Monthly Archives: September 2008

Sam Choy’s Spicy Tuna Poke Sandwich Recipe



In a mixing bowl, combine ahi, onion, green onion, and crabmeat with shoyu and sesame oil. Fold in mayonnaise and mix until combined well. Chill mixture until ready to use.

To serve, place pike mixture in taro roll topped with micro greens of your choice.


2 LBS ahi diced
1/2 CUP onion, minced
1 1/2 CUPS Best Foods mayonnaise
Sesame oil, to taste
Soy Sauce, to taste
1 BOTTLE shichimi pepper, to taste
Sambai, to taste
1 CUP crab meat
1/2 CUP green onion, chopped
Ani's Bakery taro rolls

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AWFF- 2008 American Wine & Food Festival Wrap Up

            w/chefs Nobu Matsuhisa, Wolfgang Puck & Others…

Two days ago, I had the pleasure of attending the 2008 American Wine and Food Festival held in the backlot of Universal Studios. The AWFF supports the Puck Lazaroff Charitable Foundation to benefit the Los Angeles chapter of Meals on Wheels. With a sold out event of over 2000 attendees, this was definitely a huge success.

If you appreciate excellent food, wines, and spirits, in a fun and laid back atmosphere, I definitely suggest planning to attend in 2009. I guarantee there is no other food event like this in California. And just like many fine wines, the AWFF seems like it just gets better and better each year.

Unlike previous years, the 2008 AWFF seemed to have a lot more food with chefs not running out of their dishes early. And thank God for that because there were many amazing samplings from this year’s talented and award winning chefs. The weather was perfect too with no need for a jacket. As my friend said, if you get cold, just drink more wine. And there was plenty of that on hand with vintners such as Beringer, Au Bon Climat, Jordan, Etude, Malibu Wines, Dr. Loosen & J.L Wolfe, Iron Horse, Truchard, Cielo, and Silver Oak to name a few delighting guests with their selection of vintages.

Some culinary highlights included samplings from chefs Joachim Splichal of Patina, Kerry Heffernan of South Gate, Rene Mata of Chinois on Main, Cameron Lewark of Spago Maui, Jasper White of Summer Shack, Alessandro Stratta of Alex, and a truffle infused burrata cheese which was absolutely worth making a few trips back for more.

Every day this week, we will be featuring a recipe from the 2008 American Wine and Food Festival Recipe Book.

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Paul Newman- Rest in Peace


Today as I woke up to find out about Paul Newman’s passing, I thought about how much he touched so many different generations with his generosity and multitude of talents. My mother was a huge Paul Newman fan and she was the one who first introduced his name to me. I was born after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Cool Hand Luke were out in theatres, so my first memory of Paul Newman wasn’t as a movie star, but rather as a face on a salad dressing bottle. I still remember being at Safeway with my mother and seeing her so excited that Paul Newman had a salad dressing. She of course stocked up on it, and from then on, Paul Newman’s face became a staple in our refridgerator and our pantry with his salad dressings, pasta sauces, lemonade, and other all natural products.


In 1982, Paul Newman and his friend A.E. Hotchner started their food company, Newman’s Own. Listening to his daughter Nell’s requests, Paul Newman added organic food to it’s line up which became so popular, that in 2002, Newman’s Own Organics branched out in to it’s own company. What initially started off as making salad dressing as gift’s for friends, became Newman’s Own, which now offers over 150 varieties of all natural food and beverage products. The company donates all of their proceeds and royalties to charitable functions, and have donated over 250 million dollars since it’s inception.

Paul Newman’s love of the food industry did not stop with the Newman’s Own company. In 2006, he opened a restaurant with chef Michel Nischan, who is "an avid proponent of healthy, sustainable, and culturally significant food. Their restaurant, The Dressing Room, is " A Home Grown Restaurant, located on the grounds of the Westport Country Playhouse". Menu items include a Pancetta- Wrapped Day Boat Monkfish with braised red cabbage, pan-roasted peanut potatoes, and parsnip sage puree and the popular Chicken and Dumplings with brussel leaves, celery root, baby carrots, and sunchokes.

Today as we pay our respects to Paul Newman, he will be remembered not only as a huge screen legend, and film director, but as a man whose life touched so many others as a great philanthropist and food entrepreneur. Paul Newman introduced natural food in to the main stream, and his generosity with Newman’s Own and Newman’s Own Organics will continue to live on and positively touch many generations to come.

For More Information on Paul Newman’s Food Company, visit Newman’s Own

For More Information on Paul Newman’s Restaurant, visit The Dressing Room

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Heidi, Spencer, YSL and Cristal


Louis Roederer Cristal Brut

Okay, I know that these two reality show love birds get too much attention as it is, but I just could not help myself when I saw recent photos of Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt of The Hills celebrating Heidi’s 22nd birthday. In these photos which you can see here, they are sprawled out on the grass having an oh so lovely picnic in Pacific Palisades with mylar balloons, red roses, willow style picnic basket…the whole nine yards.

I certainly appreciated the Yves Saint Laurent black ankle booties and diamond earrings that Spencer gave to Heidi in these photos, but what immediately caught my eye was the bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne that was leaning on Spencer’s leg right beside them.

Being a champagne lover, I’d have to say that I do get that sparkle in my eye when I enjoy an exceptionally nice bottle of French Champagne such as Krug, Dom Perignon, or Cristal. As for Louis Roederer’s Cristal, it’s birth was in 1876 while it became available for public purchase in 1945. Approximately 30 years later, the Rose’ version of Cristal became available to the public. The Cristal Rose’ has slightly more pinot noir than chardonnay and a dash of red wine for color. The average retail price for Cristal is around $250-$375 but can fetch in as much as $700 or more at higher end nightclubs and lounges. You can often find Cristal where the upper echelon of celebrities, athletes and socialites mingle.

So all I have to say is that as much as you all love to hate on Spencer and Heidi, they do have some nice taste for French bubbly and French shoes.

To purchase Louis Roederer Cristal online, visit here

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Ramune is the Fun Soda!!!


My friend Samya w/her first bottle of Ramune

As a child in Japan, I would look forward to drinking Ramune at the Obon Festivals every Summer. Ramune is a sweet carbonated drink from Japan that comes in a Codd-neck bottle. Named after its inventor, Hiram Codd, a Codd-neck bottle is a distinct shaped glass bottle that is sealed on top with a glass marble. What holds the marble in place is the carbon dioxide pressure of the drink inside of the bottle. Ramune is a staple in Japan, but now readily available in the United States at Japanese grocery stores and restaurants. Although I am not a big soda drinker, I always love sharing in the excitement of Ramune soda with a first time Ramune drinker. At first, it can take some getting used to drinking out of the shapely glass bottle with a marble rolling around inside, but after a short while, you too can become a Ramune aficionado. Next time you are having some friends over at the house, skip the tradtional soda pop in the fridge and have some Ramune in stock for a completely new and fun experience. Just make sure to recycle the bottles afterwards.

Purchase your Ramune from a local asian grocery store. If there isn't one located near you, you can purchase Ramune online here.

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Olive Oil’s beautiful benefits


Today I am sharing my love for olives and olive oil. I can't think of anything better than something that is:

1) absolutely delicious

2) attributes to good health

3) enhances natural beauty

We also love mixing it in with our favorite recipes at home. We love dipping our bread in to it at Italian restaurants such as Il Pastaio, Fiamma and Valentino. Olive oil also has religious uses and has been used as fuel for oil lamps. Soaps containing olive oil can be found in many local shops and high-end boutiques. Additionally, olive oil is a popular ingredient in many beauty products and medicinal products.

According to New Beauty Magazine, "Olive Oil has been lauded for it's medicinal properties since ancient times. Perfect for dry skin and hair, studies are beginning to reveal that antioxidant- rich olive oil may be able to protect skin from cancer".  Well this sounds like excellent news to us and knowing already that olive oil is a natural fruit juice high in monounsaturated fats, we will continue to enjoy our olive oil in the kitchen along with visits at the local day spa.

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Double Helix Wine Bar and Boutique


Double Helix Bar + Double Helix Boutique

There is something absolutely special about The Shoppes at the Palazzo in Las Vegas. Not only are you surrounded in a gorgeous setting with the world’s most luxurious brands – i.e., Chloe, Jimmy Choo, Van Cleef and Arpels, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Salvatore Ferragamo to name a few, but in the center of it all stands the Double Helix Bar + Double Helix Boutique. It is a vino heaven for aficionados, and novices alike. Opened in 2008, Double Helix, offers over 50 wines by the glass in either 2 oz. taste portions or 5 oz. glass servings. This was extremely thrilling to find out since it is common at other restaurants and bars, that one would have to settle for a mediocre, or second choice wine by the glass due to being the only one in the group drinking wine.


w/Raymond Nisi at Double Helix Boutique

I had the pleasure of meeting Double Helix owner and former New York restaurateur Raymond Nisi, and first hand, you know that you are in the presence of a true wine connoisseur. Unlike many establishments, Ray is an "owner of premise" and always there at Double Helix to personally assist customers. It is obvious how much Raymond has a passion for what he does and with Double Helix, he wanted to "create a location where guests could come and enjoy a quality glass of wine in a relaxed, casual, and welcoming environment." .

To compliment Double Helix’ extensive wine offerings, a taste selections menu prepared by Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse and his nearby Table 10 restaurant is offered from 11:00 am – 10:00 p.m.. Some notable mentions include the Crispy Calamari with piquant banana peppers, lemon parsley aioli, and spicy citrus dipping sauce with a suggested pairing of Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, 06 from Napa Valley and the Sweet Potato Cheesecake served with Pecan Praline and Orange Marmalade with a suggested pairing of the D’arenberg "Noble Riesling" Riesling 02 from Australia.


Screaming Eagle Wine at Double Helix Boutique

Other highlights of Double Helix Wine Bar + Wine Boutique:

* At the boutique, there are approximately 300 rare and hard to find bottles of wine from all over the world including the extremely hard to find and coveted Screaming Eagle (pictured above).

*Double Helix also offers a full bar with signature cocktails, sake and beer selections, and coffee drinks.

* If you don’t find the wine you are looking for at the boutique, Raymond Nisi and his team at Double Helix will go out of there way to find it and deliver it to you.

* Weekly tastings every Friday from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. at the boutique. A different vineyard is featured, and for just $5, you will receive a Double Helix wine glass and a 10% discount on the featured wine of the day. All events are open to the public.

*Right next door to the Christian Louboutin boutique and steps away from many other exclusive high fashion brands. Double Helix is a great place to stop for a bite and a glass of wine or a cocktail before you go back and hit Barneys New York.

Double Helix is a must visit on your next trip to Vegas. A perfect hot spot to meet friends for a drink and Emeril’s scrumptious cuisine, or solo while you take a break from the usual Vegas hustle and bustle.

For more information on Double Helix Bar + Double Helix Boutique, visit,

Double Helix

the Shoppes at the Palazzo

3327 Las Vegas Blvd S, Suite 2929

Las Vegas, Nevada  89109

PH: 702 -735-WINE (9463)

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AWFF- American Wine & Food Festival Countdown…


Just a reminder fabulous foodies, that the 2008 AWFF – American Wine and Food Festival takes place in exactly one week here in Los Angeles. You still have time to purchase your tickets for this awesome three day event that supports the local Meals on Wheels. Started by Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff, this is an event that will have you up close and personal with the who’s who of the culinary world. The 2008 AWFF kicks off with Red Hot @ Red Seven, a $155 per person event at the Pacific Design Center which will feature "fine wines and spirits, music, and spectacular beef". The $305 per person main event on Saturday held at the Universal Studios Backlot is an event not to be missed. In addition to chef Puck, you will be treated to the cuisine of chefs such as Nancy Silverton, Francois Payard, Julian Serrano, Nobu Matsuhisa, Joachim Splichal, Alex Stratta and many others while you stroll along the scenic Universal Backlot while surrounded with a multitude of select wine & spirits, live music, and a luxurious auction.The Sunday evening, $750 per person event is the Chef’s Grand Tasting dinner held at Spago, Beverly Hills.

For more information of the 2008 American Wine and Food Festival, visit AWFF

To purchase tickets, go to AWFF Tickets

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OctopusMe- Wear it


Now you can wear your octopus while you eat your octopus thanks to San Francisco based designer Deana Fukatsu, and her OctopusMe jewelry line. Deana actually casts genuine octopus tentacles in sterling silver and then oxidizes the silver for just the right finish. The tentacle earrings (pictured above) are one of the most popular designs, but she also creates Octopus inspired rings and necklaces for both men and women. The earrings are light weight and a definite conversation piece. I recently wore mine while dining at the sushi bar at Nobu and the sushi chef and I had mutually beneficial tako (octopus in japanese) envy.

To purchase your OctopusMe jewelry, visit OctopusMe

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Katana’s Happy Hour


With its fabulous people watching, celebrity sightings, and outdoor patio overlooking the Sunset Strip, Katana has been a Hollywood favorite since its opening several years ago. It's a packed house every night of the week and often, if you don't have a reservation, that means you don't have entrance into Katana during busy dinner hours. However, a surprisingly not very well known Sunset secret, is the Katana Happy Hour which is available 7 days of the week with no reservations required. At this time, you can order off the Happy Hour menu for $5/per item. That is an absolute steal at a restaurant where a typical meal can average $55 and up per person. Items such as Katana's popcorn shrimp, selection of sushi rolls, and items from the robata grill are yours for the price of $5 each. Katana also offers a limited happy hour drink menu at this time.



Katana's Happy Hour Sashimi & 3 item Robata

Although the regular dining area is spacious, Happy Hour is confined to the smaller bar and lounge area. Despite that, the overall decor at Katana is stylish and so are many of the diners. Katana's Happy Hour is the right choice for an early bite with friends, or an after work drink and nibble with colleagues. Another plus is the attractive and friendly bartending staff that is always helpful and professional which makes the Happy Hour at Katana a truly happy dining experience.

For more information on Katana, visit:

Katana Robata and Sushi Bar
8439 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

323- 650-8585

Happy Hour
Monday- Friday 5:30 P.M.- 7:00 P.M.
Saturday- Sunday 6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.

Katana on Urbanspoon

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