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Running for several decades as a diner in the day time, and an izakaya at night time

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Running for several decades a... Running for several decades a... Running for several decades a... Running for several decades a... Running for several decades a...
By Keiko Fukuda

In 1992, I came to Los Angeles initially to spend a long holiday after quitting a publishing company in Tokyo. However, 6 months later, I ended up staying for a while because I had an opportunity to work for a Japanese community magazine, and also acquired a working visa. The office was located in Gardena, a southern suburb of Los Angeles, where many Japanese and Japanese Americans live. The restaurant, to which my coworker took me on my first day at work, was Azuma, which was located on the same street as my office.

Their menu contained dishes which were similar to those of diners in Japan.

However, I was astonished by unexpectedly large volume of the dishes I ordered when they were delivered in front of me. I thought it could be only my imagination, but after that, it seemed like volume was getting larger and larger every time I visited.

In 2003, I quit this first company and became a freelance writer. I was visiting Azuma less often after that, and started to visit the restaurant occasionally at night while they were operating as an izakaya rather than during lunch time.

Azuma was always crowded as it was before, every time I visited. There was an aikido dojo right across from Azuma on Western Street, where my son used to take lessons 3 times a week. When I was waiting for my son outside of the dojo in those evenings, I used to smell delicious grilled fish from across the street.

More than a quarter century has passed since I first visited Azuma. What is their secret for being loved for so long in the South Bay as a Japanese restaurant and as an izakaya as well? I asked for permission to interview the owner. The current owner is Hideki Obayashi, and he is a third-generation Japanese American. He runs the restaurant with a partner, Frank Nakano. He said that they bought Azuma from the previous owner in 2002.

“I overheard a waitress at Azuma saying “the restaurant is on sale”. As an izakaya of Gardena, it was the only one back then, so it sounded very appealing, and I made a bid with Frank. We were the third bidders, but we were lucky enough to become the new owners.”

He said that ever since they took over, the restaurant has continued to run smoothly without losing the lasting reputation as a popular restaurant. “Recently, Yelp has been helping a lot. Most of the customers write quite highly about us. Once in a while, we get a bad review, but it seems to me that some competitor is just trying to pull our legs because we are so confident about our foods and services,” says Hideki wearing a confident smile.

They have not changed the basic menu since the time of the previous owner. They just made small changes to accommodate customers’ requests. As for the popular items, he says, “Caucasian customers like rib-eye steak and sashimi.

Third-generation Japanese Americans prefer curry or omelet-rice over usual combination dishes. And, health-conscious customers surely love grilled fish such as saury, mackerel, and salmon, and sashimi. For those who drink, we have a comprehensive izakaya-style menu, and we carry all the Japanese popular beer brands; Asahi, Sapporo, and Kirin,” he answered. I said, “Why don’t you carry Orion beer? There is the North American Okinawa Kenjin-Kaikan Hall right in the neighborhood.” “Sure enough! We should check into it,” said Hideki, diligently taking notes, showing his enthusiasm of the business.

Well, it has been already 17 years since Hideki and Frank took over. I asked the reason for their ever-lasting popularity that keeps appealing to even repeating customers. He answered, “There are three. First, a rich and wide variety of menu items. Second, large volumes of food. Lastly, excellent service by our servers. The last, third point is especially difficult to achieve. We are always asking around to look for good candidates.”

Several blocks down south on Western Street from where Azuma is located, there used to be Toyota’s headquarters until 3 years ago. Although the population of surrounding Japanese and Japanese food lovers also moved away with Toyota, Azuma seems to keep busy by winning a wide variety of customers’ hearts with their good food.


昼は定食屋、夜は居酒屋で数十年

1992年、東京の出版社を辞めた私は、長期の休暇を過ごすような気持ちでロサンゼルスにやって来た。しかし、渡米半年後に日本語の情報誌で働ける機会とビザを得て在留することになった。その職場は日系人や日本人が多く暮らすロサンゼルス南郊のガーデナにあった。そして、初日のランチタイムに職場の先輩が連れて行ってくれたレストランが、同じ通り沿いの吾妻だった。

日本の定食屋と同じようなメニューが並んでいた。しかし、オーダーした料理を実際に目の前にすると予想外のボリュームに驚かされた。その後、店を訪れるたびにボリュームが増え続けるように感じたのは気のせいだったのだろうか。

その後、2003年に最初に勤めた会社を辞めてフリーランスのライターになってからは以前より頻度は落ちたものの、ランチではなく夜に時折、居酒屋として利用するようになった。そして、いつ訪れても吾妻は変わらず繁盛していた。また、ウエスターン通りを挟んだ真向かいに、息子が週3日通う合気道の道場があった。夕方、息子の稽古を道場の外で待っていると、通りの向こう側から焼き魚の美味しそうな香りが漂ってきたものだ。

私が最初に吾妻を訪ねてから四半世紀以上が経った。サウスベイで変わらず日本食レストラン兼居酒屋として愛されている秘密は何か、オーナーに話を聞こうと取材を申し込んだ。現オーナーのヒデキ・オオバヤシさんは日系3世。フランク・ナカノさんとの共同経営で、前のオーナーから吾妻を2002年に買い取ったそうだ。

「吾妻のウエイトレスから、『店が売りに出ている』を耳にして、ガーデナの居酒屋としては当時、唯一の店だったから、魅力的に感じてフランクと名乗りを挙げました。買いたいと言ったのは僕たちで3組目だったんですが、運よく、僕たちが新しいオーナーになれました」

以降、ヒデキさんたちが引き継いでも、それまでの人気レストランとしての評価を下げることなく経営は順調に推移して来たと話す。「ここ最近はYelpが非常に役に立っています。ほとんどのお客さんが高い評価をつけてくれますからね。時折、低い評価もあるけれど、あれは競合店が足を引っ張っているんじゃないかって思うほど、自分たちの料理やサービスに自信を持っています」とヒデキさんは余裕の笑顔だ。

前オーナーの時代から基本的にはメニューを変えていないが、顧客の要望で一部のみ変更したとのことだ。人気の品は「白人の顧客にはリブアイステーキや刺身がよく出ます。日系3世になると一般的なコンビネーションより、むしろカレーやオムライスをオーダーする人が多いです。また、健康志向の人にはやはり、サンマ、サバ、サーモンなどの焼き魚や刺身ですね。お酒を飲む人向けには居酒屋メニューが充実しているし、ビールはアサヒ、サッポロ、キリンと日本のブランドを全て取り揃えています」と答えた。「オリオンビールは置いていないのですか?すぐそこに北米沖縄県人会館があるのに」という問いに対して、「確かにそうですね。検討しなくては」と早速メモを取るヒデキさんの姿に、商売熱心な姿勢が見えた。

さて、ヒデキさんとフランクさんの代になってすでに17年、昔と変わらず人気店としてリピーターを引き付けている理由を聞いた。「3つあります。まず、メニューの種類が多いこと。次にボリュームがあること。最後にサーバーの対応が良いことです」。3番目の人材は特に難しいポイントで、常にいい人がいないか、人に聞いて探していると話す。

吾妻の場所からウエスターン通りを数ブロック南下した場所には、3年前まで北米トヨタの本社があった。トヨタの移転と共に周囲の日本人人口、そして日本食の愛好者の人口も流出したが、吾妻は幅広い層の顧客の胃袋を掴むことで変わらず繁盛を続けているようだ。



Azuma
16123 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 532-8623
#azuma #Gardena #izakaya

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Get Your Appetite Back with Sake

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By Yuji Matsumoto

The other day I had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas due to business, but couldn't believe that the day high was 45 degrees C (113 degF). With hot winds and scorching heat that may seem to melt the asphalt, I lost my appetite and found myself in an unhealthy predicament to spend a whole week in an air-conditioned room.

To ease my body from this heat, I decided to join (mariage) miso grill with a summer favorite vegetable nasu (eggplant) with extremely cold "Junmai Daiginjyo" .

Nasu doesn't contain much of nutrition value, but as you know miso (soybean paste) helps you with fatigue recovery, cancer prevention, cholesterol control, proper bowel movement, beauty improvement, brain activation, age prevention, stimulation of body function etc and the list goes on. Also, soybeans that are the main content contain fine quality protein, an abundance of necessary amino acids, saponin that is known to prevent increase of peroxide lipids, different vitamins, potassium, and food fibers etc. You couldn't be more than happy that miso goes well with Japanese sake.

So why don't we enjoy ourselves by having high nutritional value miso food and Junmai Daiginjo and help our body recover from the summer heat.



日本酒で食欲回復

仕事で先日、ラスベガスに行く機会があったが、日中気温はなんと摂氏45度。熱風と灼熱でアスファルトも溶けんばかりの暑さに食欲もなくなり、冷房の効いた部屋で一日を過ごす不健康な一週間をおくる羽目になった。

さて、そんな体を癒すために今回は夏野菜の定番、ナスを使ったみそ焼きとキンキンに冷えた純米大吟醸でマリアージュしてみた。

ナスは、それ自体多くの栄養価を含んでいないが、味噌はご存知のように疲労回復、がん予防、コレステロールの抑制、消化促進、整腸作用、美容効果、脳の活性化、老化防止、基礎代謝の促進など揚げればきりがない。また、主原料である大豆には、良質のたんぱく質が多く含まれ、必須アミノ酸のほか、過酸化脂質の増加を防ぐといわれているサポニン、ビタミン群、カリウム、カルシウム、食物繊維など様々な栄養素が豊富に含まれている。さらに、味噌は日本酒と合うので、これほどうれしいことはない。

今回は、栄養価の高い味噌料理と純米大吟醸で気持ちよくなりながら夏バテした体を元気にしてみてはいかがかだろうか。



以清酒恢復食慾

前段日子,因工作關係而有機會前往拉斯維加斯;怎料白天的氣溫竟達攝氏45度。伴隨令人懷疑能夠融化瀝青的熱風及熾熱空氣而來的,是食慾的喪失;以及導致要度過「在空調房間度過整天」,不健康的一周。

好吧,為了治愈這樣的身體,我嘗試了混合經典夏季蔬菜——茄子——的烤製味噌和冰冷純米大吟釀,作出完美糅合。

茄子本身雖然並不含有很多營養價值;但眾所周知,味噌可以消除疲勞,預防癌症,抑制膽固醇,促進消化,調節腸道,有助美容,活化大腦,抗衰老,促進基礎代謝等;功用多不勝數。此外,作為主要成分的大豆除了含有許多優質蛋白質,必須的氨基酸外;還含有如據說可以防止脂質過氧化物增加的皂苷、多種維生素、
鉀、鈣和膳食纖維等各式各樣,十分豐富的營養素。再者,味噌與清酒非常配合,沒有比這更令人感到興奮的事。

這次,何不嘗試在享受營養價值高的味噌料理和純米大吟釀的同時恢復因夏天而疲累的身體?



니혼슈(일본술)로 식욕 회복

얼마 전 출장으로 라스베가스에 갈 기회가 있었는데 무려 낮 기온이 섭씨 45도였습니다. 아스팔트도 녹일 듯한 뜨거운 열기에 지치고 식욕도 없어져 방에 틀어 박혀 에어컨을 틀고서는 일주일을 나른하게 보냈습니다.

그렇게 늘어진 몸에 활력을 불어 넣고자 여름 제철 채소, 가지를 이용한 일본의 미소된장 가지구이에 시원하게 보관한 준마이 다이긴죠(純米大吟醸)를 페어링 해봤습니다.

가지는 그 자체로 영양가가 많은 편이 아니나, 미소된장은 알려진 바와 같이 피로 회복, 암 예방, 콜레스테롤 억제, 소화 촉진, 정장 작용, 미용 효과, 뇌 활성화, 노화 방지, 기초 대사 촉진 등 그 효능이 이루 셀 수 없이 많습니다. 또한 주원료인 대두에는 양질의 단백질이 다량 함유되어 있으며 필수 아미노산 외에도 과산화지질의 증가를 막는다는 사포닌, 비타민 군, 칼륨, 칼슘, 식이섬유 등 각종 영양소가 풍부하게 들어 있습니다. 게다가 미소된장은 니혼슈와도 잘 어울려 더할 나위 없는 기쁨을 선사합니다.

이번 기회에 영양가 높은 미소된장 요리와 함께 준마이 다이긴죠를 한잔 기울이며 여름철 더위로 지친 몸과 마음의 활기를 되찾아 보는 것은 어떨까요.
#sake #recipe #Junmai #miso

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

First in the World! Vegan-certified Japanese Sake Released

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By Kosuke Kuji

Nanbu Bijin is the first sake product in the world to receive the “Vegan” certification in January 2019, certified by The Vegan Society based in England and NPO Vege Project Japan.

The original ingredients of Japanese sake are rice, malted rice, and water, common knowledge among those somewhat knowledgeable about Japanese sake, and knowledge as basic as grapes being the main food ingredient for wine.

However, examining the Japanese sake label shows the ingredients are listed only in Japanese. Needless to say, this makes understanding the sake ingredients difficult for foreign consumers.

Faced with this dilemma, Nanbu Bijin’s sake and liqueur were certified as satisfying “Kosher” requirements stipulated under Jewish dietary laws in 2013.

Through this certification, Nanbu Bijin products were gradually introduced not only among non-Japanese fans of Japanese sake and non-Japanese consumers knowledgeable about Japan, but also among a wide range of non-Japanese consumers. One American national asked, “If Japanese sake is Kosher, why won’t you get Vegan-certified?” Of course, examining the Japanese sake ingredients gives evidence the product is “Vegan.” However, none of the Japanese sake products were certified as Vegan, because it was so obvious, no one noticed, to be more precise.

We have to start from disseminating the most obvious information to reach consumers beyond the Japanese. Therefore, we took on the challenge and with some time, we finally received the Vegan certification.

Japanese sake is produced using absolutely no animal products. Not only is this true for Vegan-certified Nanbu Bijin sake products, but also for other Japanese sake brands as well. Therefore, our sincere desire is for the entire Japanese sake industry to work together to get more sake breweries Vegan-certified to increase the value of Japanese sake products as a whole worldwide.


「世界初!ヴィーガン認定の日本酒誕生」

南部美人では、2019年1月、世界で初めて日本酒の「ヴィーガン」認定を受けました。イギリスを本部とするヴィーガンソサイエティーと日本のヴィーガン協会の2つから認定を受けました。

日本酒の原材料は「米」と「米こうじ」、そして水です。

これは日本酒をちょっとでも知っている人ならば誰でも知っている事で、まさにワインの原材料が「ぶどう」と答えるのと同じような基本的な事でもあります。
しかし、日本酒のラベルを見ても、原材料の部分は日本語でしか書かれていません。これでは外国人が日本酒の事を理解するのは難しいです。

そんな中で、南部美人では2013年にユダヤ教の食餌規定を満たす認定「コーシャ」を日本酒とリキュールで認められました。

そのことで、日本酒好きのノンジャパニーズや、日本の事を良く知るノンジャパニーズだけでは無く、広い範囲のノンジャパニーズの皆さんにお酒を少しずつ浸透させていきました。アメリカである方から「日本酒はコーシャであるなら、なんでヴィーガンの認定は受けないのか」と言われました。確かに日本酒の原材料だけ見ると間違いなく「ヴィーガン」です。しかしどの日本酒もヴィーガンの認定は受けていない、むしろ当たり前すぎて気づかなかったという方が正しいかもしれません。

当たり前なものを「見える化」しないと、日本人以外には伝わりません。そこで挑戦を始めて、時間がかかりましたがやっとヴィーガンの認定を受けました。

日本酒は動物性のものは一切使っていません。それはヴィーガンに認定された南部美人だけではなく、他の日本酒も一緒の事です。願わくば、日本酒業界が一丸となって多くの蔵がヴィーガン認定を取ることで、世界で日本酒の価値がさらに高まることを祈っています。
#vegan #sake #南部美人 #NanbuBijin

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Niku Steakhouse: A unique steak specialty restaurant, serving directly-imported wagyu from Japan, opens

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Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste...
By Elli Sekine

Wagyu is becoming a fullfledged boom. You already regularly find “wagyu” in menus of American restaurants and delicatessens. However wagyu as a category in the US is still vague. In the meantime, “Niku Steakhouse”, which opened last year in the Design District of San Francisco, is a new type of steak restaurant that emphasizes brand wagyu and A4-5 quality strongly as a Japan-direct wagyu specialty restaurant. Since its opening, this restaurant has been so popular, that it has been achieving full capacity daily.

The Gulf region where this Design District is located, is changing to an IT business base due to a large-scale redevelopment. In this District, there has been a series of construction rushes of buildings and condominiums in the last 3 to 4 years, and along with the big IT businesses flowing into the area, the population has grown rapidly, public safety has been improved, and the number of high-end restaurants has also grown quickly. “Omakase Restaurant Group”, which started its restaurant business in this area early on, has been opening Japanese and Asian restaurants one after another, and producing many successful restaurants.

The “Omakase Restaurant Group” has developed a total of 5restaurants and a shop so far in this area. There are a variety of business models and concepts in them, from a Michelin-starred “Omakase” restaurant, to the casual “Dumpling Time” and “Udon Time”.

Among them, this “Niku Steakhouse” uses a high-end model, utilizing a cutting-edge facility and latest cooking techniques. This Group’s operation staff are Chinese. With their strong efforts in teaming up, they have developed unique routes and approaches to Japanese culture, education, and networking. They keep getting offers from investors because of their achievement records and planning power. They have a plan to launch a new venture in the near future, and “Dumpling Time” went overseas to Shibuya this year.

What is tremendously contributing to the quality management of the main theme of “Niku Steakhouse” which is the superb quality wagyu, is the “butcher shop” next door to the restaurant. There, Guy Crims, who is in charge of importing and butchering meat, is the core person who travels throughout Japan to purchase large quantities of meat. The carefully selected wagyu by Mr. Crims is cut by section first, and then further gets custom-cut to match each individual order. You can taste the specialty of the direct import quality of the steaks cooked in accordance with the weather conditions, raising methods, etc. of each region of the ingredients.

At the butcher shop, sliced wagyu with its characteristic delicious-looking marbled-fat patterns are displayed artistically, and are catching the eyes of the visitors. In this shop, even the location of production, individual ID number, and nose print of each wagyu are described. I asked the reason that they can offer relatively reasonable prices compared to other restaurants’ on A5 wagyu. Mr. Crims simply said, “It is because we buy a big bulk.” By selling also at the store front, the high-quality meat circulates with no waste. From last month, they started to sell “wagyu hamburgers” for lunch time only, and this has been causing a customer rush.

Its roomy interior space is modern and sophisticated. Its high ceiling and the courtyard outside of the windows provides a relaxed ambience. The counter space by the entrance is beautiful, and the tall and wide shelves that reach the ceiling showcase various alcoholic beverages, which heighten the restaurant spirit. At the bar counter, most of the customers enjoy pairing with wine. A drink menu with a vast selection containing everything from cocktails to sake, to wine and popular Japanese whiskey, is very attractive as well.

The dining space has an open kitchen, and a highly advanced grill and a gigantic charcoal burner table are installed to symbolize the restaurant’s “evolving steakhouse” image.

The person in the kitchen, who cooks tactically with radiating orange-colored flares from burning Japanese Binchotan charcoal and American domestic oak charcoal is the executive chef, Steve Brown. He was hired for his previous cooking experiences in working for a high-end steak restaurant and other fine restaurants. His high skills for delicately adjusting temperatures and achieving perfect doneness of meat, and his house-made fermented hot sauce are highly praised.

The Wagyu menu of the day of my visit contained A5 Satsuma, A5 Ono, A5 Kobe, A5 Takamori, etc. In addition to wagyu, the main menu also contains 40-day dry-aged prime Angus Porterhouse, Ribeye ($110~130), Kurobuta pork chop ($65), etc. The A5 wagyu each had a unique taste of richness, juiciness, flavorful-ness, smokiness, umami, and deepness. It depends on your preference, but the most popular item on that day was Takamori, which was on the sweet side, and well-balanced. Its umami spreads all over your mouth, and lingers for a long time. When you cut into the nicely browned aromatic surface, a beautiful pink inside appears. The superb balance of fat, protein, and minerals only produced by wagyu beef is concentrated in the umami by grilling it on the strong Binchotan charcoal fire.

“Niku Steakhouse” is the one and only wagyu specialty steak restaurant in the US, which utilizes locally-specialized wagyu knowledge and evolving techniques.


米国随一、日本直輸入和牛専門ステーキ店オープン

和牛ブームがいよいよ本格化している。すでに米国のレストランからデリまで「Wagyu」メニューは日常的となった。しかし未だに米国での「Wagyu」のカテゴリは曖昧だ。そんな中、サンフランシスコ、デザイン地区に今年オープンした「Niku Steakhouse」は、日本産輸入和牛専門としてブランド和牛とA4-5 品質をしっかりアピールする新しいタイプのステーキ店だ。オープン以来連日フルハウスの人気を博している。

デザイン地区を含む 湾岸一帯は、大規模な再開発でIT ビジネス拠点へと変貌している。同地区ではこの3、4年ビルやマンションの建設ラッシュが続き、IT大手企業が流入し人口が激増、治安は改善されハイエンドのレストランが一気に増えた。この地区に早くから飲食ビジネスを始めた「Omakase RestaurantGroup」は、日本食やアジアレストランを次々とオープンさせ、繁栄店を続出させている。

同エリアに現在計6 店舗を展開する同グループは、ミシュラン一つ星の「Omakase」からカジュアルな「Dumpling Time」、「 Udon Time」まで異なる業種とコンセプトを持つ。中でも「Niku Steakhouse」は最新鋭の設備と調理テクニックを駆使したハイエンドレストラン。同グループの経営陣は中国人で、強力なチーム編成で日本へのアプローチ、教育、ネットワークに独自のジャパンルートを持つ。同グループの業績と企画力でインベスターのオファーは後をたたない。近い将来、新規事業も予定しており、「Dumpling Time」は今年、渋谷に海外進出を果たしている。

 「Niku Steakhouse」の主役、高品質の和牛の品質管理に大きく貢献しているのが、レストランに隣接した「ブッチャーショップ」だ。そこで輸入調達、食肉処理を担当するガイ・クリムズ氏は、良質のブランド牛農家を訪ね日本国中を旅し大量買い付けをする中心的人物だ。同氏が吟味した和牛は、ここで部位に切り分けられた魂肉は、目的に応じ最適なオーダーカットが施される。各地方の気象条件や肥育の特性を生かしたステーキは、産地直送ならではの味わいだ。

ショップでは、和牛の特徴である美味しげな霜降り模様の切り身がまるでアートのように配列され、訪れる客の興味をそそっている。店内では各和牛の生産地、個体識別番号、鼻紋まで表示する徹底ぶり。他レストランのA5 和牛と値段を比べるとリーズナブルな理由について同氏は、「仕入れの量が違うから」と一言。店頭販売もしており、上質肉を余すことなく循環させている。先月からはランチタイムのみ「和牛ハンバーガー」の販売が始まり、客が殺到している。

広い店内は洗練されたモダンなイメージで、高い天井とガラスごしの中庭が落ち着いた雰囲気を醸し出している。入り口には美しいカウンターバーがあり、天井まで届く広い棚には多種のアルコール類がレストランスピリッツを掻き立てる。ほとんどの客はワインとのペアリングを楽しんでいる。カクテルから酒、ワイン、人気のジャパンウィスキーまでバラエティに富むドリンクメニューも魅力的だ。

ダイニングルームはオープンキッチンになっており、「進化するステーキハウス」を象徴すべく最新グリルと巨大な炭焼テーブルが備る。日本産備長炭とアメリカ国内オーク炭を巧みに操りオレンジの光を放ちながら調理するのは、同店のエグゼキュティブシェフ、スティーブ・ブラウン氏。高級ステーキ店やファインレストランのシェフ経験を経ての就任だ。肉を焼くのに微妙な温度や焼き加減の繊細さのテクニックと自家製の“ 発酵ホットソース” は定評を得ている。

この日の和牛メニューはA5 Satsuma,A5 Ono, A5 Kobe, A5 Takamori などで、メインメニューには和牛以外も40day dry aged prime AngusPorterhouse, ribeye($110~130)、Kurobuta pork chop($65) も並ぶ。A5和牛の味わいはリッチ、ジューシー、フレーバフル、スモーキー、旨味、濃厚とそれぞれが個性豊かで味わい深い。好みもあるがこの日の一番人気はTakamoriで、甘みが強くバランスが良い。旨味が口いっぱいに広がり長く残る。香ばしいブラウンの焼き加減でナイフを入れると色艶良いピンク色だ。和牛ならでは脂質とタンパク質、ミネラルのバランスが絶妙で、備長炭の強い火によって旨味が凝縮されている。

 「Niku Steakhouse」は、ご当地和牛の知識と進化する技術を駆使した米国唯一の和牛専門ステーキ店だ。



Niku Steakhouse
61 Division Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 829-7817
https://www.nikusteakhouse.com/
Everyday 4:30pm-10:00pm
#NikuSteakhouse #SF #wagyu

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Inspiration creation to drink Sake

スレッド
Taste difference of different Sakes certainly originates from labels displaying rice polish or sake categories, but even more it is strongly influenced by the sake making process using koji mold etc or the water quality. That starts from rice selection, rice milling, soak time, steamed rice, koji mold and temperature maintenance, yeast cultivation, pressing, blending, pasteurize etc the list can be endless. By delicately adjusting the way the processes are intertwined, breweries are able to make the sakes they want.

There are many different special names & difficult phrasings in Japanese like "unfiltered sake", "Kimoto (traditional brewing method)", "Yamahai (traditional brewing method)", "Shiboritate (freshly pressed)", but in the first place there would hardly be any consumer that can understand what they mean. Even if they could understand, they wouldn't be able to pass on the taste or aroma, how it goes with food, creating inspiration to drink or motive to the consumers.

Instead, if you were to explain that "It's a Junmai Daiginjo that goes great
with whitefish and holds back the aroma", consumers would understand better. If you were to say "Kimoto Junmai that goes well with meat dishes" or "xxx Junmai goes exceptionally well with grilled fish" etc. would produce motive for consumers to drink.

To increase more sake drinking fans, it is important for breweries to describe inspiration creation to want to drink sake on their menus and labels.



飲むきっかけ作り

日本酒の味の違いは、もちろんラベルに表示されている精米歩合や特定名称からも起因されるが、それより麹造りなどの全体作業(造り)や水質によって大きく影響される。それは、米の選別から始まり、精米方法、浸漬時間、蒸し方、麹造りと温度管理、酵母の培養、絞り、ブレンディング、貯蔵、火入れなど挙げれば切りが無い。これらが微妙に絡み合い調整することにより蔵の造りたい酒が出来てくる。

特定名称や難しい表現「無ろ過生原酒」「生もと造り」「山廃造り」「絞りたて」など色々と日本語でラベルに書かれているが、そもそもこの意味が何を意味しているのかを理解している消費者は、ほとんどいない。たとえ理解したとしても味や香り、食事との相性、飲んでみたいきっかけや動機を消費者に与えていない。

それより、「白身魚との抜群な相性、香りを控えめにした純米大吟醸」とした方が消費者は分かりやすい。「肉料理にも合う、生もと純米」、「焼き魚と抜群な相性を持つxxx純米」などとした方が消費者に飲む動機を与える。

日本酒ファンをもっと広げるためには、日本酒を飲んでみたいきっかけ作りをメニューやラベル上で表現することが重要である。



釀製喝酒契機

不言而喻,清酒的味道差異某程度上來自標籤上顯示的精米步合(經處理後的白米與原料玄米的比重)和特別名稱等;但誘發更大影響的會是製麹等的整體製作程序,水質等。製作程序是由挑選米、精米(玄米處理)手法、浸泡時間、蒸煮方法、製麹和溫度管理、培養酵母、壓榨、混合、保存、高溫殺菌等數之不盡的工序所組成。通過絕妙地調整各工序,酒藏可以製作出其所想製作的酒。

雖然標籤上寫有許多特別名稱或艱澀用語如「無過濾生原酒(指沒有經過任何後期加工,於壓榨後直接裝瓶的酒)」、「生酛(手製酵母)造酒」、「山廢(略過山卸工序)造酒」、「鮮榨」等;但事實上卻只有為數極少的消費者了解上述用語的意義。再者,即使理解箇中意味,亦無法因此令消費者理解其香味、味道、與料理的襯托程度;更不能帶給消費者嘗試該酒的契機或動力。

相反,如以「與白魚極為配襯,香味清淡的純米大吟釀」等方法說明,會更易令消費者明白。而「亦與肉類料理配襯的生酛純米酒」,「與燒魚極為配襯的XXX純米酒」等表達手法,能賦予消費者嘗試的契機。

為進一步增加清酒愛好者的數量,在選單或標籤上創造出「想喝清酒的契機」極為重要。



마실 기회 만들기

일본 술은 라벨에 표시된 정미 비율과 특정 명칭에 따라 맛에 차이가 납니다. 하지만 누룩 만들기 등 전체 작업(만들기)과 물의 질에 따라 크게 영향을 받습니다. 쌀의 선별부터 정미 방법, 침지 시간, 증류 방법, 누룩 만들기와 온도 관리, 효모 배양, 짜기, 브랜딩, 저장, 불의 세기 등 차이를 만드는 요소는 셀 수 없을 정도로 많습니다. 이런 요소가 미묘하게 서로 얽히고 적절하게 섞여 원하는 술이 만들어집니다.

‘무로카나마겐슈’, ‘기모토즈쿠리’, 야마하이즈쿠리’, ‘시보리다테’ 등 특정 명칭과 어려운 표현으로 다양하게 일본어 라벨에 표시하지만, 애당초 그 의미가 무엇을 의미하는지 이해하는 소비자는 거의 없습니다. 예를 들어 이해한다고 해도 맛과 향, 식사와의 조합을 다 알 수 없고, 마시고 싶은 계기와 동기를 소비자에게 부여하지도 않습니다.

이것보다는 ‘흰 살 생선과 최고의 조합, 향을 줄인 준마이 다이긴죠’라고 표시하는 편이 소비자가 더 알기 쉽습니다. ‘육류 요리와도 잘 어울리는 기모토 준마이’, ‘구운 생선과 찰떡 궁합인 XXX 준마이’ 등으로 표현하는 것이 소비자에게 마시고 싶은 동기를 부여합니다.

일본 술이 더욱더 많은 사람에게 사랑받기 위해서는 일본 술을 마시고 싶도록 메뉴와 라벨에 표현하는 것이 중요합니다.
#sake #inspiration

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Pepper Lunch: Excited and mesmerized by the food grilled right in front of you! Fast food steak house, “Pepper Lunch”

スレッド
Pepper Lunch: E... Pepper Lunch: E... Pepper Lunch: E... Pepper Lunch: E... Pepper Lunch: E... Pepper Lunch: E...
By Aya Ota

A steak specialty fast food franchise, “Pepper Lunch”,opened its first New York location on March 21 of this year, and is drawing a lot of attention because the second location opened on July 3, already only 3 and a half months later.

At “Pepper Lunch”,, you order and pay first, and sit down at a table, and wait. Then, a sizzling hot iron plate arrives, and you, the customer, cooks your steak by yourself.

Not only can you cook your steak to your favorite doneness, but you canalso make it to suit your taste by adding their original steak sauce and toppings. Popularity was spurred by the fact that you can have good quality steak at a reasonable cost, and they have so far developed 470 locations in 16 countries worldwide (136 in Japan).

“Pepper Food Services Co., Ltd.” (“Kuni’s Corporation” in US), whichruns this restaurant chain, opened their first location in the US in February of 2017. They brought “Ikinari Steak”, their super popular chain in Japan known for its unique style of selling by weight, and having you eat standing up, on top of low pricing, to the East Village District of New York, and became the topic of conversation. Only within 2 years, they expanded their business to 11 locations in New York. In October of 2018, they got listed on NASDAQ as the first restaurant business from Japan. However, due to the later slow-down of the achievement, they were forced to make a big change in their business strategy, and closed 7 locations this year. They also made an announcement to withdraw from NASDAQ this fall.

Kunio Ichinose, Founder & CEO admits humbly; “Back then, I was stuck with the idea of replicating the Japanese way. I had no fear and was reckless. What to serve by how much and to whom? I was wrong about this from the start of our coming to the US,” he continues. Here in the States, steak is a luxurious and special food. The quality and taste of what we offered was well accepted, but low pricing and stand-up eating style did not go well.

Moreover, due to the facts such as the hasty increase of locations, and having a no-tipping system caused hardship in hiring and educating of the staff, which eventually led to compromising in the quality of the service. And this time, as the result of the big trajectory correction, they will concentrate on enhancing the brand power by continuing to run “Ikinari Steak” at 2 out of the 4 remaining locations, and develop “Pepper Lunch” at the other 2 locations because this model has a good record in developing overseas.

Overseas development of “Pepper Lunch” started 14 or 15 years ago in Singapore. They went to Australia next, and kept progressing differently from Japan in creating menus and developing styles according to the local needs. In 2018, they opened 2 locations in LA. They are developing this New York locations by bringing in a lot of these other overseas successful experiences from the past.

Their signature dish is the “Pepper Rice”, in which steak and rice is cooked together like fried rice. Since the opening of the first New York location, they have been quickly taking note of customers’ preferences, and started to serve variations with seafood such as shrimp and salmon. In addition to the steadily-desired steaks, they have added dishes combined with a hamburger patty and curry, which are not often found in the US. They also added combo dishes to the menu such as a 2 different kinds of steak combo, and combination dishes with a hamburger patty on the menu. They use only top 36% quality USDA certified Angus beef. Cup-sake is also offered, and is well accepted. They are steadily increasing fans by excitement and the heightened emotions that the customers feel from eating self-cooked food with lively noise and aroma.

They are planning to open another franchise restaurant in Las Vegas by the end of this year. Mr. Ichinose’s ambition “to spread casual steak culture, in which you eat steak regularly, and Japanese steak to all over the US” is unstoppable.


目の前で焼き上げる興奮と感動 ファストフード・ステーキハウス『ペッパーランチ』

ステーキ専門のファストフード・チェーン『ペッパーランチ』が、今年3月21日にニューヨーク初上陸を果たし、そのわずか3カ月半後の7月3日に2号店を開店し、注目されている。

同店では、来店後まず注文・会計を済ませ、テーブルに着席し待っていると、熱々の鉄板が運ばれてきて、客自らステーキを焼き上げるというスタイル。好みの焼き加減に仕上げられるだけでなく、同店オリジナルのステーキソースや追加トッピングを加え、好みの味付けに調えることができる。上質のステーキ肉を安価に食べられることも人気に拍車をかけ、現在では、世界16カ国に約470店舗(うち日本国内136店舗)を展開している。

同チェーンを運営する『株式会社ペッパーフードサービス』(米国法人『Kuni’s Corporation』)の米国初進出は2017年2月のこと。量り売りしたステーキを立ち食いするという独自性と低価格がウリで日本国内でも圧倒的な人気を誇る『いきなり!ステーキ』を、ニューヨークのイーストヴィレッジ地区に開店し話題となった。その後わずか2年でニューヨーク市内に11店舗まで拡大。2018年10月には、日本の外食産業では初となるナスダック上場も果たした。しかし、その後の業績不振により、大幅な戦略変更を強いられ、今年に入って7店舗を閉店したほか、今秋にはナスダック上場廃止することも発表した。

「当時は、日本でのやり方を再現することに固執していた。怖いもの知らずで無謀だった」と潔く語るのは、創業者で代表取締役社⻑の⼀瀬邦夫氏。「誰に何をいくらで提供するのか。米国進出では、この点を最初から間違えてしまった」と続ける。本場・米国では、ステーキは贅沢で特別な料理。同店が提供するステーキの品質や美味しさは高く評価されたものの、低価格や立ち食いといったコンセプトが浸透しなかった。また急速に店舗拡大したことやチップ制を導入しなかったことで、従業員採用や育成に苦戦し、サービスの質低下を招いてしまった。そして、今回、大幅な軌道修正を図った結果、残した4店舗のうち2店舗で『いきなり!ステーキ』継続しブランド力を高めることに注力し、もう2店舗では海外での出店実績が豊富にある『ペッパーランチ』を展開する。

『ペッパーランチ』の海外進出は14〜15年前、シンガポールが最初だった。その後、オーストラリアへ拡大し、現地ニーズに合わせてメニューや運営面も、日本とは違う発展を遂げていった。2018年にはロサンゼルスにも2店舗開店。ニューヨークの新店舗では、これら海外での成功事例を大いに取り入れた展開となっている。

同店を代表するメニューは、ステーキ肉とご飯を炒飯のように焼き上げる「ペッパーライス」だが、ニューヨーク1号店の開店以降、客の要望を迅速に吸い上げ、海老やサーモンなど魚介類を取り入れたペッパーライスも開始した。また、安定需要があるステーキに加え、米国ではあまり見かけないハンバーグやカレーを組み合わせたメニューも追加した。さらにはステーキ2種類や、ステーキとハンバーグの組み合わせなど、コンボメニューも加えた。牛肉は、USDA認定アンガス牛のうち、トップ36%の品質のみ採用している。カップ酒も提供し、評判は上々だ。客自ら、ジュージューと音や香りを立てながら調理して食べる興奮や感動で、着々とファンを増やしている。

年内にはラスベガスにフランチャイズ店を開店予定だ。「日常的にステーキを食べるカジュアル・ステーキ文化、ジャパニーズ・ステーキを米国に広めたい」という一瀬氏の野望はとどまることがない。



Pepper Lunch Broadway
243 W 54th St. New York, NY 10019
(917) 472-7158

Pepper Lunch Chelsea
154 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011
(917) 409-5857

https://pepperlunch-usa.com/

Mon.-Sun. 11:00am-11:00pm
(Last Call: 10:30pm)
#PapperLunch #steak #NY

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Josui Ramen: Hugely popular ramen in Nagoya, a simple taste derived from nature

スレッド
Josui Ramen: Hugely popular ... Josui Ramen: Hugely popular ... Josui Ramen: Hugely popular ... Josui Ramen: Hugely popular ... Josui Ramen: Hugely popular ...
By Keiko Fukuda

The two words, “Nagoya” and “ramen”, were not linked together in my mind.

Then, in May of 2019, a friend, who is from Nagoya, asked me to go to this Nagoya-originated establishment with me, which just had its grand opening. That was when I first recognized Josui Ramen. Here, in Los Angeles, it has been a while since the popularity of tonkotsu ramen settled in, and lately, shoyu ramen is also gaining attention. This Josui Ramen’s signature ramen is, however, shio ramen. Besides shio ramen, their menu also contains shoyu ramen, miso ramen, tantan men, and yusoba. However, I thought that I could not judge how good they really were unless I tried the signature dish. So, I ordered the Josui ramen, which had a flavor so tender and deep.

After the visit, I often heard from my acquaintances saying, “I went to Josui Ramen”. I wanted to find out how well they had been doing after their first launching in the US, so I visited them again a while after the grand opening.

Three people, Mr. Yasuhiro Maruyama and Mr. Hiroya Morikawa, the partners/owners of Josui Ramen America, and Mr. Tomohiro Maehara, the chef sent from the Nagoya headquarters, welcomed me. I found out that the Josui Ramen chain is so enormously popular that they have won No. 1 status in various ramen ranking contests in the Tokai region of Japan. Chef Maehara, whose family in his hometown runs a ramen restaurant, had visited as many ramen restaurants as possible, and then decided to work for Josui Ramen. I asked him what part of Josui he found attractive. He answered, “You usually cannot separate ramen from the use of synthetic seasoning, but Josui’s ramen is made only with all natural flavors. You can taste the goodness of natural ingredients with Josui’s ramen.”

In view of launching a full-fledged business in the States, Josui Ramen started to participate in ramen fairs held in Orange County, etc., a few years ago under the direction of Mr. Tateo Araki, CEO of Wildwood co. Ltd, their management company. Convinced of a firm possibility of success felt there, they were looking for a location in the Los Angeles area. The present location in Torrance was introduced during that time when the building was unused due to renovation. The owner of the property is Mr. Maruyama, who runs a restaurant/karaoke bar next door to the present Josui Ramen, and another one in Lomita, an adjacent town. Maruyama-san wanted to join the launch of Nagoya’s Josui Ramen in the US, and decided to invest in it, and then Mr. Morikawa joined in its operation by being called by Maruyama-san.

This restaurant had a soft opening in the fall of 2018, and experienced some hardship before finally making the grand opening. I asked Mr. Maehara, who worked for 6 years with the Josui Ramen business in Nagoya, about the difference of the US from it. He said, “First, the water is different, so we installed a machine to make the water soft. We also struggled to find chicken that could produce good dashi. We continued the search of good enough chicken, and were finally able to find it through the help of a Japanese American company.” He said, that they have reached the stable and consistent taste now.

Only in America, they offer vegan ramen on the menu. They newly added this item, which doesn’t exist in Nagoya, knowing that there are many more vegans in the US than expected. Konbu is used for shoyu ramen, and soy milk is used for miso ramen.

As of July of this year, 60% of the customers are Japanese. All 3 say the same thing. “We came here to convey the authentic taste of Nagoya ramen, so we want to increase the ratio of the local customers from now on.” In order to realize the purpose of “conveying the real ramen taste to America”, they must be looking for the possibility of further development of the chain, I thought. I asked them about it. Each gentleman passionately spoke about their thoughts on Josui. Mr. Maruyama said, “I aim for conquering the whole US, but I would like to firmly stabilize this Torrance location first. I am expecting some after-Karaoke crowd since we are right next to it.” Mr. Morikawa said, “I’d like many people to know that there is such simple, but delicious ramen besides tonkotsu.” Mr. Maehara said, “I’d like people to taste our ramen made with so much care and particularity.”


名古屋の大人気ラーメン 自然由来のシンプルな味わい

「名古屋」と「ラーメン」という2つのワードは筆者の中では結びついていなかった。ところが2019年5月、グランドオープニングを迎えたばかりの名古屋発祥の如水ラーメンに名古屋出身者に誘われて行った際に、その存在を初めて知った。ここロサンゼルスでは豚骨ラーメンが人気を集めて久しく、最近は醤油ラーメンも注目されるようになっているが、この如水ラーメンのシグニチャーラーメンはさっぱりした塩ラーメンだ。メニューには如水ラーメンの他にも醤油ラーメン、味噌ラーメン、坦々麺や油そばが並んでいる。しかし、シグニチャーディッシュをいただかないことにはその店の実力は測れない。そこでいただいた如水ラーメン、実に優しく奥の深い味だった。

その後、知り合いの間から「如水ラーメンに行ってきた」という声が頻繁に聞かれるようになった。そこで、グランドオープニングから少し時間が経ったタイミングで、アメリカ進出後の手応えを聞こうと同店を訪れた。迎えてくれたのは、アメリカの如水ラーメンの協同経営者である丸山康弘さんと森川博也さん、そして名古屋の本家から派遣されているシェフの前原智之さんの3名。聞けば、如水ラーメンは数多のラーメンランキングにおいて、東海地区で1位に輝く超人気店だという。実家がラーメン店を経営している前原さんは、あらゆるラーメン店を食べ歩き、自分の勤務先に如水ラーメンを選んだのだそうだ。如水ラーメンのどこに惹かれたのかと聞くと、「ラーメンと言えば化学調味料と切り離しては考えられないのですが、如水のラーメンは、天然そのままの味で勝負しています。素材の良さを味わえるのが如水のラーメンです」と答えた。

如水ラーメンは本格的なアメリカ上陸を視野に、経営元のワイルドウッド株式会社代表の荒木建夫さんの主導の下、オレンジ郡などで開催されるラーメンフェアに数年前から出展していた。そこでの確かな手応えを得て、ロサンゼルスエリアで物件を探していた時に、改装を目的に店舗が空いていたトーランスの今の場所を紹介されたという。その店舗のオーナーが、隣の市ロミータと今の如水ラーメンの隣でカラオケを含む飲食店を経営する丸山さん。丸山さんは名古屋の如水ラーメンのアメリカ進出に参加したいと出資を決め、さらに丸山さんに声をかけられた森川さんも経営に加わったということだ。

店は2018年秋からソフトオープンしたが、グランドオープニングを迎えるまでは苦労もあった。名古屋で6年間、如水ラーメンに携わってきた前原さんにアメリカとの違いを聞いた。「まず、水が違うので、軟水にする機械を導入しました。さらにだしがしっかりと出る鶏肉を探すのに苦労しました。納得できる鶏肉を探し続けて、やっと日系の業者さん経由で巡り会うことができました」。そして、現在は安定の味にたどり着いたということだ。

また、アメリカならではのメニューがビーガンラーメン。これは名古屋にはなく、予想以上にアメリカにはビーガンが多いことを知ったことで新たに誕生した。醤油ラーメンは昆布で、味噌ラーメンは豆乳でだしを取っている。

顧客は7月時点で6割が日本人。「名古屋の本物のラーメンの味を伝えるためにやってきたので、今後はローカルの顧客の割合を増やしていきたいと思います」と3人は口を揃える。また、「アメリカに本物のラーメンを伝える」という目的を達成するには、今後のチェーン展開も視野に入っているはずだ。その点を聞くと、「全米制覇を目指してはいるが、まずはこのトーランスの店の足元をしっかりと固めたい。カラオケと隣接しているので歌った後のラーメン需要も期待しています」と丸山さん。森川さんは「豚骨ラーメン以外にもこんなにシンプルで美味しいラーメンがあるということを多くの人に知ってほしい」、前原さんは「大事に作っているこだわりのラーメンを味わってほしい」と、それぞれの如水にかける熱い思いを話してくれた。



Josui Ramen
2212 Artesia Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504

(310) 505-5124

Wednesday-Monday
11:30am-2:00pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm

Closed Tuesdays
#JosuiRamen #torrance

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

KAMPAI! For the Love of Sake: Part II

スレッド
By Kosuke Kuji

A documentary film featuring three female Japanese sake brewers, “KAMPAI! For the Love of Sake” kicked off in Tokyo in April 2019.

Three female sake brewers star in this documentary film: Miho Imada, CEO and Master Sake Brewer of Imada Sake Brewery Co., Ltd., producing “Fukucho” in Hiroshima prefecture; Marie Chiba, the charismatic manager of sake bar “GEM by moto” in the Ebisu district of Tokyo, also active as an author of books on pairing sake; and lastly, Rebekah Wilson-Lye, a New Zealand national and sake consultant of JAPAN CRAFT SAKE COMPANY owned by Hidetoshi Nakada, former professional Japanese soccer player.

The first film in which I also starred in, “KAMPAI! For the Love of Sake,” directed by Mirai Konishi based in Los Angeles, depicted the historic background of Japanese sake production that traditionally banned women from participation, but since evolved to include female brewers and Master Sake Brewers in many breweries today, actively involved in producing quality sake, along with many women visible in promoting and serving customers today. This documentary centers around three female pioneers leading Japanese sake production today.
The cast of participating brewers include renowned names, such as members of the Hiroshima Sake Makers Association, Owner Tadayoshi Onishi of “Jikon” in Mie prefecture, member brewers of “Next 5” leading Akita prefecture, and many other renowned brewers.

With the goal to brew sake more freely and enjoyably, this film tells the stories of three women captivated by the allure of Japanese sake, and the latest in the Japanese sake production industry. This film will likely be screened in the U.S. in the future, so please attend a screening if possible.


「映画カンパイ その2」

2019年4月、東京を皮切りに上映がスタートした日本酒のドキュメンタリー映画「カンパイー日本酒に恋する女たち」。

この映画は、主人公は3人の女性になります。広島県で「富久長」を醸す今田酒造本店の代表取締役で杜氏の今田美穂さん、東京恵比寿の日本酒バー「GEM by moto」のカリスマ店長で、ペアリングの本なども執筆する岩手出身の千葉麻里絵さん、そして、ニュージーランド出身でサッカー元日本代表の中田英寿さんが率いるJAPAN CRAFT SAKE COMPANY所属で、日本酒コンサルタントのレベッカ・ウィルソンライさん。

3人の女性が3人とも個性的で、映画の中ではとてもキラキラしています。

私も主演している最初の作品「カンパイー世界が恋する日本酒」を手掛けた、ロサンゼルス在住の小西未来監督によるこの作品は、かつては酒蔵は女人禁制と言われており、女性が酒造りにかかわることは許されなかったが、近年日本酒の世界が日々進化を続ける中で今では蔵元や杜氏が女性で積極的に努力している蔵も多く、さらにはPRや接客などにも女性の力が目覚ましく増えています。そんな中で日本酒の世界で活躍する三人の先駆者に迫るドキュメンタリーです。
共演する蔵元も豪華で、広島県酒造組合の皆さん、三重県の「而今」の大西唯克社長、秋田県を引っ張る「ネクスト5」の蔵元など大勢の有名蔵元が出演します。

もっと自由に、もっと楽しく。この物語は日本酒に魅せられた女性たちを通して、今の日本の日本酒業界の旬を語る映画です。今後はアメリカでも上映されることもあると思うので、是非ご覧になってみてください。
#KAMPAI #sake

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

“KANPAI – For the Love of Sake: Part I”

スレッド
By Kosuke Kuji

Los Angeles-based Mirai Konishi produced “KANPAI – For the Love of Sake” from crowdfunding, released in 2015.

After a world premiere at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the film was also screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, and various film festivals domestic and abroad.

Starting from Iwate prefecture in 2016, the screening started north from Hokkaido, south from Okinawa, and continued on be screened and broadcast in 13 different countries.

Shinjoro Koizumi of The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan was said to be so moved by this film, he was driven to show it to fellow congressmen in his party, realized by a screening at The Liberal Democratic Party headquarters, further selected for broadcast in international flights with Japan Air Lines (JAL), widely viewed and loved nationwide.

This film is a documentary film on three outsiders. The main character is Philip Harper, Chief Brewer of “Tamagawa Brewery” in Kyoto prefecture, the first to assume this position in the world. The other main characters are John Gautner, a sake ambassador active in the U.S.; and myself, I manage a brewery.

In the U.S., the film was screened in Los Angeles in New York.

In Los Angeles, the Consul General hosted a screening party. This film had a great impact on sake fans in Japan and worldwide.

Currently, “KANPAI – For the Love of Sake” is currently available for viewing on Netflix, and the DVD is on sale on Amazon.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive review the film received, Director Konishi produced “KANPAI – For the Love of Sake 2,” and the screening started this year.


「映画カンパイ その1」

2015年、クラウドファンディングで作成されたロサンゼルス在住の小西未来監督の作品「カンパイー世界が恋する日本酒」。

サンセバスチャン国際映画祭でワールドプレミアを迎え、その後も東京国際映画祭、ハワイ国際映画祭など国内外数々の映画祭で上映されました。

2016年、岩手県を皮切りに、北は北海道から南は沖縄まで全国の映画館で上映がスタート、その後海外でも13か国で上映、配信が行われました。

自民党の小泉進次郎議員がこの映画に感激して、自民党の国会議員にこの映画を見せなければいけない、と奮起して、自民党本部での上映会も開催され、さらには、日本航空(JAL)が国際線の機内上映映画にも選んでくれて、日本中、そして世界中の方々に愛していただいたのが映画カンパイです。

この映画は3人のアウトサイダーな男達のドキュメンタリー。主人公は世界初の外国人杜氏である京都「玉川」の杜氏フィリップハーパー、酒伝道師としてアメリカで活躍するジョンゴントナー、そして蔵元の私です。

アメリカでもロサンゼルスとニューヨークで上映されました。

ロサンゼルスでは日本総領事館主催の上映記念パーティーまで行われ、日本、そして世界の日本酒好きに大きな影響を与えました。

今現在は、カンパイー世界が恋する日本酒はネットフリックスでの配信や、アマゾンでのDVD販売をしています。

この映画が大きな反響を受けた事から、小西未来監督は続編の「カンパイ2」の制作に着手して、見事2019年、「カンパイー日本酒に恋する女たち」が上映スタートになりました。
#sake #KANPAI

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

The much-needed standardization of labels

スレッド
By Yuji Matsumoto

I had an opportunity to hold a Japanese sake seminar at The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles.

What they wanted to know most was the difference between cold and hot sake, brewing process, ingredients and health-related questions, mostly about “How to select your preferred sake.” What is the basis of selecting sake, and where are the descriptions of the sake listed? There were many unknown factors involved in selecting sake. Since over ten years ago, I’ve published the need to standardize labels for Japanese sake, and to display necessary information to the Japanese sake industry. However, I’m disappointed to see that we still haven’t moved forward with these efforts.

For example, the appropriate range of temperature to enjoy sake, compatible cuisines, and to incorporate simple flavors and aromas. The reason why we still don’t see these subjects addressed within the industry is because those affiliated with Japanese sake (including within the U.S.) knows nothing about the happenings on site.The sales of Japanese sake in Japan vs. U.S. is approximately 2% on average, so there’s no motivation. However, it would make sense to try and standardize the labels to ease understanding for consumers.


求められているラベルの統一化

先日、国際交流基金ロサンゼルス日本文化センターにおいて日本酒のセミナーをする機会に恵まれた。

彼らが一番知りたいことは、冷酒と熱燗の違い、造り、原料や健康面についても質問があったが、「どうやって自分の好きなタイプの酒を選んだらいいか」ということに尽きた。何を基準に選択するか、味や香りのプロフィールはどこに書いてあるのか?である。十数年以来、私は日本酒のラベルの統一化や必要情報の表示を日本酒業界に伝えてきたが、一向にこの方向に向かっていないのは至極残念なことである。たとえば、表ラベルに適正飲酒温度帯、相性のよい食べ物、簡単な味と香りを入れることである。未だに業界全体として一切これらのことが話題にでていないのは、おそらく日本酒に携わる(米国内も含め)人間が、まったく現場のことを知らないからであろう。また、日本酒の業界そのものもそこまで苦労をして真剣に日本酒を販売しようという気がないことがよく伺える。もちろん、日本酒の販売金額は、日本と米国を比べたら平均でおそらく2%にも達していないから無理もないのだが、もう少し消費者フレンドリーな統一ラベルを検討していただきたいものである。


備受渴求的標籤統一化

我很榮幸有機會在國際交流基金洛杉磯日本文化中心舉辦清酒研討會。

與會者最想知道的是冷酒和熱燗之間的區別;還詢問有關製作,原料和健康方面的問題。但歸根究柢的問題就是「我應該如何選擇我最喜歡的酒類?」。應該以甚麼標準作出選擇?有關味道和香味的資料在哪裡有提及?問題會是以上兩項。十多年來,我向清酒業界表達了清酒標籤統一化和展示必要信息的訴求;但非常遺憾業界並沒有朝此方向邁進。例如,在正面標籤上填上適當的飲用溫度範圍,與其配合的食物,簡單描述味道和香味。整個行業至今還沒有談到這些事情的原因,恐怕是因為清酒業界的人(包括在美國的人)根本不了解市場的實際情況。

日本與美國相比,清酒銷售額以平均而言可能連2%亦不及,故以上情況可能為無可奈何;但亦希望能夠考慮出對消費者更為友善的統一標籤。


라벨 통일에 대한 요구
국제교류기금 로스앤젤레스 일본문화센터에서 니혼슈에 관한 세미나를 열 기회가 있었습니다.

그들이 가장 알고 싶어 하는 것은 차가운 술과 뜨겁게 데운 술의 차이, 제조 방법, 원료나 건강적인 측면 등에 대한 질문이 있었지만, "자신이 좋아하는 타입의 술을 어떻게 선택하면 좋은가"라는 질문이 많았습니다. 즉, 무엇을 기준으로 선택하는지, 맛이나 향에 관한 프로필은 어디에 쓰여 있는지에 관한 질문입니다. 수십 년 동안 니혼슈의 라벨 통일화와 정보 표시의 필요성을 니혼슈 업계에 전달해 왔지만 전혀 진척되지 않고 있는 현실이 매우 유감스럽습니다. 예를 들어, 표시 라벨에 적정 음주 온도의 범위, 궁합이 잘 맞는 음식, 간단한 맛과 향을 표기하는 것입니다. 아직도 업계 전반에 걸쳐 이러한 움직임이 전혀 보이지 않는 이유는, 아마도 니혼슈와 관련된(미국도 포함) 사람들이 현장을 전혀 모르기 때문일 것입니다.

일본과 미국의 니혼슈 판매 금액을 비교하면 평균 약 2%에도 미치지 못하기 때문에 무리일 수도 있지만, 좀 더 소비자 친화적인 통일된 라벨을 검토해 주었으면 합니다.
#sake #standardization

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

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