A long-established sushi restaurant loved by the region —Sustaining while changing—

A long-establis... A long-establis... A long-establis... A long-establis... A long-establis...
By Elli Sekine

Ebisu, which is going into their 37th year of operation this year, is a long-established restaurant that has been leading the sushi boom in San Francisco. This restaurant is located near the center of the Golden Gate Park, and had become a super popular place in the nineties, where people would wait in line for a long time. Since then, they have tried diversified management styles, and tried out new sushi business models. Actually, in the past 30 years, they have expanded the business by opening 3 new restaurants, then closing them, and currently running only the main location. In their history, you can identify the pros and cons of a family-run operation. Ebisu has always been particular about quality and originality, and therefore, it was their management strategy to match the trends of the time. “The fundamentals are the most important things for the operation, which are consistent procurement of fresh ingredients, and the management,” says Erick, the 2nd generation owner.

Changing of management style according to the time…
In 1999, Ebisu Family’s second location, “Hotei,” opened. It was a noodle specialty restaurant which no one paid attention to at that time. The secret dashi made at the main location across the street was used for the noodle soups, and their wide variety of menu items that included udon, soba, somen, showa-taste ramen, etc., and its casual atmosphere made this place a hit. “As long as the base for Japanese cuisine is solidly mastered, you can create any dish,” at that time said Steve who is the founder, and currently the chairman. Especially, the “Reimen (cold noodle)” with house-made rich sauce, which you could not get anywhere else, was their top menu item. Ususally, average time people spend at a noodle specialty restaurant is not long, and therefore, its rotation is quick. From the customers’ point of view, it was really convenient that the restaurant was open from lunch through dinner time, and it was nice that they could have Ebisu’s roll sushi at a reasonable price. This location, thus quickly became very popular. Some customers who could not get into “Ebisu” went there, too. However, due to the ramen boom that came later, those customers slowly left for wanting of the new thing, ramen. For the 2 years prior to closing “Hotei”, they tried to continue by changing the owner, but finally closed its doors in 2015.

Catering sushi for parties…
In the 2000s, the core business that they were running along with the restaurant business was catering of sushi for parties, and catering for business offices.
With catering for weddings to business meetings at renowned hotels, they were extremely busy. The catering business was rapidly growing around that time as a new food business model. Erick, who was the leader of their catering business said, “It was really crazy, the situation we were in”, as he reminisced about those days when he was rushing around like crazy with his father and brothers. Presently, they are developing a well-balanced business based on the main location as the core.

“Airport Ebisu”, the second location of “Ebisu”, and “Hotei”, the second location of “Hotei” at the Financial District
In the early 2000s, the “Ebisu” family opened a branch at the new international terminal of SFO (San Francisco airport) which is known as “the most gourmet airport”. Ebisu was really standing out amongst the selection of restaurants and stores there, where the food culture unique to Northern California with the highest Asian population was symbolized in. Furthermore, the second “Hotei” opened in the Finance District, and their business was at its peak. On the other hand, in the background of such successes, they were having constant hardships with administering of employees, and the management. The distance from the main restaurant seemed to be one of the reasons. The idea of Steve’s, “to keep everybody within the reach of his supervision”, was far from the reality. It was also the time when maintaining of human resources was not catching up with the demands of the rapidly growing Japanese food businesses.

In the second half of the 2000s, San Francisco went into the IT bubbling period, and high-end Japanese restaurants were appearing one after another. Fine dining restaurants that served Omakase and Kaiseki courses increased in number in a very short time. Ebisu did a renovation of the entire restaurant in 2008, but did not change their position all throughout the past 30 years as a casual, locally based restaurant. Because of it, they still keep long-time regular customers without getting distracted by new trends. Moreover, due to the renovation, the older image of them, which is a usual typical sushi restaurant of the nineties, has transformed to a modern, bright, and spacious kind, which is drawing new types of customers. Adding more counter seats is contributing to the increase in the number of single customers.

The long-lasting Ebisu, which was established by a single generation, has been going forward by changing their business format along the way with the times. What has not changed is their offering of fresh ingredients, and their support of the local regular customers. Their family operation principle in which they do not rely completely on strangers, has been carried over to the second generation, and is still evolving.





エアポート「Ebisu 」2号店と金融街の「Hotei」2号店

2000年代後半からサンフランシスコはITバブル期に突入し、和食高級店が続々と出現し、Omakaseや懐石メニューを提供する“ハイエンド”レストランが一気に増えた。Ebisu は2008年に店内の全面改装をしたが、30数年間通してきた地元密着型のカジュアルレストランの位置付けは変えなかった。その為トレンドに惑わされる事なく長年の常連客を確保している。更に改装により、90年代の平凡な寿司店のイメージはモダンで当たるく広々としたイメージに代わり、新しい客も呼び込んでいる。カウンター席が増えた事で一人客も増えている。


1283 9th Ave 
San Francisco, CA 
 (415) 566-1770

Monday to Friday 11:30-14:00
Saturday 11:30-14:30

Monday to Thursday 17:00-22:00
Friday ,Saturday 17:00-23:00
#alljapannews #sushi #restaurant #ebisu #SF








Food and Japanese sake pairing

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

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. 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. (white wine glasses are better)

And now, for the 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.”



일본주와 음식의 페어링

특히 술과 음식 페어링에 대해 많은 사람들이 "뭐 그렇게까지, 별로 관계 없다"고 생각하고 있지는 않을까요?
이번에는 약간의 노력으로 일본주와 요리의 페어링 능력을 높일 수 있는 비결을 알려주고 싶습니다.
우선 최대한 성질이 다른 일본주 3종류를 준비하십시오. 성질의 차이는 실제로 마셔봐야 알 수 있는 것이지만, 일단 라벨에서 확인할 수 있는 정보로 선택해 봅니다.
예를 들어, 쥰마이 다이긴죠, 특별 쥰마이, 쥰마이 키모토처럼 산지가 전혀 다른 것을 찾아 봅니다(아키타, 니가타, 효고 등). 미국에서 만든 일본주도 가격이 저렴하니 이것도 함께 비교해 본다면 재미있을 것입니다.
3종류의 술은 반드시 같은 모양의 유리컵에 담으십시오. 이때 냉장고에 3시간 정도 보관해서 55°F 정도가 되도록 합니다(화이트 와인잔이 더 좋습니다).
그리고 요리는 일본 음식뿐만 아니라 중식, 이탈리아 음식 등 (너무 맵거나 마늘맛이 강한 것은 피합니다.)과 함께 시도해보는 것도 재미있습니다.
주의할 점은 일본주를 마셨을 때 음식과의 조화, 맛의 변화, 그 음식 특유의 향의 변화 뒷맛입니다. 이러한 느낌이 기분이 좋게 느껴진다면 페어링은 "좋다"고 볼 수 있습니다.
#alljapannews #sake #pearing


Taste local Hida-region cuisine and sake in an old Japanese house-like atmosphere! “Kaikagetsu NYC”

Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid...
By Aya Ota

Characteristics of New York City are strongly reflected upon old brick buildings and graffiti on the walls of the Lower East Side. In this town, new hotels, galleries, restaurants, and bars have been appearing one after another in the past few years, and the scene of the town has been rapidly changing. One of them is “Kaikagetsu NYC” that has the Hida-region of Gifu prefecture as their theme, with a brand-new concept.

When you step into the restaurant, being enchanted and led by the elegant swaying paper lanterns hung in the front, its beautiful interior catches your eyes first. You see lamps standing in line like on a street in the space where deep charcoal brown grainy woods, white walls and ceilings are effectively laid out. As you keep walking forward towards the heavy door in the back, you feel like you are walking down the street of the Hida region where old houses stand in line along the streets. A truly relaxing and elegant ambience has been produced there with impressively presented Mino Washi paper and local artifacts, etc.

The dishes served there are dominated by the Hida-region’s local cuisine. Hida beef, a Gifu prefecture specialty, is featured as the main menu item, and they serve a wide variety of both traditional dishes such as “Hida Beef Hoba Yaki” ($60) and “Hida Beef Toban Yaki” ($60), and modern version dishes such as “Hida Beef Curry” ($24) and “Hida Beef Skewers” ($24). The “Hida Beef Nigiri Sushi Sampler” ($35), which is sushi of lightly char-boiled Hida beef, is particularly well received. Variations of possibilities of wagyu beef are exhibited one after another, which surprises and impresses you. As for Japanese sake, it is extremely carefully selected mainly amongst the Hida-region brands. “Tenryou Koshu” Junmai Daiginjo, which has a distinctive aroma, is especially popular, and many customers order it for pairing with Hida beef dishes. There, you can either choose to sit at a table to relax to enjoy a Kaiseki course, or sit at the bar to enjoy sake while having à la carte dishes.

“Their unprecedented unique concept, Hida, and the ingredient, Hida beef, which is very attractive to Americans, must be appealing to New Yorkers,” says Tomoyuki Iwanami, the owner. Mr. Iwanami was born and raised in New York. He has a unique background. He worked in both the music and fashion industries. He was specialized in marketing and branding. The joint effort with Mr. Yasuo Shigeta, CEO, Forrest Fooding, Inc., also his friend of 10 years, who runs 37 various types of restaurants in Japan, started extensive market research about 5 years ago for the main purpose of opening a Japanese fine dining restaurant in New York, which is the center of the world of eatery. What they took most of their time was to look for the location and building. They had their eyes on the Lower East Side since the beginning; however, they felt a special energy and growth potential of this area by seeing the past year’s remarkable changes there, and eventually decided to choose this location. I found out that they had decided on the theme as the Hida region later on. They first determined the condition of the existing real estate candidates, local clientele and their characteristics, etc., and then chose “Kaikagetsu” as their themed restaurant among the running business models of Forrest Fooding Inc.

The strong selling point of “Kaikagetsu NYC” is, no need to say, its particularity about ingredients and cooking style. They brought as many as 3 chefs from Japan, who are experienced and well established in Kaiseki cuisine. Their truly authentic and delicately crafted dishes are very well recognized. The colorful presentation of each dish that makes you feel the present season, looks like a piece of art. Playful arrangements are applied to daily changing ingredients by the chefs, and never bore even the repeating customers. Such strengths of theirs was taken into their branding strategy, and used for choosing the media that are particular about foods and drink, for their advertisements. They also invited concierges of nearby hotels to introduce their concept and dishes so they can recommend the restaurant to the hotel guests. Diligent efforts such as those worked out, and the restaurant has become a place where gourmet customers who want to eat good food, gather despite the location which, you cannot say, is really convenient to reach.

“As a Japanese who was born and raised in New York, I wanted to do something for Japan,” continues Mr. Iwanami. Aside from running the restaurant, he is contributing to the exchange of Japan/US food cultures by hiring novice chefs who are interested in Japanese cuisine, and training them, etc.

I’d really like you to visit this restaurant where you can fully enjoy good old Japanese elegant ambience and local cuisine.









Kaikagetsu NYC
162 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
Tel: 646-590-3900
URL: www.kaikagetsunyc.com
#alljapannews #hida #cusine #sake #kaikagetsu #beef


Taste Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki in the US!

Taste Hiroshima-style Okonomi... Taste Hiroshima-style Okonomi... Taste Hiroshima-style Okonomi... Taste Hiroshima-style Okonomi... Taste Hiroshima-style Okonomi...
By Keiko Fukuda

Okonomiyaki restaurant, Chinchikurin, stands in front of the Yagura of Japanese Village, the symbol of Little Tokyo. Teppan-yaki tables are laid out in an orderly way in a large space, and their kitchen is an open style. If you get seated at the counter, you can watch Okonomiyaki being made by chefs in front of you.

“Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki is difficult to make because it requires one to make many layers, therefore, although a teppan is installed for each table, we don’t ask customers to cook at the table. Instead, we deliver Okonomiyaki cooked by a chef in the kitchen to the teppan, so the customer can eat while it is still hot,” explains Tsuyoshi Sahara, the manager. Mr. Sahara is from Hiroshima. His family had a teppan at home when he was little, and it was his father, who didn’t usually cook, who took the responsibility whenever Okonomiyaki was chosen for dinner.

The Chinchikurin chain was founded in 1999 in Hiroshima which Mr. Sahara is also from. The chain has developed 10 locations in Hiroshima, and 3 locations in Tokyo as restaurants which offer various izakaya style menus that contain mainly Okonomiyaki and Teppanyaki items. The first overseas location was in the Sawtelle District of West Los Angeles, which opened in January of 2017. The Little Tokyo location opened in March of 2018 after a strong determination of success was felt at the Sawtelle location.

There have been Osaka style Okonomiyaki restaurants in the US; however, there was no place where you could eat Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki. What is the difference between the Osaka style and the Hiroshima style? As mentioned earlier, Hiroshima style has many layers. The Chinchikurin menu explains that in an easy-to-understand way with an illustration. First comes the dough, then fish powder, shredded cabbage, tenkasu (fried tempura batter crumbs), bean sprouts, pork belly slices, soba, eggs, sauce, and dried seaweed flakes are piled on top of each other, pressed down, and grilled, one by one in order. When you take a bite of a piping hot piece, it feels like those ingredients are trying to make an impression in your mouth with each of their tastes and textures.

The most popular menu item is the Chinchikurin yaki ($17.00). It is a signature item in Japan, which is called “Shoburiyaki” in Japan. Boneless short rib of beef is used in Japan, but in the US, ground beef is used for easier acceptance by Americans. On the interview day, I tried the second most popular item, “The Loaded Kaisen ($18.50)”. In addition to the basic ingredients such as cabbage, soba, and eggs, it had plenty of seafood such as shrimp and sliced squid on top.

It is a very satisfying and luxurious menu item both visually and volume wise.

What is indispensable to complete the piece is Hiroshima’s Otafuku brand sauce. This sauce is produced locally at the Otafuku sauce factory in a Los Angeles suburb.

Menu items such as Basil Cheese and Broccoli Shrimp Yaki are unique to the American market. There are 8 kinds in Okonomiyaki alone, and one for vegetarians has been added newly to respond to many requests from the Los Angeles area. There is no need to say that no meat is used for this piece, but even no eggs or fish powder are used. In addition to the Okonomiyaki menu, you can also order Hiroshima style tsukemen and soup-less tantanmen. They are planning to add more appetizers and desserts. Most of their customers are non-Japanese.

What do they do to secure the number of customers? “We don’t use prints or other media advertisements much.

As for the Little Tokyo location, the huge glass windows facing the street is the key, I think. It seems that people get curious watching people inside eating an unfamiliar-looking food in front of an iron grill. We also try to maintain a cheerful ambience of the restaurant at all times.

We train our staff to serve customers cheerfully and as loudly as possible,” says the manager Sahara. As the result of such efforts, the restaurant has become so popular that on weekends, people wait in line in front of the restaurant. They sometimes serve as many as 500 people a day. The 3rd US location is being planned to open soon in Torrance (this information is as of December of 2018).

Such a day may be near that you can eat Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki anywhere in the US.






同店で一番人気のメニューは、ちんちくりん焼き($17.00)。日本では「しょぶり焼き」と称される看板メニューで、本来であれば牛肉の中落ちを使うそうだが、アメリカではより受け入れやすいように牛ひき肉を使用。そして取材当日、試食したのは2番人気の海鮮スペシャル(The Loaded Kaisen, $18.50)だった。キャベツやそば、卵などのベーシックな具材以外に、エビ、イカが豊富にトッピングされている。見た目にもボリューム的にも豪華で満足度が高い一品。仕上げに欠かせないのが、広島のオタフクソースの存在だ。ロサンゼルス郊外のオタフクソースの現地工場で生産されているものだ。





350 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-0480

11:30am-2:00pm, and 5:00pm-11:00pm
Closed on Tuesday
#alljapannews #hiroshima #okonomiyaki #LA


First time in the world!! A toast was given with Awa sake during an official party overseas!! Part 1

By Kosuke Kuji

The 43rd edition of Japan Week (http://www.iffjapan.or.jp/) organized by the International Friendship Foundation, a non-profit based in Tokyo, was held in Torino, Italy. The welcome reception was held lavishly at the Foyer of Teatro Regio, attended by Japanese and Torino affiliates, totaling approximately 300 guests. Japanese guests dressed in kimonos, while Consul General Amamiya, the Consulate General of Japan in Milan, gave a congratulatory address. The Deputy Mayor and many participants also attended from the Torino side, and the Japanese and Italian attendees intermingled with one another.

During the welcome reception, the “Awa sake” produced by a member sake brewery of both the Nanbubijin Awasake Sparkling and Japan Awasake Association were served to all participants as the welcome toast. Normally, champagne would be served, or Spumante this year, since the event was held in Italy. However, the Japan Awasake Association was behind the effort to serve Awa sake as the welcome toast at the official party!! This is a first, unprecedented feat worldwide!!

世界初!!海外のパーティーでawa酒で乾杯!! その1

公益財団法人国際親善協会が主催する第43回ジャパンウィーク (http://www.iffjapan.or.jp) がイタリアのトリノで開催されました。ウエルカムレセプションがテアトロ・レッジョ・ロビーで日本とトリノの関係者300名近くが参加して盛大に開催されました。日本側参加者は着物や演武で着る衣装で参加、さらに在ミラノ総領事館の雨宮総領事も参加してご祝辞をいただきました。

#alljapannews #sake #japanweek


“Highest-quality sushi you can taste at a metropolitan train station you happened to stop by” is the concept.

“Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit...
Text Mayumi Schroeder Photo: Elli Sekine

Growth of popularity of sushi in San Francisco’s Bay area in recent years is quite amazing. Many sushi restaurants including sushi bars and revolving sushi places have opened. Among them, one place is particularly attracting people’s attention as a restaurant where true authentic sushi is served. It is “Oma San Francisco Station”, which opened in Japan Town’s West Mall in July of 2018. This place has been featured in various media such as ABC News, Hoodline, and Eater SF as a retaurant where reasonably-priced high-quality sushi omakase courses are offered, and good reviews have been given. Even the Michelin Guide said, “It is wonderful that you can eat this good-quality sushi at this kind of price!”

Wilson Chan, the owner/chef, is Chinese American from Northridge area of Los Angeles County. He has a 16-year career as a chef, and has worked as a skillful chef at many high-quality restaurants such as“Wasabi + Ginger, Kentaro” in Los Angeles area, ”Yuzuki”, “Tsubasa”, ”Kappo Gomi”, and ”Ozaoza” in San Francisco area. For this opportunity of opening his own restaurant, Mr. Chan, who has also worked as an art designer, did everything from designing the modern interior, 3-dimentional art, to the website by himself.

The name of this restaurant, “Oma San Francisco Station”, with a wooden counter for only 8 seats, was named after an image in which, although you are in a metropolitan area, you go to a train station to taste omakase-style sushi. The menu consists of only 3 omakase courses, “Nozomi” ($85), “Hikari” ($55)”, and “Kodama ($30)”. The courses are uniquely named after Japanese bullet trains (Shinkansen). The “Nozomi” consists of 12 nigiri sushi pieces, and 1 hand-roll. The “Hikari” consists of 6 nigiri sushi pieces, and 1 hand-roll. “Kodama” consists of 5 nigiri sushi pieces, and 1 hand-roll. Each course ends with akadashi miso soup. If you felt not quite satisfied with the quantity, you can also add individual nigari sushi pieces of your choice.

As for the ingredients, Mr. Chan himself carefully selects only fresh and seasonal produce. On top of air ordering from Toyosu in advance, he also orders certain seasonal ingredients from even Hokkaido and Kyushu. As for fish, this place has rare kinds such as red bream, rockfish, red snapper, amberjack, and scallops from Iwate prefecture, which are not well known and usually unavailable as popular sushi ingredients. Each ingredient is prepared using uniquely effective methods such as konbu-jime, and aburi (charring), to enhance each ingredient’s characteristics to the fullest. The konbu for konbu-jime method is Rishiri dried kelp from Hokkaido. Mackerels from Hokkaido are marinated in dashi for 2 hours, and red breams are marinated for 6 hours before they are prepared. The ikura (salmon roes) dish I tasted was prepared after marinated in konbu dashi and mirin, and every bite was fresh, and soothing while I could still taste ikura’s natural deep taste and aroma, which slowly spread in my mouth. The charred salmon was very aromatic due to slight charring burn, and its soft texture that melted in my mouth made me feel like getting addicted to it. Simple, yet only highest-quality fish is used, therefore, “no soy sauce is needed”, is true as written in the menu. The best possible sushi has been created here by ultimately bringing out each ingredient‘s umami.

Presently, only sushi kaiseki can be offered because there is no kitchen space, however, he indicated his desire of opening a restaurant with a kitchen in the future. Right now, the seating is limited to 8, and the same-day reservation is not accepted, so making an online reservation in advance is recommended. Otherwise waiting can be very long especially for dinner time due to its popularity.

 近年におけるサンフランシスコ・ベイエリアでの寿司の人気は目を見張るものがあり、寿司バーや回転寿司など数多くの店舗が広範囲で展開されている。その中で、本格的な寿司が食べられるレストランとして注目されているのがサンフランシスコ日本街のウエスト・モール内に2018年7月にオープンした「Oma San Francisco Station」だ。リーズナブルに高品質の寿司のおまかせコースを食する事が出来るとABC7ニュースやHoodline、Eater SFなどの情報誌に取り上げられレビューでも高い評価を獲得している他、ミシュランガイドでも“この様な高品質の寿司を、この価格で食べられるのは素晴らしい事だ”と記載されている。

 オーナー兼シェフのウィルソン・チャン氏はロサンゼルス市ノースリッジ地区出身のチャイニーズ・アメリカン。シェフとして16年の経験を持ち、ロサンゼルス市の「Wasabi + Ginger, Kentaro」、サンフランシスコ市の「Yuzuki」, 「Tsubasa」,「Kappo Gomi」や「Ozaoza」など数多くのクオリティーの高い店でシェフとして活躍してきた。今回、自分の店を持つにあたりシェフだけでなくアートデザイナーとしての経歴も持つチャン氏は、店内の近代的なデザインや立体アートからレストランのウェブサイトのデザインまで全て自分で作り上げたという。

 8席の木製カウンターのみの当店の名前である“Oma San Francisco Station”は、“都会にありながら、駅に立ち寄って食べるおまかせ寿司”というイメージで付けられたという。メニューはおまかせメニューのみの全3種類。それぞれに“のぞみ(85ドル)”、“ひかり(55ドル)”、“こだま(30ドル)”と新幹線の名前を付けるユニークさだ。“のぞみ”では握り12貫と手巻き1本、“ひかり”では握り8貫と手巻き1本、“こだま”では握り5貫と手巻き1本で、全メニューとも最後に締めとして赤ダシの味噌汁が提供される。食後に物足りなさを感じる人には最後に1品ずつ握り寿司を追加する事もできるという。



Oma San Francisco Station
1737 Post Street., Suite 337, San Francisco, CA 94115
Website: https://www.omasfstation.com
Email: contact@omasfstation.com
Mon.- Sun. 12:00pm – 10:00pm
(Last Seating: 8:30pm)
#alljapannews #Oma #SF #salmon #sushi









Perceptional changes

While sake and food pairing is now the norm, why not try to change your perception in your approach?

While comparisons are made regularly, wine is compared to other wine, sake is compared to other sake, and shochu is compared to other shochu. This is great to compare the subtle differences in flavor with other brands. Why not try a fun food pairing that invokes a mind-blowing reaction like “I never imagined this type of pairing!” from consumers. For example, serve fresh oysters with champagne and sparkling wine together to have consumers compare the delicious flavors of both pairing.

*Try pairing red wine with cheese, along with Kimoto sake, aged sake.
*For salads, try pinot grigio and flavored sake (yuzu, blueberry)
*For sashimi, try pairing with chardonnay, pinot grigio and Daiginjo
*For main meat dishes, try pairing with Junmai sake or red wine
*For fried dishes or creamy pasta, try pairing with Barley shochu and white wine.

Try pairing with these combinations and have your customers sample them.

While these three types of beverages (wine, sake, shochu) differ greatly in brewing method and ingredients, each are no doubt successful in boosting the dishes they’re paired with. By trying these combinations, why not try to find creative ways to bring a moving culinary experience that would invoke reactions like, “What is this!? This is delicious!” from customers?





발상의 전환

최근 술과 음식의 푸드 페어링이 당연시 여겨지는데, 생각을 조금 바꿔보면 어떨까요?
보통 와인은 와인끼리, 일본주는 일본주끼리, 소주는 소주끼리 나란히 비교하곤 하는데 이렇게 하면 분명 미묘한 맛을 비교하기는 좋습니다. 그러나 소비자 관점에서 "이런 건 생각하지도 못했다!"며 분위기를 전환시킬 수 있는 색다르고 즐거운 푸드 페어링을 찾아 보면 어떨까요?
생굴에 샴페인과 스파클링을 함께 제공하고 각각의 맛을 비교해 볼 수 있도록 합니다.

・모듬 치즈에 레드 와인, 기모토 방식의 술, 고주
・샐러드에 피노 그리지오와 과일맛(유자, 블루베리) 술
・생선회에 샤르도네, 피노 그리지오와 다이긴죠(大吟醸)
・메인 육류 요리에 쥰마이슈(純米酒)와 레드 와인
・튀김이나 크림 파스타에는 보리 소주와 화이트 와인

위와 같이 음식과 술을 함께 준비해서 고객이 맛을 즐겨볼 수 있도록 합니다.
와인, 일본주, 소주는 양조 방법이나 원료 등은 전혀 다르지만 모두 음식 맛을 더해주는 술이라는 점은 똑같습니다. 이 술들을 조합해서 소비자가 "와, 이거 정말 맛있다!’ 라며 감동할 수 있도록 기획해보는 것도 재미있지 않을까요?
#sake #wine #foodparing


A place you can enjoy various kinds of Japanese local sake and cuisine to the fullest

A place you can enjoy various... A place you can enjoy various... A place you can enjoy various... A place you can enjoy various... A place you can enjoy various... A place you can enjoy various... A place you can enjoy various... A place you can enjoy various...
By Aya Ota

Its unique exterior; walls without windows, which make it impossible to peek in, and the thick and heavy door, both of which remind you of a kura (an old-fashioned Japanese building for storage); catches your eyes. This is “Sakagura East Village” which opened its door in September of 2018. As soon as you step inside, its gracious interior space decorated with plentiful of woods and stones, and a small Japanese garden-like space open up in front of you, and you feel as if you suddenly stepped into another world.

“I want to pursue the basics of Japanese food culture. I want people to fully enjoy various kinds of Japanese local sake with authentic Japanese cuisine,” says Bon Yagi, CEO of T.I.C. Group. This Group’s motto is “Enjoy Japan without Airfare (You can enjoy authentic Japanese tastes and ambiences without actually going there)”. From true traditional Japanese foods such as sushi and soba to more current foods like curry and ramen, street foods such as takoyaki and rice burgers, Japanese sake bars and tea salons, a total of as many as 13 different kinds of business models are forming their 20 plus Japanese restaurants under the operation of this Group. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he is the person who has been making the history of New York’s Japanese cuisine scene for the last 40 plus years. He was awarded for his contribution. He was selected as one of the 5 winners in the world for the Minister's Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food in 2018.

This place is positioned as a sister restaurant of “Sakagura” in Midtown, which has been running as a popular restaurant where the high number of customers has been sustained for more than 20 years, however, this place deserves more than positioned as the second location of a popular restaurant because it is filled with its own charms.

The person, who creates gracious dishes with plentiful seasonal ingredients imported from all over Japan, is Masaru Kajihara, Executive Chef. He has been displaying his skills at notable kaiseki restaurants in both Japan and the US, such as “Suzuki” in Tsukiji, Tokyo, and “Kyoya”, a New York Times 3-starred restaurant. The “Sakagura Omakase Course” is offered only at the East Village location. The first item of the course, the “Pintxo with Truffled Chicken Pâté and Pepitas on Rice Bread”, specially baked bread with cooked rice mixed in the dough, surprises you. The “Carpaccio Medley” is accentuated with ponzu gelee and salted konbu. The “Wagyu Ishiyaki”, served with sizzling sound and aroma, pleases your five senses fully. To show their particularity about rice and miso, the Japanese cuisine basics, a kamameshi, cooked super high-quality rice from Uonuma, Niigata, with a lot of seafood such as scallops, Snow crab meat, etc., is served accompanied by miso soup using uki-koji miso and nukazuke style pickled vegetables to finish the course.

The Japanese sake selection of nearly 100 different brands from about 80 breweries have been carefully selected by Ryoma Miki, General Manger/sake sommelier. There is even a premium kind of sake you cannot find anywhere else. Recommended pairing with the omakase course is well accepted, and it impresses you even more when the sake that matches each dish perfectly is served in each appropriate container that matches the sake. Many sake connoisseurs visits “Sakagura” which carries the most selection of sake in New York, and they like to order unique brands such as Nama-zake, Kimoto, and Yamahai. The casks of sake piled up high by the wall at the deep end of the restaurant are donated by the breweries from all over Japan. This display shows their passion and aspiration to convey enthusiasms of brewery owners and masters of sake brewers of each brand, and to represent characteristics of each sake to as many people as possible.

A unique event called “Taste of Japan” which started to realize their hope to introduce Japanese local cooking specialties, is particularly noteworthy. Every other month, one of Japan’s regions is picked, and a special menu is created and offered featuring the picked region’s local specialty food and their local sake. For the first time of this regular event, Niigata prefecture was picked, and the highest-quality Uonuma-made rice and miso made by Hakkaisan brewery was used. They are planning to continue this event featuring prefectures such as Nagano, Hyogo, Miyagi, etc. in this respective order.

One big difference of this place from the Midtown location is its interior space. You can sit alone at the counter, you can enjoy and relax in a semi-private space with a friend, or you can even bring a group of 20 to use a private space for a large group. This place can accommodate almost any situation. There are plenty of spaces among the tables, and they are creating an ambience which draw a line between them and other casual and noisy East Village restaurant.
“Sakagura East Village” which is like a concentration of the wonderfulness of Japanese food culture, is definitely the kind of restaurant you want to visit again and again.







特に注目したいのは、日本各地の郷土料理を伝えたいという意図で開始した「Taste of Japan」という独自企画。約2カ月おきに、ひとつの都道府県に焦点を当て、郷土料理と地酒を組み合わせて楽しめるメニューを提供する。初回の新潟県特集でも、魚沼産の最高級米や八海山が醸造する味噌を取り入れた。この後、長野、兵庫、宮城…と続く予定だという。


Sakagura East Village
231 E 9th Street
New York, NY 10003
Tel: 212-979-9678

Tue–Thu: 6:00PM–10:45PM
Fri & Sat: 6:00PM–11:45PM
#alljapannews #Japanese #sakagura #eastvillage #NY #sake


A restaurant that offers Okinawan cuisine using Japanese cooking skills effectively

A restaurant that offers Okina... A restaurant that offers Okina... A restaurant that offers Okina... A restaurant that offers Okina... A restaurant that offers Okina... A restaurant that offers Okina...
By Keiko Fukuda

An Okinawan restaurant, Habuya Okinawan Dining, was opened in December of 2010 in Tustin. Mere 3 months after the opening, it was featured as “The Best Hidden Japanese Restaurant” in the Los Angeles Times, which gave this restaurant a big boost. Mayumi Burgus from Okinawa, the owner of the restaurant, says, “Back then, people used to form a long line that went over the street corner.” Since then, this place has become a very popular restaurant known to many people, and no longer could be described as a hidden place.

Some of their regular customers I interviewed described the charms of this place as “good ambience” and “authentic Okinawan dishes”, followed by a fantastic comment, “everything they serve here is delicious!” I thought Mayumi was the chef here because she is from Okinawa. But, actually, it is her husband, Hiroki Kimura, who is from Yamagata prefecture, is in charge of cooking. He came to the US after working several years in Japan as a chef, and worked at a Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles. He met Mayumi around the time he was thinking about going back to Japan. She told him about her dream of opening an Okinawan restaurant in the US. Coincidentally, Hiroki grew up listening to his grandmother who used to tell him how his great uncle (the grandmother’s brother) survived during the war thanks to the kindness of Okinawan farmers who hid him from the enemy to protect him so he could go home alive. Hiroki, then, developed a sense of someday returning the favor to the people in Okinawa. He thinks back and believes that his becoming a chef, and meeting Mayumi in the US were meant to happen to connect the two points to form this line of events.

“However, 90% of the people I consulted with said, “Okinawan food is not a common everyday food, and succeeding in running an Okinawan restaurant here is unlikely, but I didn’t give up. I tried different things, which included researching for tastes that would be more easily accepted by people who are not Okinawan natives by using bonito or konbu-based dashi instead of tonkotsu, adding menu items other than Okinawan specialty dishes, etc.,” says Hiroki. The Ryukyu Gozen, which was served on my interview day was the Okinawa version of a gorgeous full course menu. It consisted of “Deep Fried Banana Fish”, “Okinawa Mozuku”, “Okinawa sea grapes and Sashimi”, “Stewed Pork Belly”, and “Okinawa soba”. It reminded me of the true local tastes I experienced in Naha. Especially, sea grapes, which should be very rare in the US, is one of hard-to-get precious ingredients. I heard that they try their best to get as much made-in-Okinawa ingredients as possible.

“Our desire to contribute to Okinawa is very strong. Therefore, we naturally promote Okinawa-made products, not only for the food ingredients, but also for sake brands in our drink menu,” says Hiroki. Mayumi continues, “We are the number one seller of the draft version of Orion beer”. Horoki further adds, “The more Okinawan food ingredients people consume in the US, the more Okinawa gets benefited. However, it won’t be meaningful unless this keeps going. Such flow of movement will die down if we fail our restaurant business and end up closing the restaurant. I realize that it is so important to keep up with the success in this business. This is my way of returning the favor to Okinawa for my family”.

The cooking part is relied on Hiroki’s hands, but servicing and marketing part is the responsibility of Mayumi. She came to the US when she was 21 years old.

She was commuting to the Japanese restaurant she worked for taking an hour and a half by bus. While she worked at the restaurant, she was also busy creating Okinawan-themed arts. She came to the US originally to get married, but later got divorced. She kept hanging on her dream of running an Okinawan restaurant while working hard as a single mother, and that dream became real when she met Hiroki. Mayumi’s talent as an artist is now well reflected upon Habuya’s interior space. Colorful Hand-written menus decorate the walls, and items bought in Okinawa, and brought to the restaurant by regular customers fill the place.

Mayumi says, “For customers who are anime fans often describe that his place makes them feel as if they have wondered into the world of “Spirited Away”. This restaurant, which has been increasing the number of customers with its comfortable ambience and delicious food, has welcomed its 8th anniversary in December of 2018.


2010年12月にタスティンにオープンした沖縄料理の店、Habuya Okinawan Dining。その3カ月後にロサンゼルスタイムズに「Best Hidden Japanese Restaurant」として紹介されたことが店の大きな転機となった。沖縄出身のオーナー、真弓バーガスさんが言うには「角を曲がった先まで入店を待つ長蛇の列ができた」そうだ。それからは「Hidden」という修飾語が似つかわしくない、誰もが知る繁盛店へと成長した。







Habuya Okinawan Dining
14215 Red Hill Ave.,
Tustin, CA 92780

Mon.-Fri. 11:30am-2:00pm

Sunday Closed
#alljapannews #okinawa #food #habuya #okinawan #dining #CA


Nanbu Bijin Introduced to Los Angeles: Part 2

By Kosuke Kuji

The most important objective of this business trip to Los Angeles was the “30th Japanese Food & Restaurant Expo,” sponsored by Mutual Trading, held at the Pasadena Convention Hall. This business-to-business event, held for the thirtieth time this year, drew 133 food and sake producers, etc., and 2,667 customers in one day, the highest number of exhibitors and attendees in it’s thirty-year history. Nearly seventy-percent of customers are restaurant industry professionals, with twenty-percent of the consumers consisting of Japanese nationals.

These statistics indicate how many non-Japanese professionals and consumers in the U.S. today are working in the Japanese cuisine and sake industry, or consuming Japanese cuisine, indicative of the widespread consumption of Japanese cuisine among non-Japanese consumers. In other words, Japanese cuisine and sake are no longer consumed only by Japanese nationals homesick for their homeland.

Sake producer Nankabijin never received such high customer turnout at their booth as they did this year. Their “Awasake Sparkling,” debut in the U.S. during this expo, was especially popular with many orders received. High-end sparkling Japanese sake is definitely accepted in the U.S. market.

Also, my college classmate from the Tokyo University of Agriculture, currently residing in Los Angeles, attended this expo. It was truly encouraging to receive support in the U.S. from my college classmate.

In the evening, I visited “Chateau Hanare,” the Los Angeles branch restaurant of the Japanese restaurant “Washoku-en,” very popular in New York, along with sake “Houraisen” from Aichi prefecture, and “Tatenokawa” from Yamagata prefecture. I greatly enjoyed the wonderful cuisine prepared by chef Abe, visiting from New York.

The restaurant scene changes quickly in Los Angeles leading California, the most populous state in the U.S., where the market for Japanese cuisine is anticipated to continue growing. We must continue producing even higher quality of sake to bring satisfaction to our U.S. consumers!

P.S. Right after I left, restaurant “Chateau Hanare” welcomed Leonardo DiCaprio as a customer…! Very disappointed to know I missed his visit!

南部美人ロサンゼルスへ その2

今回のロサンゼルス出張の最大の目的でもある共同貿易主催の「第30回レストランエキスポ」がパサディナコンベンションホールで開催されました。今回で30年を迎えたこのアメリカ最大のB to Bイベントは、何と133の食品、お酒などのメーカーが集まり、2667名ものお客様を1日だけで迎えて開催されました。30回の開催で歴代最高の出展者、入場者の数だったそうです。お客様は70%近くがレストラン関係者、お客様全体に占める日本人の割合はたったの20%しかいません。それだけ今のアメリカでは日本人以外が日本食、日本酒をビジネスにしている、食べたい、飲みたいと思っている、ということで、ノンジャパニーズ、アメリカ人への浸透がすさまじい勢いで進んでいるということです。もう日本人が日本を懐かしみながら食べるのが和食や日本酒なのではありません。




#alljapannews #sake #Japanese #food #restaurant #expo


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