Friday, August 31, 2007

A Trip To Las Galas

Tofu Rice:
A Real Treat For Everyone!!!

On Monday, August 27th, I went to this small, but really cute restaurant, named Las Galas Lunch/Dinner Restaurant, located in the Japanese Village Plaza (JVP), at 103 Japanese Village Plaza, to try some of their delicious Tofu!!! I wandered to their plaza during a quiet Monday afternoon. I immediately noticed their patrons sitting outside eating under an umbrella.

Their Tofu tasted really good and I liked that this particular establishment has lunch specials! =) This is great for students or anyone on a budget, because you don't have to pay full price just for lunch or a light meal!!! They also have plenty of condiments (please see above) that you can enjoy such as spicy Chinese sauce, Kikkoman soy sauce, pepper, salt, and teriyaki soy sauce. The last condiments I particularly enjoyed! yum.....teriyaki just goes so great with Tofu. I think that Tofu is very plain and bland, so a little teriyaki sauce makes a difference to your mouth and to your palette!

That day, I ate their "Tofu Vegatarian Bowl,"or you could call it their "Tofu Fried Rice in a Bowl," hehe, but I noticed that they also have a "Tofu Teriyaki Bowl." They even offer Tofu Bento too! My mouth started to water when I saw their Tofu Chowmein and their Tofu Curry too! It was all the dishes that I enjoy, except with Tofu in it! All of these dishes look very appetizing because you can see the food in the menu, which is posted outside the wall, that has many illustrative pictures of their food, while looking outside. I appreciated that because customers can get an understanding of what their eating, before they actually eat it. This was the first time that I ever ate at this restaurant, so the menu's really helped me.

Throughout the summer, I passed through the Japanese Village Plaza and noticed their cute, little corner restaurant at the end of the plaza, facing 1st Street, but never had I acutally tried out their food. I'm glad I did because I thought that the price was really good and their Tofu was even better.
See u later with another blog....Remember, there's only a few more blogs left for this month! =)


Friday, August 24, 2007

Tofu Festival-My Experiences

"The Great Food I had at Tofu Festival! "
I had a lot of fun at this year's 2007 Tofu Festival! I ate so much dishes of Tofu, I can't even remember exactly how much good fun that I had at this year's festival. It was really great tasting all the wonderful dishes and eating all the Tofu there!
I particularly remember the very tasty Korean food at the festival!!! I ate on Sunday, August 19, 2007, around 4pm, the delicious Sundubu dish (Korean spicy Tofu soup) that I ate. It was only two script tickets, or two dollars! The booth was number 7 and the name of the company was called "BCD Tofu House." I heard that "BCD Tofu House" is a very famous company in Korea and I think they may have it in Koreatown too! I really like this restaurant and booth's Korean food, especially considering I'm not Korean. I think for foreigners, even people from other Asian backgrounds, such as me, Japanese especially, we may not be used to eating such "spicy food." Therefore, I loved that BCD's food was not spicy at all, but not too watery either. BCD's Korean food was just right, right in the middle of my tummy! hehe.
I will blog another blog about other dishes I ate at the Tofu Festival!
Ja mata,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Historical Chinese Cultural Experience

"A Trip to the Historic Chop Suey House"

I took a trip to the Chop Suey House on Monday, August 13, in Little Tokyo and ate Chinese food that was really delicious! The plate I ate came from the "lunch menu" and was a dish named "Mapo Tofu" or "Mapo Chicken Tofu." The dish consists of delicious bites of Tofu spread over a plate of white rice and includes small pieces of chicken.

I thought that the dish needed a little spice added to it, so I pepped up the Tofu Plate, by adding the Chinese chile oil to it. Since I am Japanese, I only know the Japanese name. Pardon me. The Japanese name of this chile oil is call "Layu." You can find this condiment at your local grocery store in the Asian Food Section. =) Layu is one of my favorite condiments!!! I think that Layu originated from China before becoming a favorite in Japanese cuisine. I also noticed the other condiments on the table at the Chop Suey House which included pepper and salt. These condiments we're so very delicious and added a great taste to the Tofu dish!!!
The Chop Suey House has been around for a very long time! Just a historical note, this restaurant was very well-known among Japanese and Japanese Americans that used to live or work in Little Tokyo, up until the 1940's, and still remains so even now! Many young people, including college students, such as UCLA students, have fundraisers and meetings in the evenings at the Chop Suey House with live entertainment, many including upcoming Asian American progressive artists, performaing live in Little Tokyo. The Chop Suey House is a great place, for me, Tofujii to hang out with friends!
I suggest that everyone come and visit the Chop Suey House soon!!! Don't miss their lunch specials that are under $10.00! Even with the coke I drank, this meal was under $12 bucks! I mean you can beat that in L.A.!
So next time come and visit Little Tokyo's historic Chop Suey House!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Visit to Curry House!

~Curry House~
Little Tokyo Style

Last friday, I was craving some delicious curry tofu to eat and I stopped by at the "Curry House" in Little Tokyo. I could not decide what types of Tofu to try so I tried an "old favorite" of mine....."Chicken Katsu" with pieces of Cold Tofu sprinkled on top. I also had plenty of "nice, complementary condiments" that included Spicy Tabasco Sauce and Japanese Red Tsukemono called "Fukujinzuke." Ummm......I love Curry House, especially the many, delicious Tofu dishes that they offer!
If you enjoy tofu salads, similar to other Japanese restaurants, Curry House offers a great tasting "Tofu Salad," that is really large and really great tasting. I didn't eat it during this visit, but I have tried it before. It is really healthy for you, because you're eating both salad and Tofu at the same time. haha. Tofu is really nutrious and good for your health, and it is also really delicious. Oishii ne! =)

I really enjoyed that Curry House also provided great-tasting vegetables, like tomato and green lettuce. The vegetables were a great complement to my "cold tofu" condiment and to spicy, "Chicken Katsu," because the vegetables helped to "tone down" the spicyness of the food. I, Tofujii, understand that people, especilly kids, dislike vegetables, but with Tofu as an added side, with a flavor of curry and white rice mixed in, I believe that it is just the right mix!

Finally, an "ice cold coke" (pictured above) can be a great condiment to Tofu dishes, because I like soft drinks, and especially during the summer, the weather is very hot and you just want to have something "refreshing," so coke is a great, refreshing choice! I also like that Curry House gives you free refills!

Curry House has great tasting curry, Tofu, and friendly service, so please stop by Weller Court, and try the Tofu at Curry House!

Hope to write again soon!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

More Delicious Tofu!!!

~More Delicious Tofu!!!~
Last week I visited another really delicious Japanese restaurant named Usui Restaurant which is located at 343 East 1st Street, which is very close to Mr. Ramen, the other Japanese restaurant I blogged about previously.

The restaurant, located in the midst of a numerous row of Japanese restaurants on First Street, was small and cute, and enticed me to come in and try out their food.Usui Resturant offers many different dishes that features Tofu, including Miso Soup, (a traditional Soy-bean based Tofu), and the dish that I ate which was their Mixed Tempra or Vegetable Tempura, which comes with white rice, miso soup, and delicious Japanese vegetables and of course, Tofu. My dish did not only include Cold Tofu, but also Mashed Tofu!!! So I actually ate two different types of Tofu, which was a very great experience.
Pictured above, alongside the Miso Soup is a image of Tsukemono, or pickled Japanese cabbage, that is given to you kind of as a mini-apetizer in Japanese restaurants to "complement" Tofu and Miso Soup. Tsukemono is crucnchy and a bit salty, but goes great with healthy, Miso (Soy) Soup and Tofu! I like to eat Tsukemono simulatanously with Miso Soup and Tofu, because Tofu helps to dim down the salt of the Tsukemono. Also, these foods are vegetables, and plays a very important role for your health and is a stable element in Japanese cuisine. The vegetables I eat at Usui Resturant tasted great because they were so fresh, wet, and the yam, was really sweet. =)
Going back to the Miso Soup that I ate (pictured above), I recall that the soup was really warm and tasted great, as usually Miso Soup does, but this particular Miso Soup was great because of the very large Tofu cubes that the restaurant gave me. Alot of times, I, Tofujii, eat small, bite sized Tofu, but I really like to eat Tofu, so when Usui Restaurant gave me a really large portion, I was very, very happy!!!

This was the very first time that I had ever eaten any Tofu that was mashed. =) yum! The mashed Tofu is on the left side of the Bento Box, (pictured above) and the hard Tofu is on the right side of the Bento Box.

It tasted so delicious because it was soft, sweet, and was a nice, cold, and refreshing texture that lay on top of my tongue. Along with the great tasting tofu, was the Tempura (deep-fried) vegetables and Tempura shrimp. The Tempura also came with Shoyu (soy sauce) for dipping. I think that Tofu goes great with Tempura, because Tempura is fried so it can get a little greasy, especially since I love dipping my Tempura in to the traditional Shoyu, so by combing these foods with Tofu, it provides a great array of taste to my mouth.
Being Tofujii, I love to explore my Little Tokyo community, because it makes me really happy. In addition, being able to eat delicious Tofu reflects upon my passion for Tofu.Tofu reminds me of Japanese food, which then reminds me of the Japanese people and Japanese community in Little Tokyo and throughout the world. I sincerely hope that my "Tofu Blogging" can reflect to my readers the "spirit" of Little Tokyo and "the heart" and "passion" that the people have in their hearts to make this very special food that isn't simply Tofu, but Japanese cuisine and culture embodied in to a simple, yet special, delicious square cube!
I'll write again soon about this week's adventures!
Mata ne!