I can't seem to get my head around a proper organized post these days. Sharing a few things I happen to find interesting and more random food related topics sprinkled about.
A treat for L.A. folks, Kaneko Hannosuke
is opening a store in the food court of Mitsuwa Santa Monica (Mar
Vista). It seems Hannosuke doesn't have any outlets other than their
main location in Nihonbashi (where people always report the long lines)
so this first branch in the U.S. is exciting news. (Mitsuwa.com link info here.) [Update: My first impression visits can be found here.]
(tempura rice bowl) specialist Hannosuke serves a specific Edomae-fu
("Old Tokyo" style) where the pleasant nutty aroma of sesame oil used
for the fry is complemented with a further appetite stimulating robust
sauce, both hallmarks of this type. Can't wait to try as it's literally
been over twenty years for me since I've had one that could be called
such. The Edokko
fonded flavors would be notably bolder than the likes of subtle Kansai
tastes and at least for Ten-don, the version I would most definitely
prefer. Hard to come by outside Tokyo until now so it's really great.
toppings are some combination of Anago (sea eel), scallop, Kisu (type
of Japanese Whiting), shrimp and maybe squid for seafood, while shishito
peppers, sheet Nori and even Hanjyuku soft boiled yolkalicious
eggs are also a common sight as tempura at Hannosuke. Could only guess
what the menu plan would be here but if they play up true to the
original shop's concept the meal should also be decently affordable on
top. Can't see them on opening day as it's a Monday (June 11th) but the
first 100 customers gets a free meal on the house.
That week will be then capped starting the Thursday (14th, ending Sunday the 17th) with another Umaimono Gurume Fair
(often abbreviated to "MUGF" on this blog). The highlight usually for me
are the guest Ramen shops showcasing their limited number bowls and I'm excited that there will be another two set for this celebration.
I've yet to visit the newish brick and mortar Nidaime Tsujita
off Sawtelle in West L.A., but they'll be serving a Tokyo-style Shoyu
which they're calling "Edo Soba" with signature gyokai accentuated broth
(the marine - in this case Bonito and Niboshi)
blended with Pork/Chicken/Veggies that I can't seem to get enough of.
For the meat lovers there will be a Niku Soba with triple extra slices
of their Chashu pork (will cost $14.50 tho). Tsujita is really known more for their Tsukemen ("dip ramen")
which is exceptionally delicious in its own right, but truth be told
I'm more a Ramen fan and feel I always will be. Tsujita will be at the
Costa Mesa branch.
A sampling of a truly rewarding Miso-centric ramen bowl is harder to come by even more so, so I'm also looking forward to try Ichimonji, a shop from Hakodate (as was Kitahama Shoten
a year ago MUGF). Will be at the Torrance locale the same days. Although
Ichimonji will be offering a lovely looking Tonkotsu-Shoyu, my rec
would definitely be the Tonkotsu-Miso, the shop being from Hokkaido.
Appetite permit I'd love to try them both though, haha.
Sans the special ramen visitors, our San Diego store will be celebrating with some delicacies as well
so do check them out. I usually end up there after letting the noodles
have time to settle in my belly anyway, my drive back down while
listening to A Prairie Home Companion on NPR. Oh the good times.
Anyhow, there this week scored $0.99 bags of Shishito, Piiman and Eringi mushrooms. Will probably be making more Naporitans
throughout the week. I've been meaning to share a gateway
version for potential first time Naporitan eaters where the ketchup is
cut with a
little Demi Glace (super tasty). Another version I've been wanting to
experiment (with some precaution) is one using Heinz Chili Sauce (the
used for shrimp and stuff...). It'll surely give it an extra tang but
curious if the citrusy addition would be in a good way or not.
Then there is the Banana Ketchup.
Have you heard?
Also called Banana Sauce, it's a condiment created
in the Philippines when there was a shortage of Tomatoes in WWII. If
the experiment happens to not go well I wouldn't be down a lot at
$0.69 a bottle. But I'm here to try and prove my also out of closet avid
Naporitan fan hairstylist wrong, haha. There's something in me that says I
gotta try it once, and I'm not afraid of opening up a list of never
ending doors, my blog being labeled a useless Naporitan info haven be
Like how I recently found that there is a Japanese sub-sub-culture / genre (Aka - stuff most my Japanese friends don't even know about...) of cheap fast food spaghetti called the RomeSpa (ロメスパ - pronounced ro-me-su-pa). Check out these soulful eats from Japone (ジャポネ) in Ginza, said to be the birthplace of the highly altered Japanese pasta category.
Japanese-to-English translating battery is about depleted this Sunday
evening to try to explain the background in detail (with roots to the
casual standing Tachigui Soba eateries), but the three golden RomeSpa rules according to one expert are:
Much like most Naporitans (and acute disapproval from Italians), the
spaghetti noodles are precooked ahead in large quantities. The actual
meal preparation is then more a high heat toss-searing style (like
Yakisoba). This is mostly due to the fast paced speed at which would be
RomeSpa eaters expect their meals to be served at.
The spaghetti used are thick (sometimes called Spaghettoni or
Vermicellini). Aside from intangible nostalgic value with RomeSpa hounds,
the use of this thicker spaghetti at least to me seem to be important
with not only the filling aspect as a budget conscious meal but also to
give some decent texture. Not quite reaching actual al dente level, but from experience the high heat searing giving much life back to them.
3) Availability of extra large portions. There is no doubt that this is furious carbo-loading for the urban working class set. Seasoning also tends to be on the stronger side.
Other well known (and not so known) RomeSpa eateries around the Tokyo area are:
Spaghetti no Pancho (スパゲッティーのパンチョ).
Elm (エルム - or Erumu).
Little Koiwai (リトル小岩井).
RomeSpa King (ロメスパキング - reviewed by Eatnapo-san).
Tokyo Spaghetchi (東京スパゲッチ)
RomeSpa Balboa (ロメスパバルボア)
Giant Gattsuri Spa (GIANTガッツリスパ)
Well that's all I have for tonight. The first image btw is a carton of eggs I found during one of my trips to Nashville.
It was so neat I almost wished I could take it with me on the plane
home (and yes during my spare time on any trip I visit the local grocers and browse the isles for fun). I'm slowly discovering I have some fascination documenting egg cartons I guess. Maybe one day I'll share the full photo collection. Until then, thanks again for visiting!