Their first store in the U.S. ----The Japanese home cooking style set menu restaurant chain

Their first store in the U.S. --... Their first store in the U.S. --... Their first store in the U.S. --... Their first store in the U.S. --... Their first store in the U.S. --...
By Elli Sekine

“Yayoiken”, a set menu chain that has over 300 stores all over Japan finally came to the United States this spring. Their English name is “YAYOI”, and the first store is in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley. On the way there, my curiosity grew. I was wondering what kind of challenge this Japanese style family restaurant was facing, and how they were received in America, which is the restaurant industry powerhouse. This restaurant is located in Downtown on University Avenue. Its elegant façade stands out, and inside is bright, casual, and practical looking. They have a pretty innovative ordering system. An iPad is installed at each table through which orders are placed. The rich menu that contains both Japanese and Western dishes is very well accepted for the good quality and the pricing. The high-quality Japanese restaurant chain, Yayoiken, has started its smooth sailing in America.

In Japan, there is a saying, “IchijuSansai” (one soup, three side dishes), which is the traditional ideal of a well-balanced eating habit. Generally, it means a meal with rice as a main food with 2 side dishes and a bowl of miso soup. For a long time, since the Meiji Restoration, “Western style meals” transported from the foreign countries have been rearranged, evolved, and settled into home cooking and the restaurant industry in Japan. For instance, karaage, croquet, curry, etc, are now recognized as a part of Japanese cuisine overseas. Until some decades ago, the image of a set meal restaurant was a small eatery, but nowadays, it is more like one of the stores of nation-wide restaurant chains that is a rapidly growing business in Japan. This fast-growing industry is even expanding to overseas.

Plenus Co. Ltd,. the headquarters of “Yayoiken”, was originated from a bento chain which held sway over the minds of the people in the seventies called “Hokkahokka-tei”. They are now separated from the original maker, and run as a different company. From 2008, they started a bento chain called HottoMotto, and grew to be a mammoth chain that holds 2,600 stores nationwide. “Yayoiken” is their restaurant department in the affiliated company, and is the fastest growing chain in the restaurant industry,

There are already a total of over 130 “Yayoiken” in Asia and Australia. Following the Palo Alto store, the second one in the U.S. opened in Cupertino. You may think that the American customers might be confused about the unfamiliar term, “set menu”. However, the reality is that there is no such thing. The local resident chief manager, Mr. Teramoto, says that the customer can order whatever they like with no problem. Without a doubt, the reason is the big menu book with descriptions and large full-color photos of all the dishes. It is so easy to see what you want. In addition, the innovative iPad ordering system reduces the number of servers, and provides speedy service to deliver orders to customers’ table quickly without making them wait for a long time. Transparent billing with pre-included tips can also contribute to better rotations.

The history of set meals, special brand rice, etc. are explained on the menu, and help customers become familiarized with Japanese culture. Some of the popular dishes from over 30 set meal choices are “Yayoi Gozen”, a gorgeous set with pork cutlet salmon and sukiyaki ($24), “Nanban Teishoku” ($15), and “Hitsumabushi” (BBQ eel over rice served with a side of dashi broth, Nagoya style) which is a rare dish in the States. The wide variety of Japanese and Western dishes on the menu can cover every group and its diversified eating habits. There are also plenty of drink choices with over 20 different sake and draft beer brands.

“Yayoi” is particular about rice, dashi, and sauce, which are the base of Japanese cuisine. Those base ingredients are imported from Japan to all of the overseas stores. Kinmemai rice is polished in-house to make sure of the freshness. The rice for the stores is also cooked with soft water filtered in a huge water filtering system because it is believed that rice grown in soft water tastes better if cooked also in soft water. The rice looks like regular polished white rice, but it is polished in a particular way so aleurone layer (that includes carbohydrates which produce sweetness and umami) and a portion of embryo buds will remain on the rice to keep brown rice–like characteristics for a fluffy and shiny cooked product. In the Bay Area where people are very health conscious and think brown rice is healthier, this delicious and highly nutritious rice might revolutionize such thinking. The dashi and sauce, which are the core of “unchangeable deliciousness”, are pre-measured accurately and shipped swiftly from the central kitchen in Japan to keep the same taste worldwide.

Each overseas store has a resident store manager and a head chef from Japan to lead the staff. To manage the operations, each Japanese head chef candidate is intensely trained for 3 months overseas before the assignment, and the rest of the staff members are locally hired.

Among the ever-growing IT ventures in Silicon Valley, “Bento box” is getting very popular for lunch. There are not nearly enough Japanese food catering businesses to accommodate the needs. If a mammoth bento chain, “HottoMotto” comes to America following “Yayoi”, more opportunity may arise. The challenge of Plenus Co. Ltd to the restaurant industry in the U.S. seems to have just begun.


日本全国に300店舗を構える定食チェーンの「弥生軒」がついにこの春、米国進出を果たした。その記念すべき英語名、「YAYOI」の第1号店がシリコンバレー、パラアルト店だ。 ファミリー外食産業大国のアメリカで、日本の“ファミレス”がどのようにチャレンジし受け入れられているのか興味津々で店に向かった。ダウンタウンのUniversity Avenue に位置する同店はひときわ目立つ上品な構えだが、中はカジュアルで機能的なレイアウト。 各テーブルごとにiPadが設置され、オーダーは全てコンピュータで行うという画期的なシステムだ。和洋が織りなす豊富なメニューは良質で低価格と評判が良い。日本の優良外食チェーン店「弥生軒」は米国でも順風満々なスタートを切っていた。


「弥生軒」の本部、プレナス社 は、もともと70年代に一世風靡をした弁当チエーン、「ほっかほっか亭」がルーツである。現在はこのメーカーとは別経営となり、2008年より「ほっともっと」弁当チェーンとして、現在全国に2600店舗のマンモスチェーンに成長した。そして同系列のレストラン部門が、「弥生軒」。その成長スピードは外食業界でトップだ。

「弥生軒」は、海外ではすでにアジア、オーストラリアに130店舗以上展開しており、米国は同店に続き2号店が11月にクパチーノにオープンした。「定食」というまだアメリカでは聞きなれない和食スタイルに客が戸惑うのではと思いきや、現地常駐のチーフマネージャー、寺本氏は、全く問題なく皆好きなものを注文するのだと答えてくれた。それもそのはず、大きなフルカラーのメニューブックには、一つ一つのおかずが大きな写真付きで説明してあり、一目見ただけで好みを見分けられるようだ。また、iPad の改革的なオーダーシステムは、従業員の人数が省けるだけでなく、お客を待たすことなくスピーディーに注文の品が運ばれ、チップを含んだ明朗会計が回転率を良くしている。





403 University Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 494-4437

Lunch Mon-Fir 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sat -Sun 11:00 am -3:00 pm
Dinner Mon-Sun 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
#alljapannews #japanese #yayoi #sanfrancisco


Logo Branding of Japanese Sake

By Yuji Matsumoto

I once wrote before about the importance of naming in the branding of Japanese sake. This time, I would like to write about logo branding.

The logo is an important symbol that represents the product of a company. When reviewing products popular worldwide, each company studies how to best advertise their logos to have their consumers remember their logo, an important strategy. Once the logo is known among consumers, then like Louis Vuitton, Channel, Calvin Klein, Coach, Prada, etc., the functionality of the brand becomes less important than the sense of security and popularity associated with the brand. Regardless of the product, consumers are concerned with visual appeal for text and descriptions usually escape the memory. This is especially true for Japanese, for the consumers generally cannot read Japanese.

Audi have four circles, Honda is the letter “H,” and apple is for Apple computers, logos are easy to memorize. This is also true for food products.

How does this apply to Japanese sake? Review of local ads for Japanese sake, it is difficult to see where the logo is, and often many of the brands don’t have one.

It’s difficult to tell if the sake manufacturer’s name is the brand, or the product name is, or if another product name is the brand. Since some companies sell several brands of Japanese sake in various bottles and labels, it’s disappointing that logos aren’t used to distinguish the brand and manufacturers.

Even if a consumer likes a particular brand of sake, this makes it difficult for the consumers to make the connection between the brand of sake and the manufacturer, or other products offered by that manufacturer. Although the colors and size of bottles may change according to the brand, the brand logo should be made most noticeable for the labeling. I would like each company to place their product on a shelf and review it. Why not consider a logo that appeal to consumers?








#alljapannews #japanese #sake #branding


Sake Samurai Award Ceremony

By Kosuke Kuji

This year the ceremony of the 11th Sake Samurai was held on the premises of Shimogamo Shrine. Shimogamo Shrine is a great treasure that is also inscribed on the World Heritage List. The system of Sake Samurai started 11 years ago. Japan Sake Brewers Association Junior Council organized by young brewers in Japan established this as a gathering of people that have the same heart of nurturing Japanese sake with love due to the fear of losing the 'pride' of Japanese in Japan, to bring back the pride of Japanese sake, and share the Japanese culture not only in Japan but also widely around the world.

Many Japanese and even foreigners have been appointed the title of Sake Samurai up until now and listed below are the people that were appointed Sake Samurai this year.

Mr. Shinya Tasaki, Chairman, Japan Sommelier Association
Mr. Toshio Ueno, LA Mutual Trading, Manager of Business Development
Mr. I Yonsk, President, Rinkai Co.
Mr. Elliot James Faber, Yardbird Restaurant Group, Beverage Manager
Mr. Marco Massarotto, La Via del Sake

The 5 wonderful Japanese and foreigners that were appointed this time each have accomplished great achievements. For detailed information please read (in Japanese) about them at the Sake Samurai Official Homepage noted below.

Sake Samurai Official Homepage: http://www.sakesamurai.jp/

Japanese sake is receiving great reviews around the world now. Those great reviews are making it back to Japan these last few years even though little at a time.

Of the appointed 5 people, Mr. Tasaki the chairman of Japan Sommelier Association who was the only appointee from Japan this time who gave greetings of being appointed chairman said that a sommelier in Japan must study Japanese sake. Japan Sommelier Association loud & clearly announced that they will make opportunities to study Japanese sake. I am so happy to be born in this age where all kinds of people in all kinds of countries seriously love Japanese sake and are sharing it with others.

As a brewer, I will continue to cooperate with all of the Sake Samurais and work hard in sharing our sake around the world.





田崎 真也 氏:日本ソムリエ協会 会長
上野 俊男 氏:共同貿易ロサンゼルス 事業開発部
李 容淑 氏:㈱リンカイ代表取締役社長
エリオット・ジェイムス・フェイバー氏:ヤードバード レストラングループ 飲料部
マルコ・マサロット氏:ラ・ビア・デル・サケ 代表





#alljapannews #sake #samuraiaward


“Sashimi. sushi, soba, and sake……A place where you can satisfy your palate in a sophisticated way

“Sashimi. sushi... “Sashimi. sushi... “Sashimi. sushi... “Sashimi. sushi... “Sashimi. sushi...
By Aya Ota

There is a restaurant that has a dignified appearance which makes you feel like stopping by in a corner of the busy East Village. When you step into the space as you are gravitated towards it, a noble and intense looking corridor runs before your eyes, and you feel as if you are entering another world. That is the “Ise Restaurant”, where you first taste a few slices of sashimi, and then leisurely enjoy sake with appetizers that contain various seasonal ingredients. After that, you complete the meal with sushi or soba; which is the way of a sophisticated eater. The customers in the East Village area are generally young people, and many of the dining places are casual. Among them, Ise is a rare place with a mature ambience where you can quietly enjoy meals and sake.

“Ise” is a long-lasting Japanese restaurant group which has been loved by New Yorkers for a long time since its founding in 1988. They are located in MidTown and Wall Street, and known as izakaya-style restaurants with all genres of Japanese cuisine. This time, the Wall Street location was moved to the East Village, and reborn as a new Ise with a totally brand-new concept.

“I am just doing the usual stuff,” says Masaru Makino in a plain tone, the Executive Chef. He came to the U.S. after building his career in kaiseki style cooking for 5 years in Japan. He is a veteran in this restaurant group who has been displaying his strong skills since the beginning of this group‘s history.

He says that he is just doing the usual stuff so plainly, but I know it is not at all easy to manage this so well as if he is just doing what he is supposed to do, especially at a restaurant that offers the biggest three genres of Japanese cuisine; “sashimi”, “sushi”, and “soba” as their three pillars. Actually, the true no-detail-skipping in preparation and non-compromising attitude can be felt when you taste their food. Their seafood such as blue-fin tuna, red snapper, yellow jack, firefly squid, and sea urchin come directly from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. They pay a lot of attention to how to maintain freshness so they can always offer the freshest ingredients. It is surprising that they even manually create a special mild soy sauce to bring out the best tastes of sushi and sashimi by combining multiple soy sauce brands with mirin and bonito Flake. “Soba”, their signature menu category, which they particularly put a special effort on, is made in-house using buckwheat flour produced in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido. Its smooth, chewy and nicely firm texture is excellent, and even artistic. It cannot be tasted anywhere else. Also excellent is the dashi carefully made with 5 different kinds of dried bonitos. It is so tasty that you want to add to the soba-yu (the hot water in which the soba has been cooked, and is usually served after having a soba dish), and drink the mixture to the last drop. The twenty different sake brands displayed are carefully selected by all of the staff after actually drinking them all. The sake and the food bring out each other’s goodness, and successfully create a wonderful pairing.

“I would like the customers to enjoy our food and sake to the fullest”, continues Mr. Makino. Such thinking is represented also in the interior design. The space among the tables are luxuriously big, and some spaces are set up almost like private rooms divided effectively by plain wood latticework. The bar located near the front entrance is a beautiful space where you also may want to drop by. There, you can either have just a glass of beer, or enjoy a full menu of items just like you are sitting at a table.

Strong impressions and discovery keep coming. It appears that they are really stressing on soba dishes on the surface, but there is more. The sushi counter with only 6 seats is kind of hidden in the back of the restaurant where Mr. Makino himself prepares omakase style dishes. There is also a kaiseki course that changes monthly.

“Ise”, a newly born restaurant which makes you feel that the more often you visit, the more you feel like visiting again, and telling someone about.---It is truly the birth of a great establishment.









Ise Restaurant
63 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 228-4152
#alljapannews #sashimi #sake #iserestaurant #newyork


A dining place where 3 difference scenes are presented

A dining place where 3 differe... A dining place where 3 differe... A dining place where 3 differe...
By Keiko Fukuda

In the past few years, the city of Irvine in Orange County has been having a construction rush with condominiums and town-houses. There, located just a few minutes from the 405 Freeway, there is a shopping mall always busy with many Asian residents. In this mall, you can find every Asian food you can think of; a Taiwanese bakery, a Japanese curry shop, a ramen shop, a revolving sushi place, Korean grocery store, etc. In one corner of the mall, a restaurant bar that serves original dishes called “Tokyo Table” stands. You can see lively young people on their patio from outside until very late at night. This restaurant is open until 1 a.m. on weekdays, and 2 a.m. on weekends.

Due to the location being in a college campus town, you expect a sports bar like setting for young people; however, business people in the surrounding areas come for lunch meetings, and families come for dinner as well. Between 10 p.m. and closing time is happy hour, and so is between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. You can enjoy bargain prices twice a day.

“By setting 3 distinctively different scenes, lunch, dinner, and mid-night, we are trying to appeal to a wide range of customers,” says Mr. Takahide Kukidome, the Director of Operations. After seeking satisfaction for all ages and genders for a long time, the number of menu items has expanded to 120 items. He says, “We offer a lot of different things; steaks, sushi rolls, ramen, and side dishes, etc. All the traditional Japanese menu items are the very close re-creations of the recipes developed by Japanese chefs.

In addition to the traditional Japanese cuisine such as sashimi and tempura that go the royal road, they also offer some very creative untraditional menu items. The typical one is their original dish, “Sushi Pizza”. It looks just like a pizza, but it is prepared completely differently. Rice is spread on a sheet of sea weed, then mayonnaise and seafood is applied, and topped with Jalapeño pepper before it is oven-baked. American sushi lovers like crispy texture in sushi, but I, a Japanese, never cared for the stiffness of rice. However, this sushi pizza has a chewy and fluffy texture of true rice, and sweetness. Not only that, all the ingredients are so well balanced, and create a superb harmony.

Kay Doling who is in charge of marketing told me something interesting about their menu. “Our menu uses Japanese words, for instance, Ika Maruyaki for the grilled whole squid, and Karaage for fried chicken rather than giving translations.” You may question if non-Japanese customers can understand them, but first of all, they can see the photos of the dishes on the menu, and second of all, it is a strategy to create communications between the customer and the server by the customer asking the server what they are. Another purpose, according to Mr. Kukidome, is to reach his goal to permeate Japanese cuisine into the American market with the real Japanese terms.

Well, bringing out the whole concept of an extended menu that appeals to a wide range of customers, reasonable pricing, casual ambience, and friendly services, another Tokyo Table will be opening soon in a mall in the city of Alhambra. It will be in a corner of the mall, another ideal location just like the Irvine one. The space is even bigger with 210 seats compared to 190 for the Irvine store. I wonder if they intend to adapt the successful case they have made in Irvine to expand their business nation-wide in the future. They definitely make me look forward to the future development of Tokyo Table.


ここ数年でコンドミニアムやタウンハウスの建設ラッシュが続く、オレンジ郡アーバイン。中でもアジア系の人々で大盛況のショッピングモールがフリーウェイ405号線から車で2、3分の場所にある。ここに来れば、台湾のベイカリー、日本のカレー、ラーメン、回転寿司、韓国系のスーパーマーケットとアジア系の食はほぼ網羅されている。そのモールの角地に立地しているのが、創作料理のレストランバー、Tokyo Tableだ。深夜まで若者たちで盛り上がるパティオの様子が通りから伺える。実は同店、ウィークデイは深夜1時、週末は2時まで営業している。




メニューに関してはマーケティング担当のケイ・ドーリング(Kay Doling)さんが面白いことを教えてくれた。「当店のメニューはイカの丸焼きをそのままIka Maruyaki、また唐揚げもFried ChickenではなくKaraageと表記しています」。それで日本人以外の顧客に伝わるのかと疑問だが、実際はメニューに写真を掲載することで目で見てわかること、さらに「Ikaとは何でしょう?」と顧客がサーバーに質問をすることによってコミュニケーションが生まれる効果も期待した作戦なのだそうだ。さらに久木留氏によると「日本の食文化を名前ごとアメリカ市場に浸透させたいという意気込みの表れ」でもあるとか。

さて、幅広い層にアピールする豊富なメニューとリーズナブルな料金設定、カジュアルな雰囲気の店内、フレンドリーなサービスというコンセプトをそのまま持ち込んで、新店舗が近くオープンする。アルハンブラのショッピングモール内、しかもアーバイン店と同じく角地という絶好のロケーションだ。アーバイン店にも席数は190あるが、アルハンブラはさらに210と巨大空間を確保。アーバインでの成功事例を今後は全米各地に応用させていくのか、今後が楽しみなTokyo Tableだ。

Tokyo Table
2710 Alton Pkway, Irvine Ca 92606 (Diamond Jamboree)

Sun – Thurs 11:30am-1:00am
Fri – Sat 11:30am-2:00am
#alljapannews #orangecounty #tokyotable #japanesefood


Powerful new restaurant with “Smoke” theme is changing the town

Powerful new re... Powerful new re... Powerful new re... Powerful new re...
By Elli Sekine

"Kemuri Japanese Baru”, a smoked dish specialty store opened in Silicon Valley. “Kemuri” means smoke in English.

The restaurant specializes in charcoal grilled dishes cooked with Binchotan charcoals, and smoked plates that are smoked sashimi and chicken and umami brought out by adding fragrances with cherry chips, etc. This new trendy restaurant, “Kemuri”, with a unique concept is leading the local Japanese food culture. Redwood City, where this restaurant resides, is a bed town in Silicon Valley. The city center used to be occupied with family restaurants, and was far from an image of a trendy city.

As the Silicon Valley grew bigger, and so did its population, there has been a housing onstruction rush of condominiums and apartment buildings for as many as 30,000 growing residents. Redwood City is becoming a favorite residential town for its convenient location being between San Jose and San Francisco, having a train station, and easy access to freeways. “Kemuri” is located on the main street. It stands out amongst the other Japanese restaurants in the neighborhood which serve usual sushi and teriyaki types of dishes. The locals see “Kemuri” as an unusual spot where they can experience trendy Japanese cuisine and talk a lot about it. Along with the population growth, IT business people started to come to this town and hang out at bars after work in the evening.

Those crowds are really changing the atmosphere of this town. The person who grabbed the business chance in this district where Japanese cuisine is developing is Takeo Moriyama, the owner/chef of “Kemuri” who is managing a restaurant for the first-time. “I chose this town because I saw a future. He says, “I would rather serve delicious dishes that are locally developed than insisting on the traditional style.” He never had any professional training or attending cooking school. He got into the food industry just because he had always liked cooking ever since he was a young child. He obtained permanent US residency by winning the lottery program in his twenties, and came to the U.S. His first job was working in the kitchen of a restaurant in San Jose called “Gaku”. His passion for cooking gradually grew there. He kept experimenting and studying by himself, and the home cooking menu he created with a keen sense became very popular, and led “Gaku” to become a very popular restaurant at the same time.
He opened this new restaurant “Kemuri” after going through such a success.

Smoking is profound. In order to bring out the best umami, some like yakitori are broiled, and some like fish and meat are smoked with wooden chips. Depending on the ingredients, proper adjusting of flames, amount of smoke, temperature control, etc., is required. The high-quality Binchotan charcoal from Japan can be heated as high as 800 degrees. Infrared rays and high heat radiated from the charcoal bring out umami, and result in crispy outside, fluffy inside, and juicy finish.

The recommended dish is the “Chicken Thigh ($8)”, “Beef Tongue ($16)” which uses tender center cut, “Salmon Toro Aburi ($15)”, etc. Their signature dish is the “Smoked Sashimi ($25)” which is raw fish slightly smoked to bring out the sweetness. The popular appetizer is the “Unagi Slider ($12)” which is unagi sandwiched in toasted rice patties. The flavorfully grilled unagi is juicy, and the accompanying crispy cucumber slices are refreshing. ”Ox-tail Udon ($14) with Inaniwa udon is good to complete the meal with, and the “Washu Beef and Foie Gras ($35), or “Omakase” are good for gourmet eaters. They can be pre-ordered.

Another charm of this place is a large full-service bar. The drink menu is rich, especially the Japanese whiskeys. There are over 17 different brands. No other restaurants carry this many. Some of them are rare brands such as Hibiki 21 years, Yamazaki 18 years, and Yoichi 15 years, which are difficult to get even in Japan. Cocktails made with spirits such as the “Kemuri Smoked Manhattan ($14 and the “Shiso Wasabi Margarita ($12)” are popular signature drinks. Shochu and sake from each prefecture are lined up as well. They have outdoor seating to enjoy happy hour.

They sometimes host events such as beer pairing with sashimi, and sake festivals, etc. As you know, Steve Jobs loved Japanese cuisine. Relations between the development of Silicon Valley and Japanese cuisine has become inseparable. Evolving Japanese cuisine in the American way can be possible only by this skillful chef who can perform charcoal magic by polishing the “Yaki” skill which is the basic of Japanese cuisine.

I felt the town breathing with the new wind created by this new powerful cutting- edge skilled owner/chef.


「Kemuri Japanese Baru」という”煙”をテーマにした料理の店がシリコンバレーにオープンした。店名の“kemuri” とは英語でSmokeの意味。同店では備長炭を使った炭火料理と刺身や鶏料理にチェリーのチップなどでスモーキーな香りを付け素材の旨味を引き出し香りをつける燻製料理を主体としている。このユニークなコンセプトを持つ「Kemuri」が地元の日本食トレンドをリードしている。

同店が存在する レッドウッドシティは、シリコンバレーのほぼ中心に位置するベットタウン。街の中心部はファミリー向けのレストランが多数を占め、最近までトレンドには縁遠いイメージだった。 しかしシリコンバレーの発展に伴い人口が急増し、最近では約3万人の移住者を受け入れるコンドやアパートの建設ラッシュが続いている。サンフランシスコとサンノゼを繋ぐ電車の駅が街に乗り入れ、フリーウェイにも近いことから居住区としての人気急上昇中だ。人口増加と共にIT関連のビジネス客が流れてくるようになり、仕事が終わる夕方になると周りの人気のバーにも人があふれ、人の活気が街全体の様相を変えている。


この日本食の発展途上地区にビジネスチャンスを見出したのは、今回初のレストラン経営に挑む「Kemuri」 のオーナーシェフ、森山岳男氏。「この街の将来性を期待して場所を選びました。伝統にこだわるより現地で進化させた美味しい料理を提供したいです」と語る同氏は、料理学校やレストランでの修行の経験はなく、子供の頃から調理は好きだったという程度の動機でレストラン業界に入った。20代で永住権抽選プログラムにより永住権を取得し渡米。初めに働いたサンノゼのレストラン「GAKU」の調理場での経験が次第にパッションになっていった。独自に研究を重ね、鋭い感性で創作した家庭料理風メニューが好評を得、同時に「GAKU」も人気店となった。そしてその経験を経て今回開業に至った。


炭から発生する赤外線と高温により旨味が引き出されるため、外がパリパリで中がフワフワ、ジューシーな仕上がりになる。おすすめはChicken Thigh ($8)、芯の柔らかい部位を使ったBeef Tongue($16)、 Salmon Salmon Tro Aburi ($15)など。冷燻製から生魚を少し燻して甘みを引き出した燻製刺身$25は看板メニューとなっている。アペタイザーからの人気メニューは、焼きおにぎりのように表面を焦がしたライスにうなぎをサンドしたUnagi Slider ($12)。ジューシーに焼き上げた香ばしいうなぎに歯ごたえが良い新鮮なきゅうりが斬新だ。

シメには稲庭うどんスタイルのOx-tailudon($14)、グルメの客には、Washu Beef and Foie Gras( $35)や「オマカセ」もプリオーダーできる。

同店のもう一つの魅力は、広い本格的なフルバーだ。ドリンクメニューも豊富で、特に日本ウィスキーの品揃えは他のレストランに比べダントツで、17種類を揃える。中には響21年、山崎18年、余市15年など日本でも入手困難なプレミアムもある。その他スピリッツで作るカクテルも人気でスモーキー味の「Kemuri Smoked Manhattan」($14)と「Shiso Wasabi Margarita」($12) は同店の看板料理。焼酎、日本酒も各県からの銘酒がずらりとラインアップ。外にはテラスもありハッピーアワーも楽しめる。またビールに合う刺身を創作したビールペアリングや酒祭りなどのイベントも開催している。


2616 Broadway
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 257-7653

Tues.-Fri./ 11:30am-2:00pm
Tues.-Thur./ 5:30pm-10:00pm
Fri., Sat./ 5:00pm-11:00pm
Sun./ 5:00pm-9:30pm
Monday Closed
#alljapannews #japanese #restaurant #kemuri #broadway #sashimi


To Enjoy Japanese Sake More Casually

To Enjoy Japanese Sake More...
By Yuji Matsumoto

Japanese sake is a drink that Americans still cannot get used to.
Majority of Japanese sake sales are from restaurants, and unfortunately sake is still not a beverage that people in their home or at home parties like to casually consume.

The reason is that, due to the real taste and drinking method not being introduced, Japanese sake 'Saki' is probably placed as a special drink that Americans consume when they visit a sushi bar. Also, when you look at any label, introduction of taste and drinking method is not explained in English in detail. Compared to wines the prices are high, and product display method in the market is hard for consumers to understand.

Well, it will be every simple but let me teach you a simple selection method of Japanese sake.

To start, it is important to decide which you want to pair the sake with. I would like you to understand that Japanese sake is an alcohol that is consumed during a meal to increase the food's flavor while eating like wine.

Beef dishes:
Junmai or Junmai-kimoto made in Kyushu, Tohoku, Kanto, Hokuriku, and Nada is recommended

Chicken dishes:
Ginjo class made in Hiroshima, Niigata, Nada, Hokuriku, and Kanto is recommended

Fish dishes:
Ginjo class, Daiginjo class made in Niigata, Hiroshima, Shikoku, and Kyoto is recommended

Certainly, depending on taste flavoring and cooking method, the sake you pair it with be different, but for the time being I think it will be fun to experience the pairing in different regions.

This month's pick-up:
Mizbasho Ginjo from Gunma prefecture.

This item is perfectly balanced in acidity, taste, and aroma. It goes well with chicken dishes to thick flavored fish dishes.










#alljapannews #japanese #sake #saki #casual #gunma #mizbasho #ginjo


Iwate Specialties and Sake Pairing

By Kosuke Kuji

Iwate prefecture I live in is the number one largest prefecture next to Hokkaido and the area is about the same size as Shikoku. Besides the 70% of the prefecture being mountainous, it contains Sanriku Coast which is a ria coast and is famous as the Japanese fjord. Abundant with food from both the land and sea, another character of Iwate prefecture is having the rich food culture. I'm always asked how the Japanese sake goes with food overseas.

If it is Japanese food with Japanese sake, any combination goes well to an extent, but if you're looking for the best combination, some of the best can be found by pairing food materials from the local areas of the brew masters that brew regional sake.

To start, Iwate prefecture that has the Sanriku Coast is a large fish industry area. A variety of fishes and shellfishes at the coastal areas can be enjoyed. Out of all those items, "Abalone" represents Iwate prefecture.

Especially the abalone that is caught in Yoshihama of 'Sanriku, Ofunato' is dried and has been exported to China from long ago. This abalone is called "Yoshihama Dried Abalone" and is useful as the highest quality food material in China.

This Sanriku in Iwate is proud of their "Sanriku Takarazuke" which is pickled with abalone, salmon roe, smelt roe and 'mekabu' (seaweed family) etc is a specialty item that shines out of all items in Iwate. Mr. Nakamuraya of 'Kamaishi, Iwate' who also starred on the popular TV program "Ryori no tetsujin" (Iron Chiefs) is the one who makes this "Sanriku Takarazuke". This specialty item that combines the goodness of Sanriku ocean and Nanbu Bijin Daiginjyo just make the best combination and the fruity aroma of the Daiginjyo and the sea aroma and salty tang make the best match.

This Sanriku Takarazuke pairs well with sake but it is also wonderful eating it after putting it on top of just made hot rice.

It just makes me feel good to be born a Japanese knowing we have Iwate prefecture that has the best seafood, with variety of processed foods, also as raw or dried and processed and being distributed throughout Japan and to the world.









#alljapanusa #sake #pairing #iwate #japan


Innovative store that offers new-wave yakitori in kaiseki style

Innovative store that offers ne... Innovative store that offers ne... Innovative store that offers ne... Innovative store that offers ne... Innovative store that offers ne...
By Aya Ota

Lately, people are raving about the NoMad district of Manhattan. NoMad stands for North of Madison Square Park, and it covers the area of the whole north side of Madison Square Park. The district used to be under the spotlight for being between Midtown and Downtown, but due to the recent uprising with designer hotels, sophisticated restaurants, and boutiques, the street scenes and peoples’ attitudes there are rapidly changing.

In this district, a restaurant with a new and unique concept, yakitori kaiseki, called “Teisui” opened. This is also the one and only Japanese-owned store in the district.

Mr. Masahiro Hase, Representative Director of All Frontier America Inc. which manages the store, says, “I wanted to do something that only this unique district can provide”. The store name, “Teisui”, was taken from the long-established Inn, “Teisui” in Akita prefecture in Japan operated by the same company. Another reason is the fact that New York and Akita are both situated at 40° North Latitude.

Mr. Nobuaki Watanabe, Chef de Cuisine continues, “We cannot survive the competition by doing the same thing as other yakitori shops in New York where many yakitori specialty stores exist. The concept, yakitori kaiseki, is pretty innovative already, but more surprisingly, their yakitori are prepared very differently from the traditional way which is flavored with tare and salt.

One of their dishes, “Tori-Momo Couscou” is grilled chicken thigh accompanied by couscous, mashed potato, and fried eggplant. The creamy couscous and sweet and spicy tare (yakitori sauce) matches and enhances the chicken perfectly to create a splendid harmony.

Mr. Watanabe says, “I would like to offer the kind of dishes that are not only delicious, but also have a surprising twist.” He always strives for creating dishes that would satisfy your full 5 senses.

The first item that appears in the course menu is “Hassun”, which is an image of smoking volcano, which is created by pouring Gyokuro-tea over dry ice to grab the customers’ heart quickly with its visual and fragrant effect. Each of the beautifully arranged 4 kinds of appetizers has a unique texture and kick, and keeps you discovering something new, and being impressed.

The last course item, “Ishiyaki TEISUI” is a local dish from the Tohoku’s Ojika region, created by the fishermen. This is a dynamically prepared item; in the miso soup served in a cedar container, raw seafood and green onions are thrown in, then a burning hot stone is thrown in! You enjoy watching the miso soup suddenly boil up, and the accompanying sound and the nice smell. Then, you taste the concentrated umami of the ingredients. It is just so impressive.

Chef Watanabe has an experience in working as the director/chef of a popular TV cooking show in Japan. He also used to present his excellent skills in a famous restaurant in Canada. These past experiences may have contributed to today’s success in his ingenious and creative performances.

Many customers are actually shocked about such an unusual yakitori concept at first, but by the end of the 10-course meal, they are well absorbed in the newness, and feel satisfied. Yet, some still wants traditional yakitori with salt and tare-sauce, so they also offer a a-la-carte menu to accommodate such customers.

They are also the first store focused on the style of Akita local cuisine to be different from other yakitori places. The interior has a classy and historical ambiance of the traditional Japanese Inn which is where the name of the store came from, where the Emperor of Japan once stayed. They also offer the same quality hospitality.

Once again, a new food culture has been added to New York! They are planning to offer a new course menu every season. Let’s look forward to new exciting surprises in the coming seasons!


近年注目を浴びているノマド地区。ノマドとは“North of Madison Square Park” の略称で、マディソン・スクエア・パークの北側一帯を指す。ミッドタウンとダウンタウンの間に挟まれて見逃されがちだったこの地区だが、近年、デザイナーズホテルや洒落たレストランやブティックが登場し、街並みも人々の雰囲気も急速に変貌を遂げている。

この地区に、“焼き鳥懐石” という、これまでになかった独創的なコンセプトの店、『Teisui』が登場した。日本人経営の店としてはこの地区唯一の存在でもある。


「焼き鳥を出す店が多く存在するニューヨークでは、他店と同じことをしていては生き残れない」と、料理長を務める渡辺宣考氏が続ける。“焼き鳥懐石”というアイデアも画期的だが、タレや塩を使った従来の焼き鳥とは違い、 さまざまな食材やソースと組み合わせて食べることに驚かされる。





246 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
(917) 388-3596

Mon.-Sat./ 5:30pm-10:30pm
#alljapannews #newyork #yakitori #teisui #nomado #district


Japanese cuisine that can truly satisfy your expectations

Japanese cuisine that can trul... Japanese cuisine that can trul... Japanese cuisine that can trul...
By Keiko Fukuda

The name of the store is well known. Many say that you can taste authentic Japanese food when you visit “Osawa” in Pasadena”. They offer a wide variety of menu items from sushi, shabu-shabu type items, to inexpensive items such as curry rice, and sukiyaki bowls at lunch time.

“I would like the customers to feel like they are in their own kitchen. A regular customer who feels that way, and wants to come as often as every day once asked me to purchase a table just for him. No one else can sit at the table even when he is not present? I cannot allow that.

I felt honored, but had to politely decline the request”, said the owner/chef, Shigefumi Tachibe. I heard that there are over 100 people who try, but not able to get in on weekends.

Chef Tachibe with a 40-year-long career is known as an executive chef who led the West Hollywood “Chaya Brasserie” to becoming a super popular restaurant after working for the Chaya Group for 30 years. Right after the Chaya Brasserie closed in July of 2015, Chef Tachibe transferred his main focus to “Osawa” completely. “Osawa” then had been managed by his wife, Sayuri, who is also the part owner, since its opening in 2013, and now the husband and the wife together are devoting themselves passionately to managing Osawa’s operation.

I have actually interviewed Chef Tachibe in the past while he was working for Chaya. He then told me how important the food ingredients were. He was going to farmer’s markets to select the vegetables with his own eyes. Now he moved from French to Japanese cuisine, but still maintains the same principle for the importance of ingredients.

“I select fish I buy myself, too. I go to the South Pasadena farmer’s market on Thursdays, and to the La Canada one on Saturdays. It is needless to say that we use fresh, organic, and safe ingredients for our customers. I change the “Daily Special” menu depending on what I bought for the day. So, every day is a new challenge for me,” says Chef Osawa.

His basic idea for creating the menu is just simply something he wants to eat himself. His idea is not only simple, but also flexible. “You can eat anything you feel is right. If you are treating your customers, you may want to order sushi, or shabu-shabu. If you come by just for a bite, you may want to order Oyako Donburi, or a bowl of Udon. There are no rules or styles you need to follow.” He stresses on the following belief: restaurants are supposed to offer safe ingredients, delicious foods, and of course, good hospitable service. He declares that Osawa’s chefs should be able to provide the closest possible dishes to whatever you request.

Next, I asked Sayuri about the customers in Pasadena. She said, “American and other non-Japanese Asian customers as well seek authentic Japanese food. They give us a comments like they feel as if they are in Japan in our restaurant. Also many Japanese customers visit Japan even more often than us, and thankfully, they also like our food.”

Lastly, I asked the Chef about his perspective for the next few years. He said, “I will carry on the same style for a while”. The main store remains the same, but they are planning to open the second store, which will be a casual delicatessen between the end of this year and the beginning of 2017. It is wonderful news for the Osawa fans.











77 N. Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103

Everyday open
#alljapanusa #Osawa #Japanese #cuisine #sushi #shabushabu


  • ブログルメンバーの方は下記のページからログインをお願いいたします。
  • まだブログルのメンバーでない方は下記のページから登録をお願いいたします。
    現在 9/13 ページ
  1. <<
  2. <
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. >
  15. >>