Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Year Late Meme - 10 Photos

I've been wanting to do this Meme that I came across originally on Kirk's blog for a year now. I totally chuckled when I revisited it and found my comment of "It'll take me a few days but I'll let you know.." Ha! This challenge was really tough, though the rules elegantly simple..

1. Post 10 of your own favorite food shots.
2. Pass the opportunity on to others by leaving a message on their comments page just so they’re aware of it.

I'm going to partially ignore No. 2 and offer the challenge to anyone as it was done for me. So If you come across this post and want to participate, consider yourself tagged! (I've been wanting to say that forever..)

For better or worse I had more photos to choose from with the passing of time and I was all over the place when it came to the reasons of why I chose one over another. Explanations will follow so here I go! (And it was fun thinking of category names for each inspired again by mmm-yoso.)

No. 10 - A precious slot was immediately taken by this photo in 2005 from a hotel breakfast buffet in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Not knowing at the time it would be the start of my food photo-documenting obsession. The meal nothing amazing but the pic personally significant.

Of course purchasing my first digital camera (at Yodobashi down the street) was key in helping the kick start. But it's really fun to look back at my particular choices that morning. A light miso soup and simple hiyayakko an easy given. Runny omelets, crispy bacon and snappy natural casing pork links.. another given. Then the side of Hijiki, broccoli and a steamed bun. As much as I have fun looking at what's on my plate, I love looking at the plate itself, or the table and other subtle details (especially the color of the light). All evoke a particular mood and the ones that seem to best tell a story are always my favorites.

No. 9 - By far the Most Adrenaline Rush was this here from Fiori's. Fiori's is a local liquor store that also sells bargain Pizzas and sandwiches. I wasn't sure if they allowed photos but when I came across this wonderful sight one evening, I admit not caring to find out.. A past post here..

It was worth the risk of being yelled at or worse being banned from the store. I captured the moment and cherish it as close to my heart as memories of affordable pizza producing liquor stores can while leaving room for another of a plate of truffle risotto... ;)

No. 8 - The You're So Predictable, I Now Believe The Truffle Hype, or Wish I Owned A Proper DSLR category is this here of a Truffle Risotto from a nice quaint neighborhood restaurant in Milan, Italy last year. (Sorry, I'm leaving details out on purpose.)

This was SO Good. Truffles are magical. It's too bad truffle oils I've tried from markets all taste synthetic and rather gnarly to me.. Otherwise I'd be drizzling it on everything. Anyway someone once told me that Italian cuisine may not be the prettiest plated but it rivals the greatest in flavor and I found that generally true during my trip. When I finally do my overdue Milan post I can also show the equally dark and blurry wild mushroom tagliatelle photo that was also so simple but amazing.

No. 7 - Most Sentimental Meal (of '09) goes to the Japanese Curry at Ducks Restaurant in the SGV. It was really great seeing the place that I visited so often in college doing well. As Arnold would say, "I'll Be Back!"

You can read more about it on my Part One - Improptu L.A. Run here.

If you happen to be one of my few regular readers you'd know I'm a very sentimental person when it comes to food. And so this Totally Unpretentious But Great quality Hamachi Sashimi at El Pescador at No. 6 really took me back home one unsuspecting afternoon. Original post here.

A zoom of one of the marbled hamachi toro slices could've won for Best Macro but I reserved it for this..

No. 5 - Favorite Macro Shot was especially extremely hard. I settled on this Chirashi at Izakaya Sakura because it was one of those planet aligning days early in my food photo-documenting hobby that made me realize what anyone can accomplish with a sub $200 compact camera when all the factors were right.

Good natural light, an already attractively composed meal (helps), a little luck, and what I call patience with a sense of urgency.. (Kizami-nori can wilt fast!) :) A few more of Sakura's Kaisen-dons here.

No. 4 - Best Deal and Most Fun both go to this $1.99 triple scoop Thrifty's Ice Cream at Rite Aid.

A sight that still puts a big ol' grin on my face every time I see and that I'd pay someone the two-bucks for the photo alone! I think it was Strawberry, Pineapple and Chocolate. Original Two Dollar Neighborhood Steals post here.

A similar but slightly different note, the Had The Most Fun category No. 3 - is when I made my Tamago Branding Iron for my Sunday Dashimaki Tamago.

Though I wish one day to craft one as cool as Sushi Dokoro Shirahama's below. Ooops.. ;) But I think the old photo is happy to see some light of day.

What I meant to post was the No. 2 - Dang, Now That's A Maguro Nigiri.. (also from Shirahama).

I crave Chu-toro or O-Toro as much as the next person but this Maguro nigiri reminded me how great Akami can be where you can really appreciate the taste of the tuna. The wonderfully fluffy (salt sprinkled) Anago and Aji of the day will have to wait for an eventual future post. When I get around to it.

And finally my No. 1 - The 4th of July Fireworks In My Mouth Award goes to this Tsukune Yakitori I had at Torimasa in Aoyama, Tokyo. Fantastic juicy flavor with a coarser chopped texture rather than a fine mince and perfect blend of spices (with Asanomi hemp seeds).

It was an extravagant flavor bursting fireworks display for an audience of one along the taste bud shoreline of a privately owned beach called my tongue.

So there you go and I can't repeat enough how tough this challenge has been. I only managed to cheat once.. I think I'll have to do this again at the end of the year. It'd be a great recap and hopefully then not as tortuous.
Also please check out Our Adventures In Japan's 10 that is really great as well! Impressive that they all came from their kitchen. Especially loved the No. 8 - Spare Rib Gravy Over Rice.

I better post this before I change my mind again. So what's your 10 best? :)


K and S said...

thanks for including us in your post.

Dennis K. said...

Hi K&S, darn you beat me! I've been meaning to say hello and comment on your blog for a while. Anyway thanks for stopping by and I really enjoy your blog! :)

Anonymous said...

Your Chirashi at Izakaya Sakura macro shot is so beautiful, it should be in some food magazine somewhere.

Dennis K. said...

Wow, thanks CC - I think choosing a favorite macro shot for me was the toughest!

KirkK said...

Hey Dennis - Thanks for the mention! Love the hamachi sashimi shot, it's undoubtedly food porn.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirk, I think this would be fun to do at the end of every year as a recap don't you think?

meemalee said...

The internet ate my original comment :(

Just to say thanks for tagging me Dennis and I will take you up on the challenge!

Dennis K. said...

Hi meemalee, I know you would. Looking forward!

Masa Assassin said...

great shots luv the No. 5 Macro Shot ! I posted more a few days ago I guess my comment got lost in cyberspace

Dennis K. said...

That's weird, meemalee had the same problem it seems... Anyway thanks! Goes without saying, I'd love to see your 10 favorites! :)

Anonymous said...

Loved revisiting some of your favorite food photos with this meme. And, *shakes fist* I intend to complete one too thanks to you!

Dennis K. said...

Hi BB! I look forward but no pressure, mine took a year (kinda), haha. I'm definitely doing one again at the end of the year.

Anonymous said...


Dennis K. said...

And within a month's time! YOU ROCK BB. :)