Thursday, May 19, 2016

Kumamoto Relief Event and Dinner at Paley

Last weekent, at my friends beautiful shop, Tortoise General Store in Venice, there was a charity sales event to support the Kumamoto earthquake recovery efforts. I had a pleasure to be part of the event along with other local vendors and artisans to sell products to raise fund for Kumamoto relief.

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I made matcha onigiri (green tea rice balls) topped with pickled cherry blossom flowers (recipe from my DONABE Cookbook). This is the same onigiri as I made at the Sakura Matsuri (cherry blossom festival) in DC last month and was very popular. So, I wanted LA people to taste these rice balls, too. I started prepping a night before and woke up very early in the morning to make 110 onigiri! Of course, all were made in my double-lid donabe rice cooker, "Kamado-san"! Rice made in Kamado-san taste just so special and it makes really delicious onigiri. I used nice Uji matcha (green tea powder) from Kyoto and plum-flavored "Amabito no moshio" seaweed salt from Hiroshima, and Sakura no Shiozuke (pickled cherry blossoms) from Okayama, and put tons of love from me!

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My husband, Jason, who was finally back from work travels joined me to help the event.

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There were also Chef Kuniko's dan dan mein, Chef Shiho's matcha ice cream bonbons, Chef Yuko's graham crackers, and arts and crafts from many other artists/ vendors. Kuniko's dan dan mein was so delicious!

The event lasted two days (I joined Sunday), and about $6,500 was raised! All the proceeds will be donated to Kumamoto earthquake relief fund. I had a great time and am thankful to everybody who came to support Kumamoto!

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After working full day (and spending all afternoon under the sun at the shop's patio), I was pretty tired and also hungry for a nice dinner. We had a reservation at Paley, a brand new stylish restaurant in Hollywood. We started with seafood plateau, which made a wonderful start of the night.

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Butter lettuce and English peas salad. Beef tartare (seasoned with miso and gochujang). Both were so fresh and tasty. I loved the flavor combination of tartare and grapefruit.

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Since my body needed a lot of energy, for my main course, I had dry-aged Manhattan steak. It was perfectly cooked to rare and the flavor was so rich in umami and delicious! The winner dish of the night.

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Dessert was dark chocolate cremeux tart with yuzu gelee and blood orange compote. Very nice.

I really enjoyed the dinner and look forward to coming back again. I would love to try their brunch next time, too.

It was a wonderful day and I felt so fulfilled!

Happy donabe life.