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Showing posts with the label Kyoto

Off the Brochure Kyoto, Japan

Japan's imperial capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto is home to antique temples, historic public buildings and meticulously landscaped gardens and parks. Our traveling foodie, David Latt, takes us along with him as he explores Kyoto, starting with the tuna auction at 5:30 in the morning. No matter how early it starts, I have to see the tuna auction at the  Kyoto Central Wholesale Market . With my guide, Toshiro (“Toby”)  Sugihara , we walk through the cold concrete and steel building to find groups of men in heavy coats watching auctioneers flailing their arms around as they shout out prices. The buyers don't respond to the auctioneer until the price is right. Then a barely perceptible nod gives the auctioneer the sale he wants and he's on to the next fish. The most exclusive, expensive restaurants and sushi bars buy up the highest quality tuna. Before he became a tour guide, Toby was a sushi chef so he knows his tuna. He bends over a beautiful fish and points

Eating Our Way Through Tokyo and Kyoto

With only a few days in Tokyo and Kyoto, to take even a snapshot of the food scene takes eating at half a dozen restaurants each day. Starting early, we visited Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market to see the fresh catch of day being sold in the warren of stalls. While we were there, we ate at the dozens and dozens of food stalls that rim the outside and inside of the market.  Our first stop at 8:00 a.m. was Ryu Sushi   where we had a sashimi plate and a sushi sampler. The fish was what you would hope for, eating at a restaurant so close to the fish market, fresh, clean tasting and delicious. For me, there was a huge eye-opener: mackerel.   The few times I have eaten mackerel at home, it tasted fishy and oily. At Ryu Sushi the mackerel sashimi was mild tasting, sweet and buttery. Mark Bittman always writes about how much he likes mackerel. Now I understand why. In our short time at Tsukiji we ate sashimi, sushi, tamago, pork ramen and soba with shrimp tempura.  From

Lost and Found in Tokyo

I am staying at the  Lost in Translation  Park Hyatt Tokyo, a beautifully sleek and elegant hotel. The trip is crazy-short. Only one day in Tokyo, then a bullet train trip to Kyoto. Three days there, then back to Tokyo to return to LA. Nutty and such great fun. After the flight from Los Angeles, I had dinner at  Kozue , the hotel's formal Japanese restaurant with floor to ceiling windows with a view the Tokyo skyline. The tasting menu had 28 "things" to taste that covered raw, grilled and simmered. Here are some photographs from the dinner. The beef was amazingly delicate and melt-in-the-mouth tender.  The soups had clear broths, refreshing to the palate and rejuvenating for a tired traveler.  Salt pickled vegetables were simple and clean tasting. Soba with duck broth and leeks, delicious. The portions start small to accompany cocktails and a small tasting of sake. Then the dishes build in comple