September 2020 Rundown

nope, there can never be enough good char siu and they were both great.

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Chef James Sugashita (Arts District) -
Chef Sugashita is trying new things, and his latest bento offering reflects it.

Kinmedai Yuan-Yaki (grilled Goldeneye snapper marinated in sweet yuzu shoyu), Atsuyaki tamago (egg cake), Shiitake-ni (simmered shiitake mushrooms), Aspara Okakiage (asparagus fried in rice crackers), Hokkaido bafun uni, pickled young ginger, cucumber

Kuruma ebi (Japanese tiger prawn), charcoal-grilled Nodoguro (blackthroat seaperch), age dashi Nasu (fried & simmered eggplant), Yaki-Renkon (grilled lotus root), Wakamomo (Japanese baby peach)…those baby peaches were like candy!

Uri-somen (spaghetti squash marinated in vinegared dashi), simmered greens, grilled Nodoguro

Futomaki (anago, kuruma ebi, tamago, shiitake, kyuri, toro)

Everything was exceptionally well done. I loved the grilled lotus root, the spaghetti squash and asparagus…the sugars caramelized and the lotus root became meaty and savory. The grilled Nodoguro was delightful…it was rich and luscious and a little smoky from the charcoal grill. The rice texture was perfect and it was a great balance of vinegar and seasoning. I think this is the best rice Chef Sugashita has put out, yet. The only thing missing was a great sake…but eating by myself at home makes it hard to open up a bottle. I’ll not be able to finish it.



Triple bento bang plus futomaki is now a possibility!


Props to the person who can eat all the rice and fixin’s x3. I had that bento yesterday and couldn’t eat much the rest of the day.

Hold up, wait a minute. How come I’m not seeing carrot cake on her website?


Holbox X Ototo X Petit Trois

seafood paella
Insanely fragrant and delicious. Every damn piece of seafood was cooked to perfection. However, make sure you let the restaurant know to only partially cover the paella so the goods won’t steam on your way home.

matcha cream puff
These cream puffs are crunchy so I would imagine that there’s a craquelin topping hiding underneath that matcha powder? Also, it seems like there’s a matcha custard filling but it’s a touch lumpy and needs a bit more flavor.

strawberry & muscat grape daifuku
Soft, chewy, burst of freshness from the fruits. I prefer the more refreshing grape daifuku.

I agree with @hanhgry that they’re pretty darn small.

napoleon | puff pastry, tahitian vanilla pastry cream
A fine rendition.


HK Tomato & Beef, from Pearl River Deli (Chinatown)… Really great balance of tartness with the peppers, onion and beef. The richness of the meat upgrade (from the traditional flank steak to rib?) was instantly appreciated. I just wish I had more rice to scarf down with it all - This iteration was a true winner. Bravo, Chef @JLee!

The Travis Scott, from McDonald’s… So this “collaboration” burger is supposed to (according to the McD website) “slap”. But in fact, this creation most certainly did not slap. What McDonald’s did do was “slap” on an extra piece of cheese and sad bacon to a Quarter Pounder, with the result possibly sabotaging what would have been an otherwise perfectly good Quarter Pounder. #NoNeedToQueue

Celebratory home lunch for our annual backyard kyoho grape harvest - the crop was so sweet this year! Sauteed backyard cherry tomatoes on a bed of linguine al limone, garnished with ground pepper and fresh basil from the side yard herb garden…

Malasadas, from L&L Hawaiian Barbecue… Because I’m missing the Aloha State. Dipped these bad boys into some Bailey’s-loaded Kona coffee to drown out my travel bug. For now.

BBQ tray for the backyard from Maple Block (Culver City)… Maple Block is popular these days! Very solid.

Breakfast with leftover Homemade Soba and Tamagoyaki, from @losnooyado… The tamagoyaki still tasted sublime after a day in the fridge. I had it two ways: With soba, and also in a sando with toasted King’s Hawaiian roll, topped with a bit of Kewpie Mayo.

Name this delicious fruit in season right now…


Jujube. Perfect for soup after drying but delicious as is!

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When I picked it up Friday she had just made 4 orders and only put it up on her personal Instagram. I wouldn’t have even known if they hadn’t casually mentioned it during my pick up.

They did put it up though on their menu board Saturday though and announced on Instagram—it wasn’t something that you could preorder online in advance like usual.

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was socarrat in da house?

Glad to hear maple block is better! Last two times I went it was on a downhill alert, meat was dry and overcooked.

Did you get soup broth with your soba?

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Yes, a whole container full.


Last week was my time back in L.A. and my first time dining out since the pandemic started. I didn’t get to pick the spots, but was satisfied with my meals. I joined friends for lunch outside at Monsieur Marcel at the Original Farmer’s Market. Their salad niçoise was fresh and delicious (I opted for ahi tuna). I spent the weekend at the Kimpton Wilshire for a friend’s birthday and our party’s takeout order from Uovo was correctly filled, well packaged, and reasonably priced. The al dente texture of the pasta held up surprisingly well, and the pomodoro sauce was delicious. Packaged on the side was a small container of fresh torn basil leaves. The broccolini with garlic was addictive. Lemon birthday cake from Susie Cakes was the perfect sweet end to the meal. The texture of the cake was fantastic, not dense but had a nice heft, and perfectly moist.


Kawamata Seafood

Brisk business as usual

Poke bowl and SPAM musubi w/ tamago

Din Tai Fung Arcadia

Shrimp fried rice

Stir fry green beans

Kimchee pork dumplings

Noodles with pickled mustard greens and pork

Chili crack sauce - I’m going to ask if I can buy a case of these


Hot dog bread w/ cheese

Gus’s Santa Ana

Fried chicken

Chess pie

They are not making collard greens at this location due to understaffing and it being labor intensive, that was what I was told.

Anyone know if Crenshaw or other locations are still making them?

I don’t really care for their other sides, the fried chicken was still delicious.


Experimenting with leftovers for dessert haha. Tenerelli white peaches with leftover vanilla creme fraiche and port reduction sauce from the Providence South France menu dessert.

Amazing separately. Also great together but honestly the peaches get lost, especially in the rich port reduction sauce. Good thing I have a couple more Tenerelli peaches to eat on their own a different day!


Omakase Nigiri Take-out Box, from Sushi Kaneyoshi (Little Tokyo)… An excellently prepared sushi feast to go.

Remember to choose the middle bank of elevators at pick-up…

Yoshi-san gets dibs on the prized premium uni from waters off both Japan and the U.S…

New Caledonian shrimps really shined tonight. The tuna cuts were immaculate. Kegani with kani miso (and caviar) approached the divine. Binchotan-seared nodoguro was revelatory. Yoshi-san’s relatively unorthodox kasutera tamagoyaki was quite interesting and tasty.

Proof of destruction. #LeaveNoTrace

Bonus: Summer Truffle Ice Cream, from Shunji Japanese Cuisine (West L.A.) - Wow! The question is not would you like some truffle with your ice cream? But rather, would you like some ice cream with your truffle?

(Funny story: Shunji-san is still a bit sore that certain FTCers bought out all of Yoshi-san’s kama toro last week before he could try some #JLdidnotpartake #StillOnShunji’sGoodSide…)


Can someone please try Villas Tacos in HLP for me?


Perhaps next weekend.

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