Posts Tagged ‘Japanese’

The funky flavors of Japanese Kit Kats

I love Japanese candy. I love the unique flavors and the cuteness of it. So when a friend from Japan recently gave me these Japanese Kit Kats, I was overjoyed! Now, I know strawberry and green tea aren’t that exotic, but the red bean toast (toast!) flavor was definitely something new…and I’m not sure I liked it. I love red (azuki) bean, but the toast component just made it taste a little burned, which isn’t my cup of tea, so to speak. I also didn’t love the green tea flavor — too matcha-y for me. I did really like the strawberry, though. I know, that’s so boring! But it had a perfect strawberries-and-cream flavor. I believe you can find some of these flavored Kit Kats at Japanese supermarkets in the United States, such as Mitsuwa. I wonder if you could find some of the weirder flavors, such as grilled corn, Royal Milk Tea or soy sauce (yes, soy sauce!). Have you tried any of these flavors before?

Further reading:

Japan’s Strangest Kit Kat Flavors by Weird Asia News

Kit Kat Kaleidoscope: Far-Out Flavors from Japan by NPR


01 2012

Restaurant Row’s best bang for your buck: Gonpachi Beverly Hills

Gonpachi's courtyard

Gonpachi's courtyard

Restaurant Row on La Cienega Boulevard has been long known for its large, overly expensive eateries — Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Benihana, Woo Lae Oak, The Stinking Rose. But the Row’s Gonpachi Beverly Hills, though large, is one of the best values on that strip with its incredibly fresh-tasting sushi-grade fish and satisfying hot dishes, including robata.

I was recently invited to dinner at Gonpachi to try out its new menu. I hadn’t been to the restaurant for years, and only for happy hour, so I was excited to go back. The courtyard is lush with foliage and a koi pond, and the interior is reminiscent of the film Kill Bill (which was filmed at the Tokyo location of Gonpachi). All this really sets the scene for the fine meals served here.

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09 2011

Giant Robot wants to see you this Carmageddon weekend

From -Clearlight- (Flickr)

Darlings of Sawtelle Giant Robot and its artier sister store GR2 are having a big sale this weekend. Yes, it’s Carmageddon weekend. Yes, these stores are on the Westside near the dreaded closed stretch of the 405 freeway. All the more reason to drop by on July 16 and 17 for some 40 percent savings on nearly everything in both stores (art from the current Yukinori Dehara exhibit at GR2 will not be discounted, sorry) and an extra 10 percent on sale items. Get T-shirts (Gama-Go!), comics (Fox Bunny Funny!), toys (Uglydolls!), books (Laura Ling and Lisa Ling!) and much more.

And if you get hungry, stop by gr/eats, Giant Robot’s uber-cute and tasty cafe next to GR2, for $5 Chicken Teriyaki or Chicken Katsu Curry bowls. Pair these with some mixed fries (which includes fried banana strips!) or tofu balls for extra yumminess. (This deal offered July 15 and 16 as the cafe is closed on Sundays.)

Giant Robot (AKA GR1)
2015 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 478-1819

2062 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 445-9276

Saturday, July 16, 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 17, 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

2050 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 478-3242

Friday, July 15
Saturday, July 16
12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Note: I used to write and copyedit for Giant Robot magazine.


07 2011

Happy hour report: Chaya Downtown’s Japanese beer garden

The downtown location of Chaya, a Japanese-French brasserie mini chain, has recently launched a weekly beer garden menu available on its patio every Monday night throughout the summer. This is a once-a-week special menu offered in addition to its everyday happy hour menu, both of which are available all night from 5:00 p.m. to close. Not too shabby!

The beer garden menu features yakitori skewers ($2 each) grilled on the patio on new hibachis and include chicken, short rib, beef tongue, shrimp and shiitake mushrooms. I was recently invited by the restaurant to try the new skewers, and I liked the chicken the best, which shows mastery in grilling skills, I’d say. All the others were good, too, though the shiitake were a bit dry for my taste. Maybe top them with some of that teriyaki or chimichurri sauce that come on the other skewers?

Yakitori, from top: shrimp, beef tongue, shiitake, short rib and chicken

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04 2010

Healthy Japanese food: Fukada

This is the first post from ShopEatSleep contributor Eros David, a long-time friend and like-minded blogger. You can follow his work at Clement & Co. and on his Tumblr.

From Eileen T. on Yelp

Healthy, organic Japanese food. Buzzwords may draw a crowd to Fukada in Irvine, but the delicious taste keeps them coming back. Because it’s in the same plaza as a 24 Hour Fitness, it’s not uncommon to see the same people frequenting both locations. Tucked away in a small plaza on the outskirts of town across the street from the Verizon Amphitheater, Fukada is not really the type of place you just come across randomly; you’ll most likely have to be introduced. There is also a “2 Go” location in north Irvine, not far from the UCI campus, with a slightly different menu.

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02 2010

Kabuki introduces new dishes

I was a little weary about accepting an invitation to a hosted dinner at Kabuki, the small West Coast Japanese restaurant chain, because, you know, it’s a chain. But I said to myself, “Self, don’t be so critical. Have an open mind.” Since I had been to a Kabuki only once years ago, I decided to give it a chance. And I was pleasantly surprised by some of the dishes, and not surprised by others.

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02 2010

Happy hour report: Hokusai


And in more happy hour news…

I’m a sucker for good, inexpensive food and drink. Cheap eats, as it were. And you can always find deals during happy hour, right? (Sometimes, if I can muster the appetite that early, I’ll make happy hour my dinner. But I digress.)

So e*starla and I went to check out the happy hour at Hokusai, a Japanese restaurant near the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards in the space that used to house Continental. It’s pretty darn close to where we live, and just across the street from e*starla’s place of business. (This was a while ago, but you know you still want to hear about it — because it’s happy hour!)

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07 2009