallop - Seared Scallop/ Mango/ Sea Salt/ Olive Oil/ Ohba Leaf
  • Uni Garlic Flan - Garlic Flan/ Salmon Roe/ Micro Rainbow/ Chives
  • Uni Toast - Dried Seaweed/ Chives/ triple creme cheese/ toast
  • Mini Uni Pasta - Uni Sauce/ Flying fish roe/ dried seaweed/ chives

You can get everything I mentioned for a promotional $88. Will eventually hit up to $108 so I would recommend giving it a taste. This course is limited to 5 orders per day. If you plan on making a reservation ahead of time, make sure to mention you would want to order this.

Below is a closer look at this amazing feast:

Let me know your thoughts after you've given this a try.

Big Catch Seafood

2 S Garfield Ave Ste 100 Alhambra, CA 91801

(626) 282-8590