Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back from Japan to LA again.

(August 4)

It was a day to return to LA.

 photo IMG_2205_zps8pghollk.jpg
Tomoko and I had a quick soba lunch at a local place. I always enjoy their delicate handmade soba. Cold soba with toppings in a sauce was just perfect for the hot summer.

 photo IMG_2208_zpsay339gih.jpg  photo IMG_2209_zps0pg2jbx8.jpg  photo IMG_2211_zpsnic32agw.jpg  photo IMG_2212_zps7wa71ifg.jpg  photo IMG_2213_zpso62o5cbj.jpg
Flight meal. I flew ANA, but I didn't choose Japanese meal this time.

 photo IMG_2223_zpsecrmn0sd.jpg
Back in LA and regular unpacking ritual. I had to pack many ice packets to keep some items cold. They all arrived safely.

 photo IMG_2217_zpsuncp0ff6.jpg  photo IMG_2222_zpsbykz8vra.jpg
Fun to be back in the very American culture in LA. We were invited to a fried chicken and pie party at our friends house. It was so fun!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Back in Japan (Summer 2016)...Kappo et Vin

(August 3)

It was a final day in this stay.
I spent time with Tomoko in Urawa.

 photo IMG_2142_zpswxvpjawg.jpg  photo IMG_2143_zpsinatpasi.jpg  photo IMG_2145_zpsxuz2lzxs.jpg
Lunch was unagi at a local unagi restaurant. So good!

 photo IMG_2162_zps2ge1st5l.jpg
For dinner, we went to a local restaurant called Kappo et Vin, Irisa. The place is run by Chef Irisa-san and his wife. It's a wine bar and kappo (Japanese-style) restaurant. His background as a chef was traditional Japanese cuisine, and he is also a wine connoisseur. Now he cooks his original dishes to serve with wine. How unique!

 photo IMG_2164_zpsrnqhiril.jpg  photo IMG_2165_zps1fzvbhsw.jpg  photo IMG_2167_zpsltvfjcfc.jpg
The dishes were all casual yet very detailed quality and delicious.

 photo IMG_2174_zpsbo6ufy7m.jpg  photo IMG_2178_zpsd2tgrsnn.jpg  photo IMG_2185_zpsyka7wes6.jpg
They are all small dishes to share.

 photo IMG_2187_zpsqeswqipj.jpg  photo IMG_2189_zpstt1ko0ne.jpg  photo IMG_2201_zpsdusqhfvs.jpg
So good!

 photo IMG_2182_zpsjjbhdmoj.jpg  photo IMG_2175_zpsjenlzenx.jpg  photo IMG_2200_zpsn3phawc8.jpg
Wataru enjoyed ginger ale, and Tomoko and I enjoyed different kinds of wines.

 photo IMG_2193_zpsj1mmvwtw.jpg  photo IMG_2196_zps5tm83soq.jpg
Chef and the wife joint us to taste wine.

So much fin.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Back in Japan (Summer 2016)...Mikizo-san Dinner

Mikizo's Hassun

(August 2)

Back in Tokyo, Tomoko and I had dinner at Ichirin, by our friend, Mikizo Hashimoto. I always look forward to coming back here every time I am back in Japan.

 photo IMG_2067_zpsqxxxpyvr.jpg
It was great to see Mikizo-san again. I was so excited to taste his summer dishes.

 photo IMG_2068_zpsv1zjj5yu.jpg  photo IMG_2071_zpsaickfjo2.jpg  photo IMG_2074_zpsnkqryxjl.jpg
Tomato "surinagashi" (puree cold soup), Rishiri uni, dashi gelee with sudachi juice (to pour into the cup). Steamed abalone with its gut sauce.

 photo IMG_2078_zpsxexe46sx.jpg  photo IMG_2082_zpskzhozfpu.jpg
Dobin-mushi. First in the season matsutake mushrooms, hamo (pike conger), sea bream, gingko nuts, lily bulb, shiitake, mitsuba and togan (called winter melon - but the season is summer), in a dashi broth. Just wonderful.

 photo IMG_2087_zpshmap2auy.jpg  photo IMG_2085_zps1fvhr20n.jpg
Hamo and hasu imo (Indian taro) with vinegar-white miso sauce.

 photo IMG_2092_zpsf68jdqzo.jpg  photo IMG_2096_zpsqixb51nq.jpg
Awaji-shima Island tai (sea bream) sashimi.

 photo IMG_2107_zpsp5mc7yiq.jpg  photo IMG_2111_zpsbf0uxasi.jpg
Hassun. 15 different kinds of seasonal dishes in one course including eggplant (harvested by 3 am on the same day) bansho-ni, yamaimo-kan (jelly), camas fish pressed sushi, Ariake jelly fish, etc. etc. What a treat.

 photo IMG_2122_zpscfkh35vk.jpg  photo IMG_2125_zpsfspyolwd.jpg  photo IMG_2127_zpsdbjtj4e8.jpg
Unagi tofu, grilled guji sea bream, and steamed anago sushi with akadashi (red miso soup).

 photo IMG_2134_zps1f6dopl9.jpg  photo IMG_2136_zpsft7hcciu.jpg
Desserts. Peach and blueberry jelly and anko-stuffed warabi-mochi with sencha green tea.

 photo IMG_2102_zpsumstqrxw.jpg  photo IMG_2104_zpspkzqf6my.jpg  photo IMG_2112_zpsq6fbdlz6.jpg  photo IMG_2116_zpsjbpmtsov.jpg  photo IMG_2120_zpsbsnlzlph.jpg  photo IMG_2129_zpsvgaurkug.jpg  photo IMG_2132_zpsani2u1to.jpg
And, all the sake!

 photo IMG_2137_zpsknqoqjks.jpg
He amazes me every time. Thank you so much, Mikizo-san!