New taste of mom’s cooking you can enjoy in a home-made café

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by Eri Shimizu Editing: Elli Sekine

Lately, the Mission District is gathering a lot of attention as a typical fashionable back street of San Francisco, and also as an icon of street arts and gourmet foods. The area used to be lacking inpublic safety, but now has transformed into an area where many young Silicon Valley Tech people and artists like to live, and trendy people are attracted to. As for the dining scene of the area, organic restaurants, high-end sushi restaurants, Mexican restaurants, unique bars, etc., are mingled together in the area, creating the epitome of San Francisco as the multi-cultural city. “Bon Nene” opened its door in this hot area last year with an appearance of a typical back street café of Paris. Its homey appearance with a warm woodsy feel is filled with the passion of the owner. The name, Bon Nene (meaning cute Nene in French), was taken from her beloved dog, Nene, with the hopes that the restaurant would be loved by the local people.

The owner, Ms. Yumi Furuta had a dream of serving the kinds of foods she wants to eat herself, which led her to open this restaurant. The restaurant has an appearance like a French bistro or a café, but on the menu, there are Japanese home-cooking style dishes such as “Hijiki Salad“, ($12), “Natto Gohan” ($8), P-man Itame (pan-fried green pepper)” ($13), etc. The concept of this restaurant is “simple home-cooking”. The “Nene Potstickers”, hand-made signature dishes (original $9, vegetarian $8) which contain ground pork and nappa cabbage or various types of mushrooms in the vegetarian version, have an aromatic crispy layer on top called ha-ne. Ms Furuta says, “Gyoza (potstickeres) is my favorite repertoire, and I like customers to experience the good taste of hand-made home cooking.” The regulars love the “Champignon Pasta” ($13) which consists of thick noodles and nori (cut dried seaweed) as the topping. This sentimental tasting Japanese style pasta dish somewhat reminds you of home. The “Beef Curry” ($13.50) is a typical Japanese home-made curry with big chunks of potatoes and carrots inside. You rarely see restaurants who serve such home cooking in the Bay Area, and it seems that young foodies who are interested in and understand traditional Japanese cuisine find a rarity value in this restaurant.
The weekend-only menu, “Japanese Chosyoku Breakfast”, which started in May was realized by the request from the regulars. This is a typical Japanese ichiju-sansei style (one soup and three vegetable dishes) set breakfast menu that consists of broiled fish, eggs, small vegetable dishes, home-made pickles, and miso soup. There is another typical Japanese style breakfast item (known as the “Morning set” amongst Japanese) which consists of a thick-cut slice of toast served with red bean jam, a sunny-side up egg, and salad. The popular drink is the home-made ginger ale ($4.50). This home-made drink with fresh ginger and spices has a mature taste. The only Japanese sake they carry is the non-filtered unpasteurised Kakeya Junmai ginjo in a stylish bottle. As for the selection of beers, there are the following: Frozen Beer that creates very fine bubbles ($7), Sapporo Draft ($7), and Kawabe wheat and amber bottled beers ($9).

Ms. Furuta told me that she had an eye on this area for her own restaurant for a while. She used to come to this favorite area on her days off often to visit nearby restaurants and cafés. During that time, she came across a space for the current restaurant. The small space of about 1,000 sqft seemed ideal to create a homey ambience. Everything from the interior, dishes, to the menu book is well-crafted. She made curtains and cloth napkins herself, and the uniquely shaped menu book was made by an architect friend from carved wood. Originally, Ms. Furuta came to the US to enter a school of photography. She is using the interior walls as the exhibition spaces, and changes the artwork every 2 weeks to support young artists.

I asked Ms. Furuta which area she found most difficult as a first-time restaurateur. She said that the training for the kitchen staff was the most challenging part. Most of the staff had near-zero experience in working for Japanese restaurants, and they were not familiar with Japanese cuisine. She had to teach them the real basics such as how to make dashi, how to prepare rice for cooking, etc. To replicate the Japanese tastes we are so familiar with was entirely a first experience for them. Even now, she still cooks hijiki for the Hijiki Salad herself. However, the number of customers is gradually increasing. She says, “I would like to keep evolving the menu to respond to the growing customers’ needs.” I truly wish for the success of the future growth of this restaurant, and hope that Japanese home-cooking will take root in the US food culture.


近年おしゃれな裏通りの代表、ストリートアート、グルメのアイコンとして注目されるミッション地区。以前は治安が悪いエリアだったが、現在ではシリコンバレーのテック企業に勤める若者やアーティストなどが多く住み、流行に敏感な人々を惹きつける地域へと変貌を遂げた。ダイニングシーンにおいても、オーガニックレストランや高級寿司店、メキシカンレストラン、個性的なバーなどが混在し、まさに多文化シティサンフランシスコの縮図のようなエリアだ。そのホットなエリアに去年登場したのがパリの路地裏カフェを思わせる店構えの「Bon nene」だ。木の温もりを感じるアットホームな店にはオーナーのこだわりが詰まっている。店名の「Bon」はフランス語で「可愛い」という意味。「nene」はオーナーの愛犬の名前。地元に愛される店にしたいとの思いで付けられた。

オーナーの古田みゆ氏は長年サンフランシスコのフレンチビストロでフロアマネージャーを務めていたが、自分が食べたい料理を出したいという夢を抱き、この店をオープンした。一見、フレンチビストロかカフェのようだが、メニューには「hijiki salad」($12) や「nattogohan 」($8)、「p-man itame」($13) など日本の家庭の味が並ぶ。同店のコンセプトは「シンプルな母の味」。看板料理の焼き餃子「nene potsticker」(original$9, vegetarian $8) は手作りで、豚ひき肉と白菜、ベジタリアンメニューでは数種のきのこを使っており、パリパリとした「羽根」が香ばしい。「餃子は得意料理なので、手作りの美味しさを楽しんで欲しい」と古田氏。常連客に人気なのは椎茸やしめじ、エノキなどをたっぷり使った「champignion pasta」($13)で、太めの麺に海苔がトッピングされた、どこか懐かしい味わいの和風パスタだ。

「beef curry」($13.5) は大きめにカットされたジャガイモや人参が入ったホームスタイルカレーだ。ベイエリアでこのような家庭料理を出す店は少なく、伝統的な和食への興味と理解を持つフーディーな若者が同店の希少価値を見出しているようだ。

5 月から始めた週末のみの和朝食「japanese chosyoku breakfast」は、常連客からのリクエストにより実現した。朝ごはんの定番、焼き魚に卵、野菜小鉢、自家製の漬物に味噌汁の一汁三菜がセットになっている。他には厚切りトーストに小豆ジャム、目玉焼きやサラダなどがワンプレートになった日本の「モーニング」の定番がある。ドリンクで人気なのは自家製のジンジャーエール($4.5)。フレッシュの生姜にスパイスが効いた大人の味だ。日本酒はスタイリッシュなボトルの無濾過生原酒KAKEYA 純米吟醸一種のみ。ビールはきめ細かい泡のフローズンビアー($7) やサッポロドラフト($7)、ボトルではKawabe Beer のWheat とAmber($9) を揃えている。

古田氏は自分の店を出すならこのエリアとまず決めていたという。近隣のレストランやカフェが好きで休日にはよく通っていた。そんな中、出会ったのが現在の物件だ。1,000 スクエアフィートほどの小さなスペースは家庭的な雰囲気を出すには理想的だった。インテリアから器、メニューブックまでクラフト感溢れる。カーテンや布ナプキンは自ら手作りし、ユニークな形のメニューブックは友人の建築家に頼んで木材削って作ってもらった。もともと古田氏の渡米のきっかけが写真学校への留学だった経歴から、店内の壁を展示スペースとして提供し、2週間ごとに異なるアート作品を展示し若手アーティストを支援している。


Bon nene
2850 21st street, san francisco, california
(415) 872-9332
Lunch:Tuesday – Friday 11:30am– 2:00pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am – 2:30pm
Dinner :Tuesday – Saturday 6:00pm – 9:30pm
#alljapannews #sanfrancisco #Japanese #curry #cafe #bobnene #morning


How to select sake suitable for enjoyment as hot sake

One appeal of Japanese sake is the wide range of temperatures for consumption. By changing the temperature, the flavor of the same brand of sake varies greatly, interestingly enough, along with its compatibility with various dishes, making sake enjoyable year-round.

In the fall, the flavors of dishes switch from mild to richer, the temperature of the atmosphere gets lower, and the best season for hot sake arrives.

However, many consumers cannot determine from the label which sake is suitable for consumption as hot sake.

I have written in the past about the need to improve display methods to “indicate on sake labels” (despite many consumers wanting to know how to consume the sake and what foods are most compatible together for consumption, such information is not indicated), and it’s disappointing to see that information is still not displayed on sake labels today. While some sake manufacturers do list the suitable temperature range, most don’t.

Therefore, in this article, we introduce a rough standard determined from the writings displayed on most labels.
Sake suitable for hot sake

• Sake indicated as Junmai or Honjozo
• Yamahai or Kimoto
• Dry

Sake not suitable for hot sake

1. nigori type (unfiltered sake) or flavored sake
2. Namasake (draft sake) or Genshu type (unprocessed sake)
3. Low alcohol level or sparkling sake
4. Daiginjo or Ginjo is basically to be avoided (with some exceptions)

Appropriate temperature range for heating
While gently heating the entire bottle by placing it in warm water is the best way, microwaving is also OK. For approximately 6 oz. of sake, remove the bottle from the warm water after heating for twenty seconds. Slew the bottle and place again in the warm water for approximately 10 seconds. The temperature is best kept at “lukewarm”.





• 純米や本醸造と書かれているもの
• “山廃や生もと造り”などが書かれているもの
• ドライ、辛などの表示があるもの

1. にごりタイプやフレイバー酒
2. 生酒や原酒タイプ
3. 低アルコール酒や発泡酒
4. 大吟醸や吟醸系は基本的に避ける(例外もある)

#alljapannews #Japanese #sake #hotsake


"Kosher Certification Part 3"

By Kosuke Kuji

I think there are very few people that know how the kosher certification is done. Kosher mark means "the food is sanitary", "manufacturing process is done appropriately", "all ingredients of the product meet the standards and are good for the consumers", "guarantees that the product does not use dairy products for ingredients and it is dairy allergy free" etc.

Kosher certification for meats and dairy products are very difficult and have high hurdles for that reason, but regarding the "Japanese sake" or "liqueur" that was certified for Nanbu Bijin this time originally doesn't use dairy products, doesn't use any animal products like meat etc as an ingredient and felt that we would get certified fairly smoothly.

However, if you look across Japan, there are only a few companies besides Nanbu Bijin that have received Kosher certification for Japanese sake. Also there is only one company in the U.S. that manufactures Japanese sake that has Kosher certification. For liqueur, umeshu (plum wine) by Choya is sold as Kosher only in Israel, but is not Kosher in Japan or the U.S. etc. Liqueur, specially regarding umeshu, probably Nanbu Bijin is probably the first to sell as Kosher in the world.

In addition, for the two liquors of Japanese sake and liqueur, Nanbu Bijin is probably the only company in the world that has Kosher certification.
For Kosher certification, it starts from having the rabbi who is a leader of Judaism review the ingredients and manufacturing steps. I would like to write the details of this in the next issue.

酒豪大陸「コーシャ認定 その3」





#alljapannews #kosher #certification #nanbubijin


Legendary bar where all the seats are always taken due to its demonstration of skills, good taste, and services of true Japan

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by Aya Ota

In the East Village, a vibrant town of condensation of diverse ethnic groups and cultures, you first climb a set of stairs to an izakaya, get inside, walk through it, glancing at people enjoying themselves over yakitori and beers on the way, then you reach a hidden door. When you push open the door which still looks like a wall, a classy and relaxing space opens up in front of you. It makes you feel as if you just entered an unknown world. This is “Angel’s Share”, a speakeasy, which has a reputation as the most popular bar in New York. It is unbelievable that there is such a bar hidden in a place like this. The bar is known as a mystery bar where you can hardly get in because it is always full.

Once you step into the bar, a female bartender who shakes a shaker behind the counter looking solemn draws your attention. She is Nana Shimosegawa, General Manager, who supervises the entire operation of the bar. She demonstrates her skills there as the first and only female bartender for this bar. In her career, she started working as a maître d' back in 2008. She built her experience at “Zest” in Ebisu, Tokyo, and never even thought about becoming a bartender in New York which is a totally different environment. However, her talent was spotted by the then head bartender, and she started training to become a bartender from the very bottom level. After 3 years of internship, she became a certified bartender in 2011, got promoted to a manager in 2012, and then has been working at the current position since 2016.

This bar first opened in 1994 with the concept “A space like a bar in Ginza where people enjoy good liquors in a relaxed atmosphere”. “Angel’s Share” after which the bar was named derives from evaporation that occurs during whiskey brewing during the barrel storing and aging processes. The name was taken from the traditional belief in which whiskey loses its volume during aging because an angel is secretly drinking it, and in return, the angel gives whiskey the aroma and depth.

Ms. Shimosegawa says, “I try to adopt the latest trends assertively while I respect the classical cocktail culture at the same time.” “Moon Light” ($15), a cocktail created by her, can be enjoyed by ladies who cannot drink much alcohol. The base is gin infused by juniper and raw honey. It is a perfect combination of fresh citrus aroma, and smooth textures of milk and egg white. This bar has a good reputation for the delicate flavored cocktails using Japanese ingredients as accents, which you can only find in bars like this one which are run by Japanese people. “Flirtibird” ($15) consists of true barley shochu and yuzu juice as the base. The plum salt on the rim of the glass, and shiso powder floating on the surface make this cocktail’s aroma and taste stand out. “Milky Way” is another cocktail created by Ms. Shimosegawa. Its base is Junmai sake. Ingredients which you do not normally think for cocktails such as soy milk and parmigiana cheese give this cocktail a unique and fabulous harmony. Every time you bring the glass close to your mouth, you can enjoy the smell of the aromatic powder soy sauce. She also interestingly uses other Japanese ingredients such as koji, sesame oil, matcha, and wa-sanbon sugar.

The secret hideout-like ambiance should be one of the reasons for its popularity. However, as soon as you taste some of the original cocktails, you would understand the true reasons for attracting customers constantly, are the taste, quality and high skills of the staff. On the menu, there are about 35 cocktails, and new items will be added a few times a year to give a good balance to the selection. The number of liquors used in the cocktails is as many as 4~500 to my surprise, which was the result of careful selection based on taste and quality. They are trying to differentiate themselves from other bars by carrying not only Japanese sake, but Japan-made whiskey, vodka, liquors, and beers.

“It is important for the bartender to have the ability to find what the customer wants instantly,” continues Ms. Shimosegawa. There are many customers who intentionally order cocktails that are not on the menu to try the bartender’s skill. They make all kinds of requests such as “something with gin as the base”, “something with a fresh and light taste”, “something summer-like”, “something that suits me”, etc. The bartender needs to detect the customer’s preference by observing the person, mood, and situation.

“Angel’s Share” opened the second bar next to it about 3 years ago due to high demands. This one is also a hideout-like bar whose entrance is hard to find. They sure are legendary. They never advertise and there are no signs, but customers constantly fill the entire seats only by word of mouth. I am certain that you would understand why people would want to tell someone about this bar once they visit.


多種多様な人種の文化が凝縮し活気あふれる街、イーストヴィレッジ。一軒の居酒屋へ向かう階段を上り店内に入り、焼き鳥やビールで盛り上がる人々を横目に、一見壁に見える隠し扉を押す。すると、そこには上品で落ち着いた雰囲気の空間が広がり、別世界に入り込んだような錯覚を覚える。ここは、ニューヨークで最も人気が高いと評判のスピークイージー、『Angel’s Share』。こんな場所にバーが潜んでいるとは全く想像できないが、常に満席でなかなか入店できない幻のバーとして知られている。


「銀座のバーのような、美味しいお酒を落ち着いて楽しめる空間」というコンセプトで同店が開店したのは1994年。店名の由来となった「Angel’s Share(天使の分け前)」とは、ウィスキーを樽貯蔵・熟成する過程で起こる蒸発のことを示す表現だ。熟成中のウィスキーが減っていくのは天使がこっそり飲んでいるからで、その代わりに、天使はウィスキーに香りや深みを与えてくれる…という言い伝えを、店名にした。

「クラッシックなカクテル文化を大事にしつつ、最新の流行を積極的に取り入れるよう心がけている」と下瀬川氏は語る。同氏が創作したカクテル『Moon Light』(15ドル)は、酒に強くない女性でも楽しめるようにと考案したもので、ジュニパーと生蜂蜜がインフューズされたジンがベース。柑橘類の爽やかな香りと、牛乳や卵白で作るなめらかな口当たりが絶妙な組み合わせだ。日本人経営のバーならでは、和食材をアクセントに使った繊細な味のカクテルも評価が高い。『Flirtibird』(15ドル)は本格麦焼酎と柚子果汁がベース。グラスの縁につけられたプラムソルトと表面に浮かぶ紫蘇が、全体の香りや味を引き立てる。『Milly Way』も下瀬川氏が創作したレシピで、純米酒がベース。豆乳やパルミジャーノチーズといった、カクテルの固定概念を覆す食材を取り入れ、独特だが見事な調和を醸し出している。グラスに口を近づける度に、粉末醤油が芳ばしく、心地よい。他に、麹、胡麻油、抹茶、和三盆糖などの和食材を取り入れており興味深い。



『Angel’s Share』は、そのあまりの人気の高さゆえに、約3年前、隣に2号店を開店した。やはり入り口の分からない隠れ家バーだ。一切の宣伝もせず、看板もなく、口コミだけで満席が続く伝説の店。一度訪れると、誰かに教えたくなってしまう気持ちが分かるに違いない。

Angel’s Share
8 Stuyvesant Street
New York, NY 10003
Tel: 212-777-5415
#alljapannews #Japanese #bar #izakaya #yakitori #angelsshare #newyork


People form a line for the genuine seafood bowls and steak set meals

People form a line for the gen... People form a line for the gen... People form a line for the gen... People form a line for the gen... People form a line for the gen...
by Keiko Fukuda

Japanese food fans in the South Bay area are talking a lot about having lunch at Wadatsumi lately. I visited Wadatsumi in May, shortly after the opening. About 20 of us, business colleagues, had lunch in the space for large groups. First, I was impressed by the rich variety in the menu. There are various kinds of bowls with seafood ingredients on top including tuna. Among them, one really struck my attention, which was the Kaisen Donburi (Seafood Bowl) offered only to the first 12 customers. Not only is there an ample volume of seafood ingredients on top, the price is very reasonable at $14.95. However, do not worry even if you miss the chance to be one of the lucky 12! In addition to the aforementioned seafood bowls, there are plenty of other choices including the Bara Chirashi, Sashimi Teishoku (set meal), Broiled Fish Teishoku, Rib Roast Steak Teishoku etc. As many as 70 Sashimi Teishokus are served in a day. Both the Kaisen Donburi and the Sashimi Teishoku are so authentic, and make you feel as if you are dining at a sushi restaurant in Tsukiji, Tokyo.

Also known for the high quality equal to fish, the rib roast steak meat is Australian Angus beef which is the same meat used at the MGM hotel in Las Vegas. The sukui tofu that comes with the set menu is unique, and extraordinary. A large quantity of house-made tofu and chawan-mushi (steamed egg custard) are made daily with the two new steam convection ovens installed for the opening.

I saw a long line of people waiting to get in when I left the restaurant. I can totally understand why one would want to come back once they have eaten there. I truly felt satisfied with the value considering the quality, taste, and volume.

For dinner time, there are a list of a-la-carte dishes on the menu that you can enjoy with any Japanese cuisine. Among them, Mebachi Maguro (bigeye) sashimi is the dish the restaurant recommends the most with confidence. It is priced at 6 dollars for 8 pieces, which is so reasonable that no other restaurant can possibly offer an equivalent.

In the South Bay, there are many people who know true Japanese tastes. So, what this restaurant aims for is to draw such Japanese people in first, and then let a wider range of customers including other Asian Americans know “real Japanese cuisine”.

Mr. Michio Nonaka, the executive chef, who leads the kitchen has a solid 40-year career in just the cooking world. He started out with western style cooking in Japan, but after coming to the US, he learned how to make and prepare Sushi. He worked at Tsukiji in Gardena, a very popular restaurant for the uni bowl lunch, for over 10 years.

In any case, I wonder how it is possible to offer dishes this high in quality at this reasonable of a price. I asked Mr. Nonaka, but he refused to answer, saying, “It is an industry secret I cannot reveal.” The secret remains a mystery, but I am certain that I will keep going to this restaurant to get the Kaisen Donburi, and Sashimi Teishoku.







指揮を執るエグゼクティブシェフの野中通夫(Michio Nonaka)さんは料理業界一筋40年。最初は日本で洋食からスタートしたが、渡米後に寿司を修行し、ガーデナにあったランチの雲丹丼ぶりが大人気だった寿司店、築地では、10数年に渡り腕を振るった。


1757 W. Carson St., Suite R&S
Torrance CA 90501
#alljapannews #seafood #Torrance #wadatsumi #mixhikononaka


The first US “Hitachino Beer” restaurant, born in Ibaraki prefecture, opens! The quality and brand power are pursued.

The first US “H... The first US “H... The first US “H... The first US “H... The first US “H... The first US “H... The first US “H... The first US “H...
By Elli Sekine

“Hitachino Nest Beer”, known by its red owl logo, is gaining popularity in the US. The number of fans of this premium craft beer is growing, especially among foodies. The “Red Owl Phenomenon” seems to be appearing wildly in and out of the metropolitan areas of the US cities. For example, at “Whole Foods”, one of the specialty store chains, the space for the colorful owls (various kinds of the owl brand beer) has constantly been increasing each year, and in New York, you see its unique delivery trucks all over the city. The “Hitachino Nest Beer”, which was born in a small brewery in the Ibaraki prefecture, has now become one of the leading Japanese craft beer brands. Subsequently, this spring, the first US captive restaurant, “Hitachino Beer + Wagyu” opened in the downtown area of San Francisco. It is an exclusive restaurant where you can enjoy the first directly-imported Japanese draft beer, which has been long-awaited by many Nest Beer fans, along with the Hitachino brand wagyu.

The “Hitachino Nest Beer” is made by “Kiuchi Brewery”, a brewery with over 200 years of history in Hitachino city. There, a traditional way of saké making has been carried over multiple generations, and they still make saké. However, as years go by, saké making has been decreasing every year in Japan, and currently, there are only about 1,200 breweries compared to 3,500 in 1962 (by National Tax Agency).

A seventh generation sake-maker of Kiuchi Brewery, Toshiyuki Kiuchi, the Senior Executive of Kiuch Brewery Company, suggested to take on a brand-new beer brewing business to survive in the industry by taking advantage of the craft beer boom happening at that time. The “Hitachino Nest Beer” was thus born in 1996. The craft beer boom died down in two years, but Kiuchi Brewery survived. Not only did they survive, they started to expand to the rest of the world. “We were making beer anyway, so we wanted to make the kind of beer that can be accepted world-wide,” said Mr. Kiuchi, reminiscing. They were so determined.

They hired a beer brewing specialist from the US, and succeeded to earn the “World Beer Cup” title within 2 years from the start of the sales in 1998. They have been looking 10, 20 years ahead since, and strengthening the overseas export business. Now, 20 years since the start of the sales, Mr. Kiuchi’s strategy for overseas has worked out well. The beer branch has been separated from the saké branch of the company as “Kiuchi Brewery N”, and the beer factory in Ibaraki prefecture has been expanded for the production. About 50% of the whole production is exported, and half of it is for the US. New York accounts for the majority of the sales in the US.

However, why was San Francisco chosen for the first restaurant? “In the whole US, they have the biggest foodie population, and their gourmet related information will spread worldwide with no time,” says Mr. Kiuchi. Compared to New York, the California market has only a 15% share, and is still under developed. He said that he did not think twice about choosing this location in order to strengthen the brand power. To prove it right, as soon as the red owl sign got illuminated in downtown, many people gathered right away. Most of the crowd were young Hitachino Beer fans. They looked happy, drinking the draft beer from the 10 different kinds of taps.

There is a large counter by the entrance of the restaurant, and the interior decorated with the furniture which used to be used at Ibaraki’s Kiuchi Brewery has created a serene Japanese ambience. The pub area is around the counter, and the dining area is in the back with tables for relaxed eating. The menu for the two areas are different. For the counter bar, you can choose and take small dishes in a cup (a glass cup as you see in any Japanese vending machine) filled with nikujaga, kakuni, salad, pickles, etc. to your plate to eat. On the other hand, the restaurant space is for reservations only. Hitachino brand wagyu is imported directly, and a wagyu course meal is served.

The executive chef is Noriyuki Sugie, who is also from Hitachino. He is known for his skillful collaboration of Japanese and western cuisine popups in San Francisco. He met Hitachino Beer while he was working at the Mandarin Hotel in New York, and has been doing beer collaborations with Kiuchi Brewery all over the word. The unique course meal using Hitachino brand Wagyu A5 attracts customers with its long-learned international cooking technique with a Japanese twist. The taste of the Japan-produced beef is wonderful, and the price is reasonable.

“Hitachino Nest Beer” keeps moving at high speed from the Ibaraki prefecture to the world, and never seems to stop. In 2014, they built the first overseas large beer factory in South Korea to expand their overseas markets. Whereas in Japan, they opened Hitachino Brewing Labs where anyone can experience craft beer brewing, in Kanda, Tokyo, etc. to establish a new craft beer era. Its rapid growth must be due to their passion for beer making which is particular about using pure Japanese produce (most of it is made in Ibaraki in the efforts to contribute to hometown revitalization), and the branding strategy. I feel proud of Kiuchi Brewery who has demonstrated a real example as to how to have Japanese craft beer be recognized by the world.


赤いフクロウのロゴでお馴染みの「常陸野ネストビール」が米国で人気急上昇中だ。特にフーディーの間ではプレミアムクラフトとして愛飲者が増えている。すでに「ホールフーズ」等のスペシャリティーストアでは、年々棚一列に色とりどりのフクロウ(数種類のビール)がその幅を拡張しており、ニューヨークではこの専用輸送トラックが街を走り回るほど、“赤いフクロウ現象”が米国都市部を中心に吹き荒れている。いまやジャパニーズクラフトビールの代表格となったのが、茨城県の小さな酒蔵から生まれた「常陸野ネストビール」なのだ。そしてこの春、全米に先駆け直営第一号店となるレストラン、「Hitachino Beer+Wagyu」がサンフランシスコ、ダウンタウンにオープンした。“ネストビール”ファンが待ちわびた、米国で初めて日本直輸入のドラフトビールと常陸野ブランドの和牛が楽しめるエクスクルーシブな店だ。


海外輸出はその内約50%、その半分が米国輸出となっている。米国での販売数はニューヨークが圧倒的に多い。しかしなぜ第一号店はサンフランシスコだったのか。「全米の中で最もフーディーな人口が多く、ここからのグルメ情報はあっという間に世界に広がる」と木内氏。NYと比べるとまだカリフォルニア市場は17%の普及途上にある。ブランド力を高める為、ロケーションに迷いはなかったという。その期待に応えるように、ダウンタウンに赤いフクロウの看板が点灯されると、たちまち多くの人が訪れた。客の大半は若年層の“ネストビール” ファン達。彼らは初めて口にする直輸入のタップ10種類を飲み比べならが楽しんでいた。



彼はサンフランシスコでは和と洋をコラボさせた匠な料理のポップアップでその名を知られている。NYのマンダリンオリエンタルホテルでシェフを勤めていた際常陸野ビールと出会い、木内酒造とこれまで世界各国でビールコラボを続けてきた。独特の常陸野ブランドA 5和牛を使ったコース料理は、繊細な味付けと巧みな食材の組み合わせ。今まで培った国際的な料理のテクニックに和のツイストを加えて客を魅了している。価格設定($78 〜)もリーズナブル。



Hitachino Beer and Wagyu
639 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 792-6160

Tuesday - Saturday 4:30PM–12AM
#alljapannews #hitachino #nest #beer #Japanese #Ibaraki #craftbeer #wagyu #SF


Enjoy food with Japanese sake

By Yuji Matsumoto

Recently, I’m often asked from Americans, “Wine is often used for cooking, can you also use Japanese sake?” Japanese sake is great for cooking, because it contains many umami components for use in various ways.”

Eliminating Odor
Sake is useful to eliminate odor from pork, lamb, etc., although this odor may be characteristic for lamb. To flavor food while preparing Japanese cuisine, sprinkle sake over food when the odor is too strong and leave for two minutes to eliminate the odor.

Softens Proteins
Placing chicken breast, red beef, and meat for stew into a Ziploc bag with sake the day before use is effective in removing the dryness and making the meat delicious. Sake enhances great flavor to BBQ and yakiniku meat.

Adds umami flavors
The fact that sake is useful for cooking food in soy sauce to various soup dishes are known to many. Surprisingly, sake is also great for preparing western soup dishes, especially when using seafood. Adding sake further enhances flavors. Of course, sake is great for adding flavor to pasta and other dishes, so please give it a try.

Sake is great for cooking!
Cooking sake and Junmai sake is great for cooking! Ginjo, Daiginjo is great for enjoyment, but as for suitability for cooking, Junmai is better because of its high content of umami flavors. Furthermore, the prices are high, so it’s a waste to use such expensive sake for cooking.






#alljapannews #Japanese #enjoy #sake #umami


Sake Nation "Kosher Certification Part II"

By Kosuke Kuji

In last issue's column, we mentioned: "On April 17th 2013, by a certification body called Chabad of Japan, Nanbu Bijin received a certification of “Kosher” to certify that their products are safe and trustworthy based on the dietary food standards of Judaism." We also explained what Kosher is in the last issue, but in reality what type of Kosher foods are OK to eat and which are not according to Judaism religion?

First, regarding acceptable Kosher meats, basically grass-eating animals that are also ruminants (animals that have two or more stomachs) are the conditions.

Cows and lamb are OK, but pigs or rabbits cannot be eaten. Also, blood must be completely drained. Meat that is prepared by their standards can only be eaten.

In other words if it is cow or lamb, you cannot eat it whatever way you want and you are not able to eat it unless it is prepared according to the rules. Since draining the blood is one of the main rules, Japanese will probably think that Kosher beef etc have a dried-out texture.

In addition, it is OK to eat fish and shellfish etc with fins or scales, but you cannot eat shell fish like shrimps or crabs etc, clams, octopus and squid etc. Since scales are not noticeable on unagi (fresh water eel), that cannot be eaten also.

There are regulations for each food, but also there are regulations for food combinations and it is forbidden to have beef with dairy products and using animal fat. To put it strictly, even cooking utensils and the kitchen need to be separated, so it's challenging for the person that has to cook. Within these food combinations, a salami pizza or chicken cream soup do not exist.

I have explained there are several strict rules to be classified Kosher, and I would like to write how this certification is carried out in the next issue.

酒豪大陸「コーシャ認定 その2」

南部美人では、2013年4月17日に、CHABAD OF JAPANという認定機関により、ユダヤ教の食餌規定にのっとり、安全、安心な食材として認定される「コーシャ(kosher)」の認定を受けました、と前回のコラムにも書かせていただきました。そしてコーシャとはどのようなものなのか、前回は説明をさせていただきましたが、実際に、ユダヤ教の教えであるコーシャの中で食べてもいいもの、ダメなものはどんなものがあるでしょうか。




#alljapannews #sake #kosher #certification #chabadofjapan


Revolutionary in the yakiniku industry, spreading Japanese style yakiniku culture in the US

Revolutionary in the yakiniku i... Revolutionary in the yakiniku i... Revolutionary in the yakiniku i... Revolutionary in the yakiniku i...
By Aya Ota

Yakiniku Futago” of Osaka is a restaurant chain which has so far developed about 50 restaurants in the Tokyo metropolitan area and overseas. It was founded in 2010 in Tsuruhashi, Osaka which is a battleground for yakiniku businesses, by third-generation Korean twin brothers, Suncho and Sunbong Lee who were born in Tsuruhashi, and grew up in Japan. The “Hamideru Kalbi”, their popular menu item which helped this restaurant chain grow into its popularity very fast, is a piece of Japanese black wagyu beef that is larger than its iron cooking plate. The meat is delivered to the table by a server with a high-spirited cheer, “Yoisho!”, and the server delicately cuts the meat in 4 sections, explaining each part, and then cooks it to perfection. They also have other customer pleasing services such as offering half portions of every menu item for half the price from their richly varied menu, and providing a very friendly serving style, which makes for high customer satisfaction, and has also led them to the quick success in growing into a very popular restaurant and increasing the number of locations as well. Overseas, they opened one in Hawaii in 2014 following Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, and exactly 2 years has passed since the opening of this New York restaurant which was in late May of 2015.

“Since the very beginning, We were already thinking about going to New York,” says Jumpei Sakai, the General Manager of the New York restaurant. They started researching for a location in 2012 when they only had less than 5 restaurants in Japan, and they were able to open one in New York only within 5 years from the founding of the business. The New York restaurant is positioned as their flagship restaurant by running it with a higher-end operation style compared to other branches in Japan and other countries. They have absolute confidence in their secret sauce inherited from their mother who used to run a yakiniku restaurant in Tsuruhashi, Osaka, and reproduces the same taste of Japan. The Hamideru Kalbi ($45) is also the favorite item in New York as well. The Japanese Style Cold Noodle ($6) is served in light Japanese dashi soup which is the key factor to choose this item in which 8 kinds of ingredients have been cooked for 8 hours. It is served in a small ball, and is a musthave item to complete your yakiniku meal. The New York restaurant offers an upgraded menu including the New York only “Thickly Cut Special Filet Steak with Garlic” ($25), and “Deep Fried Shrimp and Quail Egg with Shiso Leaf” ($5) in addition to “Japanese Black Wagyu”, and US-produced “Washugyu” and “Prime Beef”. As they do in Japan, customers can experience the joy of cooking meat by themselves, or let trained professional servers cook the high-quality meat for them.

You may think that it would be easy for yakiniku culture to become familiarized in the US where meat cooking culture is already settled in; however, it is not that easy for the Japanese-style yakiniku to get familiarized here in the States. People often ask “What is the difference from Korean barbecue?” So, they try to stress on for sushi and ramen to sink in. It would also take a long time for Japanese-style yakiniku to sink in, but I am willing to accept the slow process.”
“The best way to market it is to show it through our dishes and services in the restaurant,” Mr. Sakai says. The majority of their customers come by word of mouth, but they do a unique pinpointing promotion for the Chinese customers who account for 60% of the whole clientele.

It is interesting that they have added menu items that are targeted for the Chinese customers such as “Uni Yukhoe” ($18) and “Uni and Wagyu Toro Sushi” ($10), and also a line of fruit liquors such as ume and yuzu wine drinks to cater to Chinese clientele who don’t prefer beer and sake. A promotion that would tickle repeating customers' minds has also been effective as it is in Japan, in which a golden tong is given to the customer after their tenth visit. In the future, they will try to lower the cost without compromising the quality, and increase the sales of alcoholic drinks. They are also planning to promote parings of original cocktails with the food menu aggressively.

Now that they are in the third year, they are looking to develop the second restaurant. Since it is still a young company, they are not persistent about the line of business or the current business model. “Yakiniku Futago” has a strong presence in the Japanese yakiniku industry. I am certain that they will also develop freely and flexibly in the US under their principle which is “to impress customers”.


東京首都圏と海外に約50店舗を展開する『大阪焼肉・ホルモン ふたご』。焼き肉激戦区として有名な大阪・鶴橋生まれの在日コリアン3世、李純哲(リ・スンチョル)と李純峯(リ・スンボン)の双子の兄弟が、2010年に創業した。鉄板からはみ出る大きさの黒毛和牛「はみ出るカルビ」は、同店の急成長を後押しした人気メニューだ。「よいしょー!」という威勢のよい掛け声と共にテーブルに運ばれてきて、店員が、4つの部位を説明しながら丁寧に切り分け、最高の状態に焼き上げてくれる。他にも、豊富なメニューを半量ずつ半額で提供したり、顧客密着型の接客をしたりなど、満足度の高いサービスを提供したことで瞬く間に人気店へ成長、店舗数も急速に拡大した。海外店舗は台湾、香港、中国に続き、2014年12月にハワイへ進出。ニューヨーク店は、2015年5月末に開店。ちょうど丸2年が経ったところだ。






Yakiniku Futago
37 W 17th Street
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 212-620-0225

Mon - Sat : 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm / 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sun : 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
#alljapannews #Japanese #yakiniku #YakinikuFutago #NY


Yakitori house where you can fully enjoy expert skills of 40-years in the making

Yakitori house where you can ... Yakitori house where you can ... Yakitori house where you can ... Yakitori house where you can ... Yakitori house where you can ...
By Keiko Fukuda

It was about 6 years ago when I first noticed the store sign, “Koshiji” in the corner of a mall in Torrance in the outskirts of Los Angeles. There used to be a “Koshiji” restaurant in the landmark shopping center in Little Tokyo's Weller Court, and it was a yakitori specialty restaurant. The Koshiji in Weller Court has been closed. The Koshiji in Torrance is run by Nagayuki Ebata, the owner/Chef, who was also in charge of the Little Tokyo location. He has been in the industry for 40 years.

Mr. Ebata first came to the United States in 1983. He was then invited to work as a yakitori cook for “Nanbantei” which was running in front of the Little Tokyo “Koshiji”. In Japan, he used to work for a yakitori specialty restaurant branch of a well-known restaurant chain called “Miyagawa”. Mr. Ebata said, “I wanted to travel through the entire country on my motorcycle, which was my hobby. I originally planned to work just for a couple of years at the Nanbantei. After that, I wanted to go travel, and then go back to Japan.”

However, the first 2 years passed quickly without noticing while working as an indispensable workforce for the restaurant. He also helped the opening of “Sakura House” in Venice, a well-known very popular restaurant, and another new yakitori house as an expert yakitori chef. In the year 2000, Mr. Ebata opened the Koshiji in Little Tokyo where the Nanbantei used to be located. Then he moved the Koshiji to Torrance.

It was a Friday evening when I visited Koshiji before the interview. The restaurant was full, and on the way out, I could not help but notice that Mr. Ebata was so focused and diligently preparing for the next day. On a busy day, they receive as many orders as 500 skewers of yakitori. It would take as long as 4 hours to prepare. Mr. Ebata says, “Not only is there a careful selection of fresh ingredients by myself, it is also equally important to do the preparation right.” He says that this principle of his has not been changed ever since he was working in Japan. So, what is the difference in yakitori cooking between Japan and the US?

“The menu structure is different. For instance, I started the asparagus skewer after I came to the US. When I was in Japan, you were only able to order unusual ones like that which would please foreigners in the Nanbantei, Roppongi.

However, there are also some American customers who would eat only the traditional kinds. I think that success in businesses relies on customers, therefore. I started to cook non-traditional kinds like wrapped asparaguses after I came to the US.

The taste of yakitori prepared and cooked by Mr. Ebata himself has a great reputation. Every one of the surprisingly many different kinds is great. Mr. Ebara, however, worries about unexpectedly small orders they receive for Japanese saké drinks.

“Preferably, I would like customers to enjoy saké at a leisurely pace, holding a yakitori skewer in one hand, but majority of the customers come with family members or in groups, and often order course menu items. I think they come here mainly to eat.” It is, of course, wonderful that people come for the yakitori, but he would also like them to enjoy some of their rich lineup of saké brands including Asahiyama, which is his personal favorite.

For your information, the most popular yakitori course includes 8 skewers of yakitori, vegetable sticks, sunomono, soup, and a soboro-donburi, and costs only $23.50. I am sure that you will continuously be able to enjoy Koshiji’s richly varied yakitori menu which is created by the expert skills established through the long-time experience of the owner/chef.


ロサンゼルス郊外トーランスのモールの一角に、「越路」の看板を見かけるようになったのは6年ほど前。「越路」と言えば、リトルトーキョーのランドマーク的ショッピングモール、ウエラーコートで営業していた焼鳥専門店だ。すでに閉店したリトルトーキョー店だが、トーランスの越路のオーナーシェフはリトルトーキョーの店も手がけていた江端永幸(Nagayuki Ebata)さん。彼はこの道、40年になると言う。








22807 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505

Sat. 12:00pm-2:30pm/5:30pm-10:00pm
#alljapannews #Koshiji #LA #yakitori #torrance


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