Tag Archives: Food

Respect for Hakone, Japan

Japan makes me feel like a changed person after visiting.  I can’t think of another country that coats its streets with a sound muting barrier.  It’s a country that I think actually prefers enough silence to hear a pin drop.  For everything they do, there’s a deep level of respect.

Relaxing in an onsen (natural hotspring) is a time honored tradition that embodies this attitude.  During a family trip to Tokyo, we visited Hakone , a short hour train ride outside of Tokyo.

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The water was clear, cherry blossoms just beginning to sprout, and the sky was a  calm cerulean blue.

Source: Yamanochaya site

The Yamanochaya Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, was our wooded sanctuary, replete with amazing meals and open air baths.  I had the sensation of bathing in a hot babbling brook.  Our toddler had a ball padding around the tatami rooms and having unprecedented access to the low table.  Quite the family friendly vacation.

source:yamanochaya site

Our traditional kaiseke meals were an intricate multi-course symphony of ingredients, assembled with seasonal elements and balanced flavors.

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Sakitsuke (Hors deouvres)

Tofu made from Ankimo (Monkfish liver).  Topping: Broccoli, Wolfberry fruit
Boiled crab and Japanese parsley flavored with soy sauce
Japanese pond smelt fish deeply fried with rice granules
Castella made from vegetables, fish paste and white of an egg

I could live in Japan for the food alone.


Cafe Dulce


Headline : Interesting selection, green tea donut’s a winner2014-05-11 14.13.54

2014-05-11 14.14.08

Walked into this little Tokyo cafe in downtown Los Angeles by chance. Side by side, you will find bacon topped doughnuts (and bacon doughnut holes ) next to spirulina cakes.  I ordered the relatively more neutral green tea doughnut, which has a sugary exterior and light green tea flavor.  Doesn’t feel that healthy, but hey, you are eating a donut!!

Service :Very attentive..4 different people waited on us within the first 10 mins.   The chef/owner also came out to greet everyone, which was nice.

Parking: Have to find street or garage parking in the area


  • 134 Japanese Village Plz
    Bldg E
  • Little Tokyo, Downtown
  • Phone number(213) 346-9910
  • Business website cafedulce.co

Meals By Genet


Headline :too spicy for my personal preferencegenet

Veggie combo-the waiter recommended  we order a protein dish and a veggie combo because it came with all the veggie sides.  There were sides like lentils, salad, carrots,beets, puréed veggies, etc.  I didn’t realize that half of the veggie items were spicy.   
Dorowot-spicy chicken
Injera-spongy bread that comes with the meal

Ethiopian food is analogous to Indian food for me..both cuisines use their hands to eat and dip bread into spiced curries or purees.  This meal put my mouth on fire, so unfortunately I can’t rate my experience higher.  I’ve also been to a few other Ethiopian restaurants in little Ethiopia that are more cheaply priced and tasted very good.  This was on Jonathan Gold’s (Pulitzer prize winning food critic) top 100 list so there was probably a premium.

Service :Very attentive..4 different people waited on us within the first 10 mins.   The chef/owner also came out to greet everyone, which was nice.

Parking: Free in the lot behind the restaurant.  It’s tight but there should be enough space.  You have to enter from the alley behind 7-11 or Carls Jr


Zucchini Chips

Oven baked zucchini chips, delicious for an appetizer or snack.

Prep time: 30 mins (I’m slow) Cook time: 30 mins



  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (panko or even crumbled crackers work)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt (unnecessary if your bread crumbs are salted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
  • Oil/Cooking spray


1) Cut the zucchini into 1/4″ inch thick slices (for speed, slice in a food processor.  Place in strainer and salt heavily.  Let stand for 30 mins.  Then rinse salt off and pat dry with paper towels.  Cucumbers are 90% water – this takes some of that out so your chips are crispier!  I haven’t tried skipping this step yet, but it could be optional if short on time.

2)Preheat oven to 425° F.  Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix.  Whisk egg in shallow bowl.

3) Dip zucchini slices in egg, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture (coat at least a thin layer on the each side)

4)Prepare baking sheet with cooking spray or oil.  (I typically use a baking pan with aluminum foil and brush olive oil on) The oil ensures the slices don’t stick so make sure there’s an even coat.

5)Place coated zucchini slices on sheet and bake at 425° F for 30 mins or until browned and crisp.  Serve immediately.

This recipe makes zucchini a bit less boring.  The parmesan and crispy texture come together to make this snack a household favorite.

*recipe modified from recipe.com