First Japanese Sake in the World to be Certified as Vegan

By Kosuke Kuji

Nambubijin is the first sake brand in the world to satisfy the Jewish dietary requirement by acquiring “Kosher” certification in 2013.

Thanks to this Kosher certification, the sales route for Japanese sake overseas is gradually changing from the conventional channels known for Japanese restaurants and grocery chains.

Needless to say, it is common knowledge among Japanese sake brewers and anyone remotely familiar with sake for that matter that sake is brewed without using any animal products.

Why not emphasize this “common knowledge” more? I was advised by an American mentor that “the most precious values are common sense values,” thus I recognized receiving third party certification for these “commonly known” values will expand the possibility of widespread consumption for Japanese sake.

Therefore, I went ahead and acquired the first ‘vegan’ certification for Japanese sake in both Japan and worldwide to encourage the consumption of Japanese sake among vegan consumers.

Our certification was acquired from the Japan Vegan Society domestically, and from The Vegan Society overseas.

Currently, ‘delicious’ flavor is also the expected standard in the wine industry, with priority given to “safety, reliability, and natural” products as key terms, along with “Non GMO” wine and “BIO” certified wine selections emerging in the market.

Currently, Japanese sake is consumed overseas paired with Japanese cuisine among foreign nationals who are familiar with and friendly towards Japan. That in itself is wonderful, and I’m grateful for our foreign consumers of Japanese sake.

However, looking ahead 20 and 30 years into the future, acquiring ‘vegan’ certification for Japanese sake, “commonly known” to contain no animal products of any kind, will lead to new opportunities for market development.

Therefore, I’d like to encourage more sake breweries acquiring these certifications in the near future to help establish an impression that “Japanese sake is vegan, therefore safe, reliable, and natural” worldwide.






日本国内は日本ヴィーガン協会、海外はThe Vegan Societyでの認定となります。

今、ワインの世界でも「おいしい」は当たり前で、その先に「安心・安全・自然」がキーワードとなっていて「NON GMO」のワインや、「BIO」認定のワインなどもたくさん出てきています。


#alljapannews #vegan #sake


Japanese sake and cuisine

I’m often asked by Americans, “I often use wine for cooking, but can I also use Japanese sake?” Japanese sake contains many umami flavors not found in wine, so it’s great that they can be used in anything.

Eliminating odors
Of course, sake is not only effective in eliminating odors from fish and seafood, but also from pork and lamb. Of course the odor dictates lamb meat, however, when adding Japanese flavor to your cooking, add Japanese sake to any food when the odor is too strong, then leave it for approximately two minutes for the odor to disappear.

Effective in softening proteins
Placing chicken breasts, red beef, and / or meat for stew in a zip lock bag filled with sake prior to marinating eliminates the dryness from the meat and adds flavor. Sake greatly enhances the flavor of meat for barbeque and yakiniku.

Adds umami flavor
From broiled dishes to soup dishes, Japanese sake is useful in a variety of dishes, as our readers know. Surprisingly, Japanese sake also enhances the flavors of Western soup, especially in seafood, along with pasta and various other dishes. Please give it a try. Actually, sake is also great when used even in instant ramen noodles!

Japanese sake is great for cooking
Sake for cooking or Junmai sake is great for food preparation. While Ginjo and Daiginjo are great for drinking, Junmai is better suited and more effective for cooking due to it’s higher concentration of umami flavors.













니혼슈와 요리

미국 사람들로부터 "와인은 요리에 사용하곤 하는데 니혼슈도 사용할 수 있습니까?" 라는 질문을 종종 받습니다. 니혼슈에는 와인에는 없는 감칠맛 성분이 많기 때문에 어디에든 사용할 수 있어서 좋습니다.

냄새 제거
물론 어패류에도 효과적이지만 돼지고기나 양고기 등의 냄새를 없애는 데도 효과가 있습니다. 양고기 특유의 냄새가 매력적일 수도 있지만, 일본식 양념을 할 때 냄새가 너무 강한 경우 니혼슈를 뿌리고 약 2 분 정도 두면 냄새도 사라집니다.

단백질 유연 효과
닭가슴살이나 쇠고기의 살코기, 스튜용 고기를 밑간하기 전에 니혼슈가 담긴 지퍼백에 넣어두면 뻑뻑한 느낌이 없어지면서 맛있어집니다. 바베큐나 구이용 고기가 더 맛있어지는 것입니다.

감칠맛 추가
조림부터 찌개까지 니혼슈를 다양하게 사용할 수 있다는 것은 여러분도 잘 알고 있을 것입니다. 의외로 양식 수프, 특히 해산물이 들어간 음식에 니혼슈를 넣으면 더욱 맛있어집니다. 물론 파스타나 다른 요리에도 사용할 수 있으니 시도해 보면 좋을 것 같습니다.
실은 인스턴트 라면에 약간 넣어도 맛있습니다.

요리와 잘 어울리는 니혼슈
요리주나 준마이슈가 좋습니다. 긴죠나 다이긴죠는 마시기에는 좋지만 요리로서의 효능을 보자면 감칠맛이 좋은 쥰마이슈가 더 좋습니다.
#sake #cooking #sommelier


Seafood dishes and sushi, in which worldwide cooking techniques and seasonings are cleverly used

Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w... Seafood dishes and sushi, in w...
By Aya Ota

In the SOHO District where stylish and unique boutiques and galleries stand, there is a door a few steps down from the street level. Opening the door will lead you to an extraordinary space that looks like the interior of a deluxe cruise ship, and entertains you. This is “Lure Fishbar”, one of New York’s prominent seafood specialty restaurants. There, you find creative and ingenious dishes, in which fresh and high-quality seafood is generously used, and worldwide cooking techniques and seasonings are effectively used. There is a raw bar with a wide variety of oysters and clams, and the main dishes include flavorful clam chowder, bisque, grilled or steamed seafood; each of which is cooked properly depending on the ingredient. Sushi and sashimi are the core items of the menu, and account for 30 to 35% of the entire sales.

It was in 2014 when Preston Clark, the Executive Chef of “Lure Fishbar” was hired. His father is a well-known chef who has received an award from the James Beard Foundation, and he has been brushing up his talent and skills since childhood. He also has an honorable record as a nominee for the Rising Star award by the same Foundation. For him, it was the first time to work for a seafood specialty restaurant, but he has created new tastes utilizing his past experiences in working for various famous places such as “Jean George”, a leading French restaurant in New York, and “El Paso” in San Francisco, etc. “Sea Urchin Bucatini” is one of the items he is most proud of. A rich sauce made with generous portions of blue crab meat coats Bucatini pasta, and Hokkaido sea urchin is generously placed on top. The dish doesn’t seem complicated at first glance, but actually a complex and delicate taste has been created by accentuating it with crust made with 3 kinds of chill peppers and garlic. “Hellfire Roll” ($22) is a dish which is colorful and playful. It is a unique roll-style sushi, on which spicy tuna is rolled inside, and seared tuna pieces are added on top.

Kimchee flavor is used effectively. Ponzu-flavored “Kanpachi Sashimi” ($23) provides a rhythmical texture, and added wasabi stem, shallot, garlic, and ginger enhance the taste of the basic ingredients. Other favored Japanese food ingredients they use include raw wasabi, soy sauce, miso, and yuzu. He told me that he learned how to handle seafood and Japanese ingredients from Jean George, who is a Japanese cuisine connoisseur.

Mr. Clark supervises not only the entire cooking aspect as a chef, but also the business aspect. It is not easy to keep attracting customers to such a large-scale restaurant and be profitable at the same time in a place like New York which is a highly competitive market. This restaurant operates from lunch through dinner without a break, and interestingly, they have set up a special period between 3 and 5pm as “Late Lunch”. Due to the nature of the location like SOHO, they try to accommodate a wide variety of customers from locals to tourists. Not only that, the period is the switching point from lunch to dinner, and works well for both efficient operation and profitability. They use social media to attract customers by not only explaining the dishes, but also introducing the health benefits of seafood, and cultural background of each dish.

They also have an excellent lineup of Japanese sake brands. Mariah Bryand, Manager of the restaurant, has acquired a sake sommelier license, and she has carefully selected 20 Japanese sake brands that are a good match to seafood.

Japanese cocktails such as “Soho Sōtō Martini” ($20) made with Junmai Daiginjo and “Red Eye” ($18) with plum wine are also popular. One Junmai Daiginjo brand is featured and introduced as the “Sommelier Selection Sake” every season, and explained in detail about the charm of the featured brand.

You can fully enjoy the depth and broadness of seafood cooking here at “Lure Fishbar”. You feel like trying different dishes and liquors one after another. This is a place full of inspiration and surprises.


お洒落で個性的なブティックやギャラリーが立ち並ぶSOHO地区。路面から数段降りた位置にある扉を開けると、豪華客船内をイメージした優雅で非日常的な空間が広がり、高揚した気分になる。ここは、ニューヨーク有数のシーフード専門店『Lure Fishbar』。新鮮で高品質な魚介類をふんだんに使い、世界各国の料理技術や調味料を駆使し、創意工夫に富んだ料理が並ぶ。牡蠣やあさりなど豊富な種類を取りそろえたロー・バー、風味豊かなクラムチャウダーやビスク、グリルやスチームなど素材に合わせた技法で調理されたメイン料理……。寿司や刺身は同店メニューの中心的存在で、売上の30〜35%を占めるという。

プレストン・クラーク氏が、『Lure Fishbar』の料理長に就任したのは2014年のことだ。父親はジェイムス・ビアード財団から表彰された著名な料理人であり、幼少の頃から才能と技術を磨いてきた。彼自身も同財団のライジング・スターにノミネートされたという輝かしい経歴を持つ。魚介専門店は初体験だったが、過去に、ニューヨークを代表するフレンチ『Jean George』やサンフランシスコの『El Paso』など、数々の名店で培った知識や経験を活かして、新しい味を創り出している。「Sea Urchin Bucatini」は、クラーク氏自慢の一品。ブルー・クラブをふんだんに使った濃厚なソースをブカティーニ・パスタに絡め、北海道産ウニを贅沢にトッピング。一見シンプルに見えるが、3種類の唐辛子で作ったクラストやニンニクをアクセントにし、複雑で繊細な味を創り上げている。『Hellfire Roll』(22ドル)は彩り鮮やかで遊び心にあふれた内容。ピリ辛味のマグロを巻き込み、さらに炙ったマグロの切り身を乗せるという独特な巻き寿司で、キムチ味を効かせている。ポン酢風味の『Kanpachi Sashimi』(23ドル)には、ワサビ茎、エシャロット、ニンニク、生姜がリズミカルな食感を加え、素材の味を引き立てる。他の日本食材では、生ワサビ、醤油、味噌、柚などを好んで取り入れている。魚介や日本食材の扱い方については、日本食通のジャン・ジョルジュ氏の元で学んだという。

クラーク氏は料理長として、料理全体のみならずビジネス面も統括している。ニューヨークという熾烈な市場で、これだけ大規模な店に集客し、収益を上げていくのは決して簡単なことではない。同店ではランチからディナーまで休憩なく開店しているが、平日3時半〜5時に「Late Lunch」という時間帯を設けているのが興味深い。SOHOという土地柄もあり、地元客から旅行客まで幅広い客層の要望に応えるためでもあるが、ちょうどディナーへの切り替えタイミングでもあり、効率よいオペレーションと収益性を両立させているのだ。集客にはソーシャル・ネットワークを活用、単に料理の説明にとどまらず、魚介類の健康効果やそれぞれの料理の文化的背景なども紹介している。

 同店は、日本酒のラインナップも秀逸だ。同店のマネージャーを務めるマライア・ブライアンド氏は、利き酒氏の資格を取得しており、魚介類に合う日本酒を約20種類厳選している。純米大吟醸を使った『Soho Sōtō Martini』(20ドル)や梅酒を使った『Red Eye』(18ドル)など、日本酒カクテルも人気がある。

「Sommelier Selection Sake」として、季節ごとに特定の日本酒をフィーチャーし、その魅力を詳しく紹介している。

魚介類料理の奥深さや幅広さを存分に味わえる『Lure Fishbar』。次々と違う料理や酒を試したくなる、感動と驚きに満ちあふれた店だ。

Lure Fishbar
142 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 212-431-7676
URL: www.lurefishbar.com

Mon–Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

Mon–Fri 11:30 am–4:00 pm

Sat, Sun 11:00 am–3:30 pm
#alljapannews #seafood #sushi #soho #NY #LureFishbar


Aiming to open 50 locations throughout the US by 2028

Aiming to open 50 locations th... Aiming to open 50 locations th... Aiming to open 50 locations th... Aiming to open 50 locations th... Aiming to open 50 locations th...
By Keiko Fukuda

“Sushi Stop” is a sushi restaurant chain which has 6 restaurants in the Los Angeles suburbs including Hollywood, Sawtelle, Pasadena, Studio City, etc. Its original owner opened the first location in the 2010s as “a restaurant where you can eat sushi casually at a reasonable price setting”. The restaurant ran successfully, and has continued to add locations. I asked what has triggered Sushi Stop’s turning point. “I heard that it was the YouTube video that ignited the popularity,” answered Kaori Ito, who has been working for the company since 2013. The video clip was uploaded on YouTube in 2016 by BuzzFeedVideo. In the video, 2 YouTubers compare a $250-per-person sushi restaurant and a $3 restaurant. Sushi Stop appears as the $3 restaurant, and the YouTubers make comments in surprise saying “It is unbelievable that such fresh and delicious sushi is offered at this price!”

“A moment after the video was released, people swarmed to all our locations. We got so busy, and never had time to take a break for a long time,” said Ms. Ito thinking back. By the way, as of March of this year, this video has been viewed 29.95million times. I don’t know how many of those people have viewed it more than once, but you can say that it simply made 29.95 million people know about the existence of Sushi Stop. Then in October of 2018, the Sushi Stop chain became part of Japan’s MM Group Holdings, and made a new start. I asked Mr. Sho Tahara, the Director of Product Development of Sunrise Services, and also the COO of Sushi Stop, when I met him at its Studio City location, what part of Sushi Stop got the company interested, and he said, “First, it is their locations. All the locations are good. Also they are targeting Americans. Targeting Americans means the base is broad.

Especially here at the Studio City location, nearly 100% of the customer are Americans (non-Japanese). However, about 10% of the Sawtelle location customers are Asians. So the customer ratio varies depending on the location.” I asked next why they are so popular among American customer.

She said, “I think it is because the price matches the value. In other words, the cost performance is excellent. The average cost per person is $18. Many Americans are very value-conscious. Attracting as many customers as possible with reasonable pricing is the success factor.”

In fact, the Sawtelle location has as many as 400 visitors a day. Sure enough, in the Sawtelle District where there are various Japanese restaurants serving sushi, curry, udon, etc., you see many people waiting in front of Sushi Stop. “On the other hand, due to the fact that we are so busy, we sometimes receive comments about our staff not being very attentive. We never had a system to train our employees before, so we are planning to allocate a supervisor at each location, and implement training programs for human resources training.”

Mr. Tahara mentions, “cost performance”, many times. As introduced in the video as a 3-dollar sushi place, even the current menu still offers a reasonable price setting. Each pair of salmon, yellowtail, mackerel, shrimp sushi, etc. is $3.50, and roll sushi such as California roll, spicy tuna roll, and salmon avocado roll are $4.50 for 8 pieces. However, the most popular items are not nigiri type, but are the very California-like easy-to-understand tasting items such as the Dynamite roll or Popcorn-Shrimp roll.

“As they say, ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’, I would like to keep offering the kinds of menus that are well received by Americans. And, eventually, my goal is to take Sushi Stop to Japan. I want to make Sushi born in Los Angeles popularized in Japan in a prospect of reverse importation,” Tahara says.

In the US, the Olympic Games will be held in Los Angeles in 2028, and they have a goal to open a total of 50 locations in the next 10 years before that. He spoke of his aspiration as follows. “In order to reach the goal, I would like to implement a new marketing strategy by using social media.”


ハリウッド、ソーテル、パサデナ、スタジオシティなどロサンゼルス近郊に6店を構える寿司レストランチェーン、Sushi Stop。前オーナーが、2010年代に入ってから「リーズナブルな値段で気軽に寿司が食べられる店」としてオープン、店は成功し、店舗数を増やしていった。何がSushi Stopの転機となったかを聞くと、2013年から同社に勤務する伊東香里さんは「You tubeの動画で人気に火がついたことです」と教えてくれた。その動画は2016年にBuzzFeedVideoがYou tubeにアップしたもので、二人のユーチューバーが単価250ドルの寿司店と3ドルの寿司店を食べ比べる内容。Sushi Stopは3ドルの寿司店として登場、ユーチューバーは「こんな新鮮で美味しい寿司がこの価格だとは信じられない」というリアクションを見せている。

「動画がアップされた途端、全店に顧客が押し寄せ、休む暇がないほど忙しい時期が続きました」と伊東さんは振り返る。ちなみにこの動画、2019年3月時点での閲覧数は2,995万回に達している。この手の動画を繰り返し見る人がいるかどうかわからないが、単純に考えれば2,995万人にSushi Stopの存在をこれまで知らせたことになる。

そして、2018年10月、Sushi Stopは日本のMMグループホールディングスの傘下に入り、新しいスタートを迎えた。Sushi Stopのどんな点に興味を覚えたのか、スタジオシティ店で会ったサンライズサービスの商品開発部部長であり、Sushi Stopのチーフ・オペレーション・オフィサーである田原祥さんに聞くと次のように答えた。

実際に、ソーテル・サウス店の1日の来客数は400人にのぼる。寿司、カレー、うどんと様々な種類の日本食レストランがひしめくソーテルにあって、確かにSushi Stopの前には多くの入店待ちの客がたむろしている光景が見られる。「しかし、多忙なせいでスタッフのサービスが雑だというコメントをいただくこともあります。これまでは従業員に対してトレーニング制度がなかったので、今後は各店にスーパーバイザーを配置して人材育成のためのトレーニングを実施していく計画です」



「郷に入れば郷に従え、の精神で、アメリカ人に受け入れられるメニューを中心に提供していきます。そして最終的には日本にSushi Stopを持ち込むことが目標です。ロサンゼルスで生まれた寿司を日本で流行らせる、逆輸入を視野に入れています」


Sushi Stop
11837 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604

Open Daily 11:30am-10pm
Fri. & Sat. 11:30am-11pm
#alljapannews #sushistop #CA


“UNIQLO Releases T-shirt Designs Worldwide for Selected Sake Brewers”

“UNIQLO” is a clothing brand representative of Japan.

Today, the brand’s store locations are expanding not only across Japan, but also worldwide, including a North American store location in New York.

UNIQLO selected sake brewers with a track record of producing notable sake brands from throughout Japan, and released a collaborative series of T-shirt designs that incorporate the concept and design of each selected sake brand, titled “Sake Brewer SAKAGURA UT.”

Eleven sake breweries were selected from throughout Japan with each brewery’s unique individuality, history, and label design incorporated into it’s own T-shirt design, resulting in the release of eleven T-shirt designs total.

Nanbubijin is one of the sake breweries selected for this project with their own unique T-shirt design soon to be released.

In Japan, this T-shirt will mainly be sold in some of the major stores, online, and overseas at the same time.

Please look for these T-shirts in the U.S. as well.

Each design and colors are unique and different for the eleven sake breweries.
Why not get all eleven T-shirts as a complete collection?

It’s very exciting to see the Japanese national retail brand UNIQLO focus on regional sake breweries that hold steadfast to history and tradition!

■UNIQLO Sake Brewery UT Home Page




そんなユニクロが、日本全国から崇高な酒造りの歴史を持つ酒蔵をセレクトし、そのデザイン性や哲学の思想をデザインにしたコラボレーション企画「酒蔵 SAKAGURA UT」シリーズを2019年3月に発売開始しました。日本全国から11の蔵元がユニクロに選ばれ、それぞれの蔵の持つ個性や歴史、そしてラベルなどのデザイン性を取り入れて、各蔵独自にユニクロがデザインしたTシャツが11枚出来上がりました。




#alljapannews #uniqlo #sake


The way a new-generation American-style Izakaya should be

The way a new-generation Am... The way a new-generation Am... The way a new-generation Am... The way a new-generation Am... The way a new-generation Am... The way a new-generation Am... The way a new-generation Am... The way a new-generation Am... The way a new-generation Am...
By Elli Sekine

The Japanese cuisine boom in San Francisco has been more and more diversified every year, and the number of restaurants which are run by non-Japanese owners is increasing. In the Bay area, Michelin-starred Japanese and non-Japanese restaurant owners share a 50/50 ratio. Highquality and unique Japanese restaurants are spreading to the suburbs, and people are talking about them everywhere. I heard about such a restaurant existing in Fairfax, a small suburban town of San Francisco, which is run by a couple of American co-owners. I decided to go there to make a report.

This little town possesses some local power. The “Good Earth” (a sustainable super market) born in Fairfax has experienced rapid growth supported by its local residents. There are many small individual stores in the town center, and those markets, cafes, and restaurants lined up on the streets are creating a warm and relaxed scenery. On one such street, I saw people gathering around. It was a line of people waiting for the opening of the only Japanese restaurant in town, “Village Sake”. I asked them how they felt about the restaurant. The customers in the line, who made up a wide variety of age groups commended on the restaurant, in a way that reflected how much the restaurant was loved by the local people.

The place of topic is the first restaurant run by Scott Whitman and Scott Porter. It is an Izakaya-style restaurant which is high-end, yet casual. Chef Whitman worked for “Fog City Diner”, a long-established San Franciscan American cuisine restaurant chain in Osaka for 15 years as a staff member since its opening in Osaka in the nineties. While working there, he fell deeply for the charms of Japanese cuisine, and after returning to the US, he worked for “Sushi Ran”, a highend Japanese restaurant, as a chef, and earned a good reputation for his great skills. In the meantime, ideas for new recipes and a concept for his own place started to grow in his head. In 2015, they opened “Village Sake” in Fairfax, where both of them were born and raised. Mr. Porter, who named the place as a village, expressed his love for the region as follows, “Doesn’t this name sound cool? I imagined a place where local folks gather to mingle by eating and drinking.” Surprisingly, Mr. Porter also has an active career as a fire fighter. I asked him why he tried for an unfamiliar field, which was to run a restaurant. He answered, “I like to eat. You live only once, so I wanted to try different things.” He was born and raised in the same town as Mr. Whitman, and they were not only friends, but roommates as well.

The restaurant’s casual looking interior space that contains grainy wooden tables which give a feel of warmth of wood with effective warm illuminations, provides a cozy Izakaya atmosphere. Japanese-style partitions are installed to help maintain your privacy and comfort. Their efficient looking staff members are all friendly, and look like they are having a good time. The cheerfulness of the two owners seems to have a lot to do with the way the restaurant is operated.

The menu is full of Mr. Whitman’s creative dishes. The special of the day of my visit was the “Seater Albacore” ($11). The taste was deepened with fresh basil and curry oil, accentuated by lemongrass and small goat cheese cubes. The recommended dish, “Seared Toro” ($24) was tender and had a melting texture of seared medium toro, and the caviar topping was quite unconventional. Its rich taste and citrus sourness created a good balance. “Kansai ika” ($11) is Whitman’s own favorite dish of the Osaka area, in which locally-caught fresh tender squid is served with chill aioli sauce. Among others, Osaka specialties, takoyaki and okonomiyaki are popular as well. They also serve traditional dishes such as pork belly, and sunomono, which have been arranged slightly to suit American tastes.

They serve everything from light dishes such as Asian kimchee brussel sprouts and dumplings, to high-end items in which lobster and caviar are used in addit to tara saikyo-zuke (miso marinated cod), and wagyu beef tataki, and all of these dishes create a true Americaunique Izakaya menu. This is the kind of restaurant you want to go every day because of their reasonable pricing for a high-end quality food San Franciscan restaurant.

To match their concept as “a place to enjoy sake and food”, the drink menu of “Village Sake” consists of a wide variety of local sake, plus shochu, beer, and wine brands. They also carry specially aged sake and barreled sake, which are very well appreciated by sake connoisseurs. Since its opening, this place has been featured in local magazines as one of the best 100 restaurants in the area, and has even earned the “Michelin Guide’s Bib Award”, etc., and has been on the right track ever since. They are planning to open a new sake bar next to the restaurant soon. “Village Sake” is now on the way to proceed to the next stage supported by the residents in the area.



 この小さな町は地域力がある。Fairfax から生まれた「Good Eath」(持続可能なスーパー)は住民の支持で急成長を遂げた。町の中心には小さな個人商店が多くマーケットやカフェ、レストランが並びほのぼのした光景だ。そんな通りにある人だかりを見つけた。この町に一軒しかない日本食レストラン「Villege Sake」の開店を待つ人の列だ。評判を聞いたところ、幅広い年齢層の客が同店の自慢をしてくれた。地域に愛されている様子が伝わってきた。

噂のレストランは、Scott WhitmanとScott Porter が初めて経営するハイエンドなのにカジュアルな居酒屋。 シェフのWhitman 氏はサンフランシスコのアメリカ料理老舗の「Fog City Diner」が90 年代大阪にオープンした際、スタッフとして大阪で15 年間を過ごした。その生活の中で日本食の魅力に取り付かれ、アメリカに帰ってからも高級日本食レストラン、「Sushi Ran」でキッチンシェフとして技術を磨き高く評価されている。その内に新しいメニューのアイディアや自分の店構想が湧いてきた。そして2015 年、両者が生まれ育ったFairfax に「Village Sake」をオープンした。その場所を「村」と表現したPorter氏は、「良いだろう、この名前?この地域の人が飲んで食べて交流する場所をイメージしたんだ」と地元愛を語る。

Porter 氏の経歴はなんと、現役の消防士。何故未経験のレストラン経営に挑んだかを訊ねると、「食べることが好きなんだ。一度しかない人生にいろんな事に挑戦してみたかった」。生まれも育ちも同町でWhitman 氏とは昔ルームメイトだった事もあり長年の友達だ。


 メニュー構成はWhitman 氏による創造的なメニューが並ぶ。この日のスペシャル「Seater albacore」($11)は、レモングラスーゴートチーズ小さなキューブがアクセントとなり、さっぱりしたバジルとカレーオイルで味に厚みを出している。オススメメニューの「seared toro」($24)は、中トロの部位を炙った柔らかくとろけるような舌触りにキャビアのトッピングが斬新。リッチな味覚にすだちの酸味がバランス良い。「Kansaiika($11)はWhitman 自身が大好きな大阪メニューで、地元で獲れた新鮮で柔らかいイカをチリアイオリで頂く。そのほか大阪名物たこ焼きやお好み焼きも人気。ポークベリーや酢の物などの伝統的メニューもあるがどれもアメリカン風に一工夫加えているのが特徴だ。またアジア風キムチ芽キャベツやダンプリングなどの軽いものからロブスターやキャビアを使ったハイエンドメニューには鱈の西京漬や和牛ビーフのタタキも加わり、アメリカ風居酒屋の醍醐味となっている。ハイエンドなのにSF料金に比べるとリーズナブルで毎日通いたくなる店だ。

 「酒と食を楽しむ場所」がコンセプトの「Village Sake」らしくドリンクメニューは多種の自酒、他焼酎、ビール、ワインなどを揃える。中には特別熟成酒や樽酒などもあり酒好きにはたまならい。オープン以来地元誌にSF ベス ト100 店の一軒に選ばれた。 2017 年には、「Michelin Guide's Bib」の評価を得た同店は軌道に乗り、近々新しい酒バーが同レストランの隣に オープンする。「Village Sake」は、地域 住民に愛され繁栄を続けている。

Village Sake
19 Bolinas Road
Fairfax, Ca.

Sunday 5-9pm
Wednesday-Saturday 5-10pm Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
#alljapannews #villagesake #isakaya








Expanding alcohol distribution routes

By Yuji Matsumoto

There is no doubt sushi is the driving force behind the expansion of Japanese food, expanding the way for other Japanese foods to follow.

Currently, the old legend of “opening a sushi restaurant will automatically result in success” is long over, and no longer the trend.

The slowing opening and closing of sushi restaurants are due to impact by rising fish and seafood prices, expensive initial investment, lack of sushi chefs, the rising expenses of employee health insurance, etc., and dropping prices due to large sushi restaurants managed by non-Japanese, impacting small-scale restaurants. However, another factor is casual dining such as ramen gaining attention. Compared to the over 20,000 sushi restaurants in business today, there are 5,000~6,000 ramen shops in the U.S., leaving much room to grow and expand.

Considering that fresh (raw) fish at expensive prices have come this far to be widely enjoyed by American consumers, it’s not difficult to imagine their acceptance of noodle products such as ramen, especially since they’re similar to chicken noodle soup, and fried rice.

Other casual dining selections garnering attention is “okonomiyaki” (Japanese pancake with meat, seafood, vegetables, egg, etc) and “takoyaki” (octopus dumplings), etc. and other street foods.

Also, recently, in a U.S. magazine, oden (broiled fish cake) and curry rice are also being introduced. I look forward to these magazines in the U.S. introducing Japanese sake, beer, shochu (distilled liquor), and other distribution channels.







주류 판매 채널 확대

초밥이 미국 시장에서 일본 음식 문화의 대표 주자로 다른 일본 음식을 확산하는 데 견인차 역할을 해 왔습니다.

30년 전만 해도 미국에서 초밥 레스토랑은 ‘열기만 하면 돈을 쓸어모으는 황금알을 낳는 업종”이었습니다. 그러나 현재 미국의 대도시에서는 쇠퇴의 길을 걷고 있는 듯이 보입니다.

이와 같은 초밥 레스토랑의 출점 둔화와 폐점은 어패류 가격의 폭등과 막대한 초기 투자, 초밥 요리사의 부족, 종업원 보험 등의 제반 경비 인상, 외국인이 경영하는 대형 초밥 레스토랑의 가격 파괴 등으로 인해 소규모 초밥집이 타격을 받고 있기 때문으로 분석됩니다. 그러나 또 다른 요소는 라멘과 같은 B급 일식 문화입니다. 2만개가 넘는 초밥 레스토랑과 비교하면 현재 미국에 5,000~6,000개의 라멘집이 있으며, 아직 성장할 여력이 남아 있습니다.

고가의 날 생선이라는 이미지가 있는 초밥이 미국인에게 인기를 얻은 것을 생각해 보면, 파스타나 치킨 누들 수프에 익숙한 서양인이 라멘이나 볶음밥을 싫어할 이유가 없습니다.

그 밖에도 오코노미야키나 다코야키 등 길거리 음식도 주목을 받기 시작했습니다. 또한, 최근 미국의 잡지에서 오뎅과 카레 등도 소개되고 있습니다. 이러한 업종의 성장을 기대하면서 일본의 술과 맥주, 소주의 판매 채널이 확대되길 기대합니다.
#alljapannews #アルコール販売 #alcholdistribution


Park Avenue /Autumn, Summer, Winter, Spring -Restaurant to be renewed entirely at every change of the season-

Park Avenue /Autumn, Summer... Park Avenue /Autumn, Summer... Park Avenue /Autumn, Summer... Park Avenue /Autumn, Summer... Park Avenue /Autumn, Summer... Park Avenue /Autumn, Summer... Park Avenue /Autumn, Summer...
By Aya Ota

Park Avenue” is a restaurant which has the theme, changes of four seasons. At every change of the season from autumn, winter, spring, to summer, its menu, its interior decorations, and even its staff uniforms get renewed, and the name of the restaurant also changes to “Park Avenue Autumn”, “Park Avenue Winter”, “Park Avenue Spring”, or “Park Avenue Summer”, and the sign gets changed accordingly.

This innovative idea of renewing the entire restaurant according to the image of the current season frequently became the topic of conversation, which led this place to win numerous awards in the past.

This restaurant has been loved by New Yorkers for a long time. It was operated for 22 years on the Upper East Side since its 1992 opening before it moved to the present location about 5 years ago. The concept for the menu is contemporary American. Ingredients from all over the world are creatively arranged in the dishes. The person who created the basic principles of the menu is Craig Koketsu, the former executive chef, who has now the role of both chef and partner. He is a third-generation Japanese American, and his last name, Koketsu, is Japanese. It may be the reason why he uses so many Japanunique food ingredients in his dishes.

The present executive chef is Zene Flinn. was born and raised in the Quincy District of Washington State where agriculture is the main industry. His father was an apple grower there. He grew up surrounded by seasonal fresh ingredients, which inspired him naturally to seek a career in cooking. After graduating from the well-known culinary school, “French Culinary Institute (presently called International Culinary Center)”, he built up his career at “Nougatine” run by Jean-Georges, who is a top leading French chef in New York. He joined the “Quality Branded Group” which developed 10 restaurants in New York, Miami, and Denver including this “Park Avenue” in 2010.

Flinn’s dishes represent his full love for the ingredients, and are superbly creative. He uses a wide variety of Japanese ingredients that include miso, mirin, yuzu juice, yuzu kosho, shirodashi, wasabi, sansho, umeboshi, etc. Soy sauce and miso are often used as a secret seasoning to enhance, deepen, or soften the taste. Yuzu, red pepper, and sansho are used to accentuate dishes by contributing to the impression for the first bite, or for visual effects. The surprising combinations of ingredients are something only a non-Japanese could think of, and are excellently balanced. Their concept, in which the changes of each of the four seasons is valued, is somewhat common to what Japanese cuisine is. In the summer of 2018, Flinn was invited by the Niigata Prefecture Government, and visited its local farms and producers, and was deeply impressed by the Japanese food ingredients, and learned a lot about them. Just recently, in January of this year, he impressed industry people at a reception held by the Governor of Niigata by creating and serving brand-new dishes, in which he used Niigata-made soy sauce, Kanzuri (fermented red pepper seasoning), and miso in Italian, Mexican, and Spanish style dishes.

One of the charms of this restaurant is its size. There are 220 seats in the main dining space alone. Additionally, there are 4 private spaces for event use, on which they like to put a special value. All those 4 spaces combined can accommodate parties of 200 people if sitting, and 300 if standing. In the eventful holiday season, they sometimes have as many as 1000 people a day.

This is definitely the kind of restaurant you would like to visit at every season - Autumn, Winter, Spring, or Summer - to enjoy each season of New York through all 5 of your senses.





 フリン氏が創り出す料理は、食材への愛にあふれており、かつ独創性にも優れている。日本食材としては、味噌、みりん、柚子果汁、柚胡椒、白出汁、ワサビ、山椒、梅干し…など、幅広く取り入れている。醤油や味噌は隠し味として使うことも多く、料理の味をまろやかに奥深く広げてくれる。柚や辛子調味料、山椒などは料理のアクセントに活用し、口に運んだ瞬間の印象や見た目の華やかさを創り出す。日本人では思いつかないような、意外な食材同士を組み合わせ、見事な調和を創り出している。四季の変化を大事にするというコンセプトは、和食にも通じるところがある。 フリン氏は、2018年夏に、新潟県の招聘で農家や生産者を訪問、日本産食材の素晴らしさに感銘を受け、理解を深めたという。今年1月には、新潟県知事が主催したレセプションで、新潟産の醤油やかんずり(発酵辛子調味料)、味噌を、イタリアンやメキシカン、スパニッシュスタイルと組み合わせ、全く新しい料理を創り出し、業界人をうならせたばかりだ。



Park Avenue /Autumn, Summer, Winter, Spring
360 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 212-951-7111
URL: www.parkavenyc.com

Mon – Thurs 11:30 am – 10 pm
Fri 11:30am – 11pm
Sat 11am-3pm, 5pm – 11pm
Sun 11am-3pm, 5:30-9:00 pm
#alljapannews #parkavenue #NY #restaurant #Japanunique


Oreno Yakiniku Japanese Bar-B-Cue -Bringing in customers with the signature menu item, KOBE SPECIAL, and offering happy hour twice a day.-

Oreno Yakiniku Japanese Bar-... Oreno Yakiniku Japanese Bar-... Oreno Yakiniku Japanese Bar-... Oreno Yakiniku Japanese Bar-... Oreno Yakiniku Japanese Bar-...
By Keiko Fukuda

A Japanese style yakiniku restaurant “Oreno Yakiniku” is located on the third floor of the Weller Court, a shopping mall in Little Tokyo. This place gets especially busy during lunch hours and also while some event is being held nearby. During lunch hours, neighboring Government office workers and other business people swarm to this restaurant to get the lunch specials of this restaurant. Whenever some Japan-themed event is held in the downtown area, such as the Anime Expo, a huge number of people would move into Little Tokyo from the event hall.

This restaurant shows different faces between lunch and dinner. First of all, the reason for the popularity of lunch time is the richness of their menu, and the reasonable pricing. As for the lunch menu variety, aside from the Yakiniku lunch, they also offer as many as nearly 30 or so different items. The grilled miso-marinated black cod, fried salmon, fried prawn, kurobuta shoga-yaki, tonkatsu, jidori karaage, curry, and donburis are some of those items, and most of them are under $15. The ishiyaki bibimbpa is only $9.95. The pricing is very reasonable considering its good location.

For dinner time, on the other hand, a yakiniku set menu called “Snake River Farms Kiwami”, in which a high-quality brand beef is used, is very popular. The Snake River Farms Kiwami is the highest-quality USDA certified beef, and is a relative of Kuroge Japanese beef.

“The beef we use is equal or above prime grade. You can enjoy true high-class delicious beef, which tastes different from all-you-can-eat type of beef,” says the Assistant Manager, Sachie Ebata.

The most popular item among their yakiniku set menu items is the KOBE SPECIAL. As the name suggests, all the meats in the set, yukke, tongue, ribeye, short rib, outside skirt, chuck flap, and ox tail soup are Kobe beef. In addition, the set includes an ishiyaki bibimpa, a cabbage salad, and a dessert. This special course, which is satisfactorily enjoyable with its generous volume and variety, is $135. The reason for having continuous repeating customers seems to be due to not only the meat quality, but also the variety of meat parts you can taste. Thus mentioned, the average lunch time spending for a single customer is between 10 and 15 dollars, whereas it is between 30 and 50 dollars for dinner time, which is a big difference. In order to attract more customers for dinner hours, this restaurant takes on an attractive strategy, which is to offer happy hour twice a day.

The first happy hour is from the opening time (different depending on the day: either 5pm or 5:30pm) to 7pm, during which they offer a drastic discount for Asahi draft beer at $1.99 (instead of the regular price at $5.50), $1 off on cold or hot sake, and $2 off on a glass of wine. Moreover, they offer a 20% discount on a bottle of shochu, and 15% off on a portion of the meat menu items.

The second happy hour is between 8 and 9pm. The discount rates on the hot sake, cold sake, and a glass of wine are the same as the first happy hour; however, Sapporo draft beer is offered surprisingly at only 99 cents. But, there is a catch. This special discount applies only to the customer who ordered more than $10 worth of food or drinks for one person.

Before this restaurant opened 6 years ago, the Assistant Manager, Ebata, was working for EBISU, another Japanese restaurant in Little Tokyo. Both Oreno Yakiniku and EBISU are under the same company, Bishamon Group, which has developed more than 10 restaurants in the Los Angeles area. The Bishamon Group is the pioneer which has brought back the vividness to Little Tokyo ever since its opening of the popular Daikokuya ramen restaurant on 1st street, which has been attracting a lot of customers of many ethnicities. Due to the construction rush of the nearby condominiums, the area has a problem which is the lack of parking places, and the parking charge hike, which is also affecting their ability to attract more customers. Despite the odds, they say that Oreno Yakiniku is committed to keep offering quality meat, and continuing the business based in Little Tokyo for the future.

看板メニューKOBE SPECIALと1日2回のハッピーアワーで集客





焼肉セットの一番人気はその名もKOBE SPECIAL。ユッケ、タン、リブアイ、ショートリブ、アウトサイドスカート、チャックフラップ、オックステールスープとすべてが神戸ビーフ尽くしで、これに石焼ビビンバとキャベツサラダにデザートが加わる。十分なボリュームとバラエティー豊かな肉が楽しめるスペシャルメニューのお値段は135ドル。肉の品質だけでなく、様々な部位を味わえることがリピーター続出の理由のようだ。





Oreno Yakiniku
123 S Onizuka St., Ste 308 Los Angeles CA 90012

Tue.-Sun. 11:30am-2:00pm
Tue.-Thu. 5:30pm-10:00pm
Fri, 5:30pm-11:00pm
Sat. 5:00pm-11:00pm

Monday Closed
#alljapannews #OrenoYakiniku #BarBCue #LA


First time in the world!! A toast was given with Awa sake during an official party overseas!! Part 2

By Kosuke Kuji

A traditional Japanese ceremony of breaking open the sake barrel was held on stage, followed by the welcome beverage of “Awa sake” served in champagne glasses to approximately 300 Japanese and Italian guests to toast together at once. This sight had me dreaming of “Awa sake,” instead of champagne, being served at a large government-sponsored party, such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In Italy, where sparkling wine originated, I observed the Italian staff showed no sign of hesitation serving Awa sake at an official party sponsored by Japan. There’s no reason why we can’t do the same in Japan.

Not to deny champagne in anyway, but the conventional welcome beverage at past parties was the bubbly alcoholic beverage champagne, without question. At the same time, there is no reason why champagne should be the only beverage choice for foreign dignitaries to give a toast at the Tokyo Olympics. Although “the only beverage option for a toast” in the past was champagne, we now have “Awa sake” as another option, served successfully at a party in Italy to all attendees for a toast without causing any confusion in the operation.

We’d love to recreate this beautiful miracle again in 2020. Since we were successful in Italy, there’s no why we can’t serve Awa sake at an official party again, this time in Japan. Although challenges still remain, this day was a milestone that brought us one day closer to our goal to make Awa sake the “global beverage choice for a toast worldwide.”

世界初!!海外のパーティーでawa酒で乾杯!! パート2




#alljapannews #sake #Awasake #Japanese


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