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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 Sushiwhere 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 the Tsukiji market we had…

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 complexity and size with the rice dishes, including a wonderfully subtle rice with cl…

A Race to the Finish in West Texas: In Pursuit of the Best BBQ and Bone-In Ribeye

After his trip to Austin checking out the local food truck culture, our traveling foodie, David Latt, liked Texas so much he headed back in search of great barbecue and steaks. On a short visit, he took the long view and ate in twenty-five restaurants in thirty-six hours.

I hadn't gone shooting since I was a kid, so the instructor's saying the shotgun "will kick a bit" was good to know.

Overhead, the sky was deep blue.  You could hear traffic from the interstate a few miles away, but otherwise the air was hot, still and quiet.
Hands sweating, two shells loaded into the shotgun, one eye squinted closed, the other aimed down the barrel, I was ready. "Pull," I said and from the left, the hockey sized puck flew into the sky.

I moved the barrel of the shotgun to follow the skeet as it arced in the sky. The puck seemed to move in slow motion when it reached its highest point. That's when I slowly squeezed the trigger and...missed.

Luckily I had a full box of s…