Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Nerd Ramblings - And A Couple Bentos I Ate For Sustenance..

I've been pretty frugal with Japanese magazines the last six months or so but I finally cracked and purchased some food porn at the Sanseido bookstore in Mitsuwa last week. They are air freighted and expensive to start with, but on top I unfortunately can usually read less than half or so of the text so they're pricey purchases considering for the most part they serve as inspirational material.. But oh they do inspire! :)_

Couldn't pass up on this titled Otoko Meshi (男飯) that maybe translates to "Dude Meals"?, haha.
Love the phrase "ガッツリいこうぜ!!" ("gattsuri ikouze!!") which is very hard for me to translate but maybe something loosely in the spirit of.. "GET IN MY BELLAY!!"??

On the more warm and cutesy side of Japanese food/lifestyle magazines, I enjoy a copy of ku:nel once in a while. I'm pretty sure the title came from the word (食う:寝る) to eat and to sleep.. Yes the title rocks.

The content is very warm and fuzzy. Recipes and articles usually skewed on very homey meals with a little bit of crafts and sewing thrown in. Yeah I know.. but I'm pretty secure of my guy-hood to care about what the cashier ladies may be thinking, haha.

My favorite part of the magazine is in the back where they do a spread of all the meals the editors had for the season. So cool. Maybe I'll someday evolve my blog to something more day-to-day..

Btw, I should've known but no photography allowed in the bookstore. Since I purchased these I guess they let me off easy.

Sanseido, (in Mitsuwa Market Place), 4240 Kearny Mesa RoadSan Diego, CA 92111

Had an extremely busy early year where my lunches were kind of all over the map in location and choice. Over at Nijiya I noticed they had been experimenting/expanding their bento line the last few months.

I recently found the Katsu Curry packaging change a few times but here the sweet pickles were in their own little compartments. Fyi, they completely reworked their curry recipe last year since the Summer vegetable "Natsu-yasai" series and it now seems to resemble Sakura's version with the finer minced meats and carrots.. Anyhow few things are sadder than the sight of screwing up your Rice-to-Curry ratio while eating and to be left with a lonely portion of white rice in the end. So ration the curry accordingly because shops tend to give you just enough in their bentos. ;)

Mabo Nasu Bento - Savory spicy eggplant with ground pork. I'll admit I was too in a hurry and hungry to even bother to warm this one up. The Mabo Nasu was a little salty at the cold room temperature that I chose to have it but there was definitely enough organic Koshihikari rice to help with. Call it Japanese influenced Chinese or Chinese influenced Japanese.. But when you throw in the potato salad and also sweet pickled daikon Takuan (that I love dearly).. Call it Nijiya's Mabo Nasu Bento. I must have liked this cause I purchased it again for dinner the very next day. Definitely tastes better warmed up. :P

Other temptations were the Okonomiyaki bento and the Buta Tororo Wariko Soba bentos. The soba came with fatty marinated pork and lovely tororo grated yam along with the standard dipping tsuyu.

Also I never got the courage to ask for a photo but if you see a friendly white Amerika-jin man working that you didn't notice before he is the new Nijiya SD manager Graham, freshly transplanted from Los Angeles. When you're there please welcome Graham to San Diego. Welcome to San Diego Mr. Graham! I really enjoy shopping at your store. :)

Nijiya Market, 3860 Convoy Street, San Diego, CA 92111

Hope you all had a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by!


Darlene said...

I love Japanese food porn! But I've been restricted to one magazine a month.

Vicki said...

It seems like Sunday is a day for rambling :) I need to get down to Mitsuwa and Nijia, it's been too long!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Darlene, one per month? Jealous! :) Not sure if you shop at Sanseido but if you purchase on days that end with a "3" (3rd, 13th, 23rd..) you get double stamps.

Hi Vicki, Sunday is the best day to ramble! :)

meemalee said...

When I was in Japan, I picked up as many of these mags as possible just to look at the pictures :)


kaszeta said...

I wish I could get little bentos like that around here.

fliu said...

I also noticed that Nijiya 'deli' section had more/different items.

What's your take on Mitsuwa's deli (bento/hot food) section? My parents use to tell me that Nijiya was fresher and cheaper than Mitsuwa.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Meemalee! Ok, I don't feel as bad now.. And yay Gundam! Is that Mt. Fuji in the background? What a great photo op!!! $&%&#$@#@%#@$%.......

Hi Kaszeta! No Japanese markets in New Hampshire? Well I'm still jealous about all the traveling you get to do... Really enjoy your blog!

Hi Fliu! I definitely like the sushi and sashimi at Nijiya better. As for bentos Nijiya, Marukai and Mitsuwa have slightly different offerings so I tend to change it up. But yeah, generally I still prefer Nijiya. Especially recently with all their new stuff.. :)

caninecologne said...

hi dennis - i love japanese magazines! especially the fashion ones! i didn't know they had mags devoted to food! must check that out next time i go to mitsuwa.

i like mitsuwa's packaged meals. i also like their fried oysters. yum!

word ver:

Dennis K. said...

Hi CC! Man I don't have enough money to buy all the magazines I'd wish, nor have the space for them all so maybe that's ok.. At Mitsuwa I used to get their pork miso bento. Very high savory miso porkiness over rice "dude meal" it was, haha.. ;)