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New flavor added to taste of traditional

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“Omakase Sushi”... “Omakase Sushi” is $28.99 including salad, pot steamed egg custard and dessert. Mr. Tani with 40-years of exp... Mr. Tani with 40-years of experience as a chef in the center with the current owner, Ms. Kobayashi (left) and the sushi chef, Ms. Obara “Irifune” is lo... “Irifune” is located in a mall in old downtown Torrance close to Honda Motors headquarters “Irifune Specia... “Irifune Special zen”, a set menu that includes Aradaki (simmered red snapper) and Sashimi
New flavor added to taste of traditional cuisine

Nowadays, you can taste all kinds of Japanese food including sushi, tempura, and ramen in the U.S. It seems like the Japanese food boom has peaked, and almost every type of Japanese food you can think of can be acquired now. On the other hand, however, the number of restaurants where genuinely authentic Japanese cooking - the kind of dishes that you can get at long established Japanese restaurants in Japan – is served, is still very limited.

I did not know about “Kappo Irifune,” which opened in a mall in Torrance, of the Los Angeles suburb in March of 2015 until early autumn of the same year. A few of my gourmet friends sent me the photo of the dishes they had at Irifune through LINE. I hate to say, but as far as I remember, none of the predecessors at that location had successfully kept their business for very long. I got very curious to know how good they really are since those friends of mine are trustworthy in judging the taste of food. I decided to try, and one day, visited Irifune. I ordered fried shrimp lunch combination dish. It was so good, and made me feel like trying other dishes. First of all, the miso soup prepared with solid dashi taste was impressive. The shrimp was light and crunchy, the rice was shiny, and the salad dressing tasted like an original. I felt like I had discovered rare genuine Japanese cooking that you can always rely on.

The current owner of Irifune, Ms. Tomoko Kobayashi told me at a later date that the restaurant was originally opened in last March by Mr. Teruhisa Tani who ran a Japanese food restaurant for 25 years in Kumamoto, Japan, and overall has 40-years of experience in cooking. He immigrated to the U.S. and opened this “Kappo Irifune” in Torrance because his daughter lives here. He faithfully replicated the authentic taste here in the States that he had developed in his 40-year career.

Unfortunately, he had to decide to go back to Japan due to health reasons, and was looking for someone who could succeed his business. Ms. Kobayashi who was a regular customer of Irifune then raised her hand. Ms. Kobayashi who had experience working in various service industries in Japan, came to the U.S., got trained and worked as a sushi chef in a sushi restaurant on Ventura Blvd where many people in the entertainment industry were the customers. After that, she worked as a coordinator in the film industry, and also a consultant for Japanese enterprises who wanted to start a business in the States. After that, she went back to the food and beverage industry as a consultant. When she was a regular customer at Irifune last year, she was working as a manager of a Japanese restaurant in Gardena. She really wanted to keep the taste of Irifune which had become her latest favorite. She learned the secret recipe from Mr. Tani, and kept everything else as well; the restaurant name, menu, and pricing in order to make a new start. Currently, Mr. Tani who will be leaving for Japan soon and a lady chef with over 10-years of experience, Ms. Miho Obara are taking care of the kitchen, and Ms. Kobayashi is taking care of the customers on the floor. Ms. Kobayashi who is also a restaurant consultant, is gathering data and researching on her own to find out what type of dishes are liked by what type of customers, and what type of customers tend to come back often, etc.

She said, “The most popular dish for lunch time is “Irifune Special Zen” with simmered red snapper. We cannot get many snappers with heads, therefore, we can serve only a limited number of 10 to 15. This menu sells out very quickly every day. Its sweet taste seems to be well liked, especially by Chinese customers.”

The “Irifune Special Zen” that includes Sashimi, Aradaki, a small bowl of a seasonal dish, rice, miso soup, salad, and dessert is priced at $12.80. Popular dishes for dinner time are “Sashimi Gozen” and Chirashi Gozen which are both priced at $18.80, which is very reasonable for both the quality and the quantity. Another item called “Omakase Sushi” that includes 12 pieces of sushi, salad, pot steamed egg custard and dessert is only $28.99 which could have been priced easily below cost.

While keeping the traditional Japanese cooking taste from the previous owner, Mr. Tani, Ms. Kobayashi also hold new ideas. She says, “First, I am planning to add yakitori and oden to the menu around next spring. By doing so, customers can enjoy Izakaya style dining as well. In addition, I am going to add Japanese desserts to gain more female customers.”

I believe that “Irifune”, growing with new ideas based on the solid foundation of Japanese cooking, will be surely known more and more in the community as a secret great place to eat in Torrance.

老舗割烹の味に新たな趣向をプラス

アメリカでは今や寿司から天ぷら、ラーメンに至るまでさまざまな日本食が食べられる。食べられないものはないと言ってもいいほどに「日本食全盛期」を迎えている。しかし、日本の老舗割烹料理屋で食べられる本物の日本食と言うと、それが味わえる店はかなり限定されてくる。

ロサンゼルス郊外のトーランスのモールの中にある割烹入船。2015年3月にオープンしたこの店の噂が耳に届いたのは同年の初秋の頃だった。しかも味に煩い複数の友人が、入船で食べた料理を写真付きでLINEで送ってきた。失礼ながら、その店は、記憶にある限り、長くビジネスが続いたことがない場所にある。しかし、信用できる人が「美味しい」と言う以上は好奇心が湧いてきた。そして、ある平日のランチに訪れてみて海老フライ定食を食べてみて思った、「もっと他の料理も試したい」。まずしっかり出汁を取ったみそ汁の味が印象的。さくっと揚がったフライにつやつやと光るご飯。サラダのドレッシングは手作りの味。安心して食べられる日本食に出会った思いだった。

現オーナーの小林智子さんに後日聞いたところによると、同店を昨年3月にもともとのオーナーとして開店したのは、日本の熊本で25年続く割烹料理店を営んでいた谷輝久さん。自らの料理人歴は40年に及ぶ。谷さんは娘さんが暮らすアメリカに移住することを目的に、割烹入船をトーランスに開けた。そして、自身が40年手掛けてきた店での味を忠実に、アメリカで再現した。

しかし、谷さんは健康上の理由で日本に帰国することになった。引き継いでくれる新しいオーナーを探していた時に客として入船に足しげく通っていた小林さんが名乗りをあげた。小林さんは日本でサービス業を経験後に渡米、エンターテインメント業界の関係者に常連が多かったベンチュラ・ブルバード沿いの寿司屋で修行を積み、女性の寿司職人として活躍していた経歴を持つ。その後、映像関係のコーディネート業、日本企業の米国市場進出のコンサルタント業を経験した後、レストランコンサルタントとして飲食業に舞い戻り、昨年入船に客として通っていた当時は、ガーデナの日本食レストランのマネージメントに携わっていた。

そして、自分の新たなお気に入りの店となった入船の味を存続させたいと願った小林さんは、秘伝のレシピを谷さんから習得し、メニューも料金も、そして店名も変えずに新しいスタートを切った。現在は、帰国を控えた谷さんと10年以上の経験を持つ女性寿司職人の小原美穂さんに板場を任せ、小林さんはフロアで顧客のサービスに努めている。どのような料理がどのような層の顧客に好まれるのか、またどのような顧客がリピートしてくれているのか、レストランコンサルタントでもある小林さんは自分の肌でそのデータをつかみ取っているのだ。

「ランチで人気があるのは鯛のあら炊きがメインの入船スペシャル膳です。鯛のお頭の数が多くは仕入れられないので、1日に10食から15食の限定ですが毎日早い時間で売り切れます。特に甘めの味付けがお好みらしく、中国人のお客様がよく注文されます」

ランチの入船スペシャル膳は刺身のあら炊き、季節の小鉢、ライス、味噌汁、デザート、サラダ付きで12ドル80セント、またディナーで人気の刺身御膳やちらし御膳はいずれも18ドル80セントと、本格的な味と品数の多さに対して手頃な料金。また、12貫の握り寿司、サラダ、茶碗蒸し、デザートまで付くお任せ寿司は赤字覚悟の28ドル99セントだ。

小林さんは前オーナーの谷さんによる割烹料理屋の味を引き継ぎつつ、新しいアイデアも温めている。「まず、春頃には焼き鳥とおでんもメニューに加える計画です。そうすることでディナータイムに居酒屋として楽しんでいただけるようになります。さらに女性客の獲得に向けて、本格的な和のデザートも追加します」本格的な日本食をベースにさまざまな新しい趣向も誕生しつつある入船。トーランスの穴場的な食事処として、今後益々その名が認知されていくに違いない。



Kappo Irifune
1231 Cabrillo Ave. Ste 107 Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 782-7330
http://www.kappoirifune.com/
Mon.-Sun./ 11:30am-2:30pm 5:30pm-10:00pm 7 days open

#alljapannews #japaneserestaurant #losangeles #sushi

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Restaurant “Blow Fish, ”

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Restaurant “Blo... Restaurant “Blo... Restaurant “Blo...
Restaurant “Blow Fish, ” a leader of popular Japanese cuisine, expands by opening ramen shops

This year, restaurant “Blow Fish” that garnered attention for their innovative full-bar and fusion sushi with Japanese pop culture as the theme, celebrates 20 years in business. This trendy style created a huge fad that captured the hearts of young customers, and the restaurant expanded with branches overseas starting with San Francisco, then inside “Santana raw” in the new commercial building in San Jose, to Los Angeles and New Zealand. Since opening, the restaurant continues to enjoy a stable operation. The “Pop-up” ramen shop that opened two years ago was another mega hit. And last October, another ramen shop opened in the Lower Haight district of San Francisco. Soon after opening, word spread through current fans using SNS, etc., with the restaurant filled to capacity day-after-day, with customers waiting an average of one hour. “IZA” is a popular ramen shop bursting with originality.

Owners Ritsuo Tsuchida and Jason Teplitsky each capitalize on their respective strengths to create an era of popular Japanese cuisine. Tsuchida first gained experience preparing Japanese cuisine in Japan before immigrating to the U.S. in the early 1990s. At the time of Tsuchida’s arrival, Japanese cuisine in San Francisco consisted mainly of sushi, and the term “fusion” cuisine was not yet used. At the time, Tsuchida was working at Japanese restaurant “Okazu Ya” in the Sunset district, while developing his original Californian-style sushi menu on his own. Tsuchida soon met his current business partner and was approached in 1996 with plans to open restaurant “Blow Fish.”

On the day business plans were presented, investors who sampled Tsuchida’s menu selections highly praised Tsuchida as the “leader of a new era.” The chef’s original creative menu, referred to today as “fusion” sushi, incorporates elements from Italian and Californian cuisine, etc. Investors saw future potential in Tsuchida’s culinary sensibilities and business plans, which led to the opening of Blow Fish, where Tsuchida is the chef and also responsible for creating the menu, training staff, and overseeing the appearance of the dining space. On the other hand, Teplitsky is in charge of the business-side, such as business administration and management. Twenty years into this partnership, the two partners are still working together to create an era of new Japanese cuisine.

The two owners have planned to open “IZA” since two years ago. However, the duo faced challenges when searching for properties, so until preparations were complete, “IZA Ramen” operated as a pop-up ramen shop at “Blow Fish” only during weekend lunch hours. Since garnering popularity leads to the opening of a restaurant as the general rule, fans were already established even before the IZA opened, eagerly anticipated by customers who looked forward to enjoying IZA’s ramen on evenings also. The Low Haight location is surrounded by hip bars, cafes, and specialty stores, ideal for young customers who frequent IZA.

IZA’s seating capacity is 50 customers. The large kitchen space is lined with tall pots used to prepare soup for ramen, where five employees work busily. The interior dining space is casually adorned with a casual ambiance and low lighting to suit the dinner hours. The restaurant renovation was done minimally and completed by staff in only a few weeks to avoid hiring vendors, which would prolong construction and delay the grand opening. This was an efficient solution since delay in construction is an everyday occurrence here in the U.S.

The four ramen selections are “IZA tsukemen” (dipping noodles), “IZA ramen,” and a spicy version of both. American consumers especially tend to prefer spicy ramen. The soup for both ramen is rich pork bone soup, flavored with soy sauce. The original soup stock is prepared with seafood soup as the base with chicken parts, several vegetables, etc. added and simmered for eight hours until completion. Garlic puree boiled in milk, roasted garlic, and “Ma-yu” (black roasted garlic oil), etc., were added to create three different types of specialty soups with enhanced richness to create your own preferred style of “ramen.” The thick, wavy noodles are highly compatible with the rich soup!

“I want to develop my own soup that combines well with the noodles, and serve ramen that I’m convinced is delicious,” said Tsuchida, who also loves “tsukemen” (dipping noodles) and strives to make this dish widespread in the U.S. Also, the menu selections include appetizers for customers who may not prefer ramen, such as the original “karaage” (seasoned fried chicken), salmon with tartar sauce, Hawaiian “kanpachi” greater amberjack carpaccio, and other “fusion” menu selections that radiates chef Tsuchida’s talents!

As the ramen boom soon reaches a peak, will “tsukemen” (dipping noodles) become widespread in the U.S.? Despite just having opened a new restaurant, co-owners Tsuchida and Teplitsky are already planning to open another one. The very next boom the two will likely generate is highly anticipated!


ポップな日本食をリードする「Blow Fish」が展開するラーメン店

日本のポップカルチャーをテーマに、フルバー、フュージョン寿司という斬新なコンセプトで一世を風靡した「Blowfish」は、今年で開店20周年を迎える。そのトレンディなスタイルは、大ブームを巻き起こし、若者の心をつかんだ。サンフランシスコに続き、2000年前半にかけては、サンノゼの新商業施設「Santana raw」内、ロサンゼルス、そしてニュージランドの海外店舗まで展開させた。当時の勢いから、近年は安定した経営を続けているが、2年前に始めたラーメンのポップアップが再び大ヒット。そして去年10月、ついに単独店舗をローワーヘイト地区にオープンした。開店間もなく、すでに既存するファンと共にSNSなどで人気は広がり、連日超満員で平均1時間待ちを余儀なくされる。「IZA」はオリジナリティ溢れる人気のラーメン店だ。

経営者の土田理津男氏とジェイソン・テプリスキー氏は、それぞれの得意分野を活かし、ポップな日本食の時代を作り上げてきた。土田氏は、日本で和食の基礎を習得した後、90年初頭に渡米。その当時、サンフランシスコで日本食といえばまだ寿司が中心で、「フュージョン」という言葉さえなかった。同氏はサンセット地区にある「Okazu Ya」 という日本食店で働きながら、カリフォルニアスタイルの寿司メニューを開発していた。そこで今のビジネスパートナーと出会い、96年に「Blow Fish」をオープンする計画を持ちかけられた。その事業計画を披露する日に集まったインベスター達に土屋氏が振る舞ったサンプルメニューは、「時代の先取り」と絶賛された。その創作メニューは、今で言う「フージョン」だ。イタリアンやカリフォルニアを取り入れた創造的な寿司、一品料理に投資家たちは、同氏の料理のセンスに事業の未来の確信を持ち、開店に至った。土田氏は現在もシェフとして、メニュー考案や従業員の教育、店作りを担当し、テプリンスキー氏は、経営、マネージメントなどビジネス面を担当している。このパートナーの二人三脚は20年経過してもなお、新しい日本食のトレンドを築こうとしている。

二人は2年前から「IZA」の独立した店舗を計画していたが、物件探しに困難が生じ、準備が整うまでの間、「Blowfish」で週末昼のみ「IZA ramen」ポップアップとして営業していた。そこで人気を得てから、単独店を持つという流れになっているので、開店前からすでにファンは付いていた。彼らは夜も「IZA」でラーメンが食べれる環境を待っていたようだ。ローワーヘイトの場所もポップなバーやカフェ、スペシャリティーストアが多く、若者の支持が多い同店にとって理想的だ。客席数は50席。大きなキッチンスぺースには、ラーメンのスープを作る寸胴鍋が並び、5人の従業員が忙しそうに動いている。内装はカジュアルでゆったりとして、照明を落とし夜の雰囲気を出している。店の改装は、わずか数週間で従業員のみで行ったという。その理由について、業者が入ると工事が長引き開店が遅くなるので、最低限の改装で店を開店させた方が良いという考え方だ。実際に工事の遅れはアメリカでは日常茶飯事なので、非常に効率的だ。

ラーメンの種類は、「IZAつけ麺」と「IZAラーメン」、両ラーメンにSpacyが加わった全4種。アメリカ人は特にスパイシーを好むらしい。スープはどちらも濃厚な豚骨醤油スタイル。オリジナルのスープは、魚介スープをベースに鶏ガラ、数種類の野菜、他を8時間煮込み仕上げる。そこに牛乳で煮込んだトロトロのニンニクピューレやローストガーリック、マー油など、3種類の特製ニンニクをスープに投入すつことで、さらに深みが増し、自分好みの「ラーメン」が作れる。麺は太麺ちぢれでこの濃厚なスープとの相性が良い。「麺と良く絡むスープを独自で開発し自分で美味しいと納得するラーメンを提供したい」という土屋氏もやはりつけ麺好きで、アメリカでの普及を目指している。さらにメニューには、ラーメンを好まない人も楽しめるアペタイザーが揃っている。お勧めのオリジナル唐揚の他に、サーモンタルタル、ハワイアンカンパチカルパッチョなど、土屋氏が今まで培ってきた元祖「フュージョン」のアイディアが光る。

ラーメンブームもそろそろ頭打ちと言われる中で、「つけ麺」はこれからアメリカに普及するのだろうか。まだ新店をオープンしたばかりにもかかわらず、土田氏とテプリスキー氏にはすでに新しい店のオープン計画を控えている。次はどんなブームを巻き起こしてくれるか楽しみだ。



IZA Ramen
237 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 926-8173
Wed.- Mon./ 5:00pm-10:00pm Tuesday closed
#alljapannews #japaneserestaurant #ramen #sanfrancisco

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Stylishly arranged Japanese Izakaya

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Front: Tuna Tarts ($15) (fron... Front: Tuna Tarts ($15) (front) Back: Buttermilk Karaage ($9)
Ramen Salad ($8)
Braised Belly Bun ($8)
Seabass Skewers ($13.5)
Stylishly arranged Japanese Iz... General Manager, Justin Gonza... General Manager, Justin Gonzalez
Cherry Special Rolls: Spicy Tuna, Bacon Caesar, Crispy Shrimp
Stylishly arranged Japanese Izakaya

Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, is known for the highest fashion sense in town.More and more unique boutiques and cafes are opening up one after another, and you find something new every time you go there. While you walk down the street of Williamsburg, an extraordinary stylish façade draws your attention. The sign says “Cherry Izakaya”. When you push open its door to step into the space, you see a place so sophisticated and in good taste, that it gives an impression so far away from what you would normally think of from the word “Japanese Izakaya”.

“I modernized the concept of the Japanese Izakaya that inspired me originally. I would like the customers to enjoy food and sake in their own unique individual way in a warm and relaxing atmosphere”, says Mr. Justin Gonzales, the General Manager of this place. He has worked in various Japanese restaurants in the past, knows Japanese food culture very well, and is passionate about making it known to the world. Some customers are still not familiar with Izakya ordering style, in which you order items one by one at your own preferred timing, and dishes are shared by everybody at the table. This unique Izakaya way is explained to each of such customers by the staff because they believe in good hospitality and communication.

The executive chef, John Keller, who has worked for various well-known restaurants including “Nobu”, created a menu that covers a wide range of dishes from some creative dishes with Japan’s unique ingredients and cooking styles, to typical American dishes such as steaks and hamburgers. Their Izakaya style menu items are divided into categories such as “Starters”, “Appetizers”, “Mains”, “Ramen”, “Sushi”, etc. to make it easy for the customers to make selections.

The most popular dish is the “Tuna Tarts” ($15) which is served with fresh and radiant thinly sliced tuna on a savory baked tart dough. What makes it so good is the creamy ponzu sauce and truffle oil, which is a creative combination Japanese people may usually don’t think of. Other dishes such as “Ramen Salad” ($8) with enjoyable texture of crispy fried noodle, “Braised Pork Belly Bun” ($8) with pork belly cooked so tender it melts in your mouth, ($8), and “Seabass Skewers” ($13.5) dressed perfectly with sweet miso sauce may also surprise you with their unique combination of ingredients and presentation. One striking item is the “Bacon Caesar Roll” with smoked bacon, kale and avocado. Every dish presents an excellent combination of ingredients without being too unapproachable.

The Brunch menu is also important to this place, and items are named to stir people’s curiosity such as “Tuna Crispy Rice Benedict” and “Breakfast Ramen”.

They have placed extra effort in attracting crowds since the location is not facing the main street of Williamsburg, and is a bit hidden. You need to turn into a smaller street, so it is not easy to spot the place unless you are specifically looking for it. So, mainly advertising through social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they offer two special deals, “Ramen Mondays” and “Sake Sundays”. Their online delivery service is rapidly gaining popularity, which is also resulting in bringing more customers to the restaurant.

The stylish interior is also worth seeing. They won third prize for the 10 best designed restaurants in America in Dwell Magazine last year. It creates a sophisticated yet comforting space, decorated in a motif of Japanese traditional paintings and buildings.

I believe that “Cherry Izakaya” which contributes to the introduction of more and more Japanese food culture one after another, will subvert the image of the traditional Izakaya that most Japanese people have, in a nice way.


日本の居酒屋をスタイリッシュにアレンジ
今、ニューヨークで最も流行感度が高いと言われるブルックリンのウィリアムズバーグ地区。個性的なブティックやカフェが次々と登場し、訪れる度に新しい発見が感じられる街を歩くと、ひときわスタイリッシュな外観に目を奪われる。『Cherry Izakaya』――扉を押して足を踏み入れると、日本の“居酒屋”という言葉から連想される庶民的なイメージとは全く異なる、都会的でセンスのよい空間が広がっている。

「日本の“居酒屋”のコンセプトからインスピレーションを受け、モダンにアレンジした。心温まるリラックスした雰囲気で、それぞれのスタイルで料理やお酒を楽しんでもらいたい」と話すのはジェネラル・マネジャー のジャスティン・ゴンザレス氏。過去に数々の日本食店で経験を積み、日本の食文化に精通し、それを伝えることに意欲的な人物だ。訪れる客の中には、好きな料理を好きなタイミングで注文したり、ひとつの料理を分け合ったりする、居酒屋独特のスタイルに慣れていない人もいるが、ホスピタリティとコミュニケーションを大切に、ひとりひとりの客に丁寧に説明する。

『Nobu』をはじめとする数々の日本食店で活躍した、エグゼクティブ・シェフのジョン・ケラー氏が繰り広げるメニューは、日本独自の食材や調理法を活用した創意工夫にあふれる料理から、ステーキやハンバーガーなどの典型的なアメリカン料理まで幅広い。“居酒屋スタイル”とは言っても、「スターター」「前菜」「メイン」「ラーメン」「寿司」のように、メニューを分かりやすく構成し、客が選びやすいように工夫している。

一番人気のメニューは、芳ばしいタルト生地の上に色鮮やかな薄切りのマグロを乗せた「ツナ・タルト」($15)。ポン酢風味のクリーミーソースと、トリュフオイルが味の決め手だが、日本人では到底思いつかないような独創的な組み合わせ。カリッと揚げた麺の食感が楽しめる「ラーメン・サラダ」($8)、とろとろに煮込んだ豚バラ肉をバンズに挟んだ「豚の角煮サンド」($8)、甘味噌が絶妙なアクセントの「スズキの串焼き」($13.5)など、斬新な組み合わせやプレゼンテーションが続き、驚かされる。スモークしたベーコンを中心に、ケールやアボカドを巻いた「ベーコン・シーザー・ロール」も斬新だ。しかし、どの料理も奇をてらいすぎず、見事な調和を醸し出している。

ブランチにも力を入れており「ツナ・クリスピー・ライス・ベネディクト」「ブレックファースト・ラーメン」など、メニュー名を見るだけで興味をそそられるような内容だ。

ウィリアムズバーグ地区の目抜き通りから、角を曲がって少し入った場所に位置するため、通りがかりの客を捕まえにくいことから、集客には工夫を凝らしている。フェイスブックやインスタグラム、ツイッターなど主にソーシャル・メディアを活用しているほか、「ラーメン・マンデー」「サケ・サンデー」という二つのお得なスペシャルセットを用意している。また、オンライン・デリバリー・サービスを活用し、デリバリーの売上も急速に伸びており、店舗への集客とよい循環を作り出しているという。

スタイリッシュな内装も一見の価値がある。昨年、『Dwell Magazine』誌が選ぶ「アメリカのベスト・デザイン・レストランの第三位にも選ばれている。日本の伝統的な絵画や建築をモチーフに使い、洗練されつつも温かさのある空間だ。

ウィリアムズバーグ地区で、新しい日本食文化を次々発信してくれる『Cherry Izakaya』。日本人が描く“居酒屋”のイメージやメニューを気持ちよく覆してくれる店だ。


Cherry Izakaya
138 N 8th Street Brooklyn, NY 11249
Tel: 347-889-6300
Dinner Sun.- Wed. / 5:30pm- 10:00pm Thurs. / 5:30pm- 11:00pm Fri.- Sat. / 5:30pm- midnight
Brunch Sun. / 11:30am- 4:00pm
#alljapannews #japaneserestaurant #newyork #izakaya

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How to Enjoy the New Brew Sake

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How to Enjoy the New Brew S... How to Enjoy the New Brew S... How to Enjoy the New Brew S...
Kosuke Kuji
Fifth Generation / Brewery Owner
Nanbu Bijin, Inc.

Born May 11, 1972. Entered Tokyo University of Agriculture’s Department of Brewing and Fermentation. In 2005 became the youngest person ever to receive the Iwate Prefecture Young Distinguished Technician Award. In 2006 was selected to be a member of the board of trustees of his local alma mater, Fukuoka High School. Currently is featured in a number of media outlets including magazines, radio, and television.
*Positions of Public Service: Chairperson, Cassiopeia Corporation Youth Conference; School Board Member, Fukuoka High School, Iwate Prefecture, Vice-Chairman, Technology Committee, Iwate Prefecture Brewers and Distillers’ Association


by Kosuke Kuji

All-out sake brewing for this year has finally started. There is a warm winter trend this year which is causing slight difficulty in sake brewery, but no need to worry because breweries are well equipment with refrigerating facilities.

Well, there are a lot of new brews of sake being produced this season. What we would like to enjoy this season are the “new brews of sake.” Especially the sakes called “freshly pressed.” The new brews that are just pressed have an exceptional taste and the fine taste is doubled due to most of them not being pasteurized and produced in the draft state. All breweries are selling freshly pressed draft sake all at once exactly at this time so the Japanese sake markets rise to heights like it is a fresh brew festival.

New brew is freshly pressed and just created and quite fresh and fruity compared to normally sold sake. Also, since it is hardly aged it has a light taste and it seems very easy to drink.

New brew tastes good alone, but it will taste even better if you have it with seasonal side dishes with items like ‘sansai’ (edible wild plants) or ‘bamboo shoots’ etc that will be available soon that make you feel it’s springtime. What I suggest is by definitely enjoying sansai with new brew sake, the unique delicate bitterness of sansai matches with the freshness of the new brew, and the special sweetness and goodness of draft sake which is the slight sweetness it has compared to pasteurized sake matches well with sansai. Sansai is good as tempura or ‘ohitashi’ [boiled with katsuobushi (dried bonito) & soy sauce dressing]. I sincerely hope that you will enjoy them together.

Nanbu Bijin is also selling their new draft brew of “Tokubetsu Junmai” in the U.S. I don’t know if you can find any sansai but we would be most grateful if you can also enjoy new brew of Nanbu Bijin with side tastes that make you feel the season.
#alljapannews #people

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Food and Japanese sake pairing

スレッド
Food and Japanese sake pairing Food and Japanese sake pairing
Yuji Matsumoto
Master Sake Sommelier

Finalist of the 2nd World Sake Sommelier Competition. Graduated from Keio University Faculty of Law, Department of Political Science. Worked for Nomura Securities for 10 years. Former president of California Sushi Academy Former chief of planning dept. at Mutual Trading. Currently working for Kabuki Restaurant Corp. as a Beverage Manager of Sake.


by Yuji Matsumoto

Especially when it comes to pairing Japanese sake with food, many people likely think, "What's with the exaggeration…? It doesn't really matter."

However, the reality is we often pair many foods with beverages subconsciously. For example, Japanese confections after a meal are often paired with green tea or coffee, while hamburger meat is often enjoyed with soda, fried foods with beer, and Oreo cookies with milk are great examples of such everyday pairings.

In this issue, I'd like to pass on to our readers a trick that enhances one's abilities to pair sake with food.

First, please select three brands of sake with very different properties. The differences in properties are hard to tell without drinking the sake, but first, let's select the sake according to the information listed on each label.

For example, please select a Junmai Daiginjo, Tokubestu Junmai, and Junmai Kimoto, all produced in different regions like Akita, Niigata, and Hyogo prefectures, etc. Sake produced in the U.S. are reasonably priced, for including a few of these brands in the mix may also be fun.

Once we have the sake, please grab some wine glasses (white wine glasses are better). Please be sure to use the same shaped glass for each of the three sake brands. It's best to store the glasses in the refrigerator for approximately 3 hours and to maintain their temperature at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

And now, for the cuisine. Those who have time can prepare the food yourself, of course. However, I recommend takeout for those who want to compare the sake with many dishes from various types of cuisine. There’s no need to stick with Japanese cuisine, for it’s fun to also pair sake with Chinese and Italian (please avoid excessively spicy or strong garlic-flavored dishes) cuisines.

Please be careful to compare the balance between the sake and the food upon consumption, the changes detected in the umami flavors, and any changes in the aroma particular to that food, and aftertaste. If these factors in the pairing are satisfying, then it’s safe to say the pairing was a "success."
#alljapannews #people

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