One Chicken, Six Recipes

Chicken can be one of the least interesting meats. Overcook it, and it’s practically inedible. But with a free morning, a good knife and a little know-how, a single chicken can make a whole bunch of really delicious, interesting dishes.

Cuban chicken and garlic, black beans and rice, mojito

As the owner of twelve chickens (and a rooster), I think of the chicken not merely as a plump, tidy ball of meat wrapped in Foster Farms plastic in the fridge, but also as a living animal scratching for food, rolling around in the dirt, resting in the sun. I can see them out the window as I write this, going about their business. More

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Hara Hachi Bunme

“When the crew at el Bulli sees a tree, it is only a tree. The Japanese, however, see more than just a tree. A very small part of that vision is what we try to incorporate at el Bulli. It is not science, but Japanese cuisine that has had the most influence on el Bulli…”
— Ferran Adria

I write a lot about the Japanese. And I cook a lot of Japanese food. The Japanese aesthetic in regard to food is in many ways the strongest influence in my own cooking, whether I’m doing Japanese or something else. But especially when I’m being creative and coming up with my own dishes, free of regional influences. It is then that the lessons of the Japanese are most obvious in my food. More

The Happy Onion

Some days are harder than others. Like when the baby wakes up 42 times during the night, as she did a couple evenings ago. On those mornings, I slog about the house feeling glum. But that particular day, I open the fridge, and discover there on the shelf in front of me, wrapped in plastic, the Happy Onion.

The Happy Onion

It doesn’t take much to turn a day around. Something in the cocksure twist of the onion’s smile reminded me that my burdens are relatively light and the world is indeed a mostly pretty good place. More

Sensuous Sumiyaki

One of the things I like about Tokyo — and Japan, in general — is you will find different restaurants catering to specific styles of food preparation. Here in America, we have sushi bars and teppanyaki table grills (given a P.T. Barnumesque American twist where chefs flip shrimp into the air, catch eggs in their hats and make rice volcanoes). In Japan, you have ramen joints, tempura bars, shabu shabu houses, unagi (eel) restaurants, skewered chicken innards cafes and countless other establishments catering to a single style of cooking or eating. There are even, unfortunately, restaurants specializing in whale.

Sumiyaki

With our large Japanese population in Los Angeles, more and more of these diverse eateries are appearing. More

The Lonesome Death of a Market

It’s always sad for me to write about the ghosts of places I loved, in decline or disappearing. (Favorite restaurants of the past, Dar Maghreb and Anisette, for example.) Such is today’s ghost story, my fingers tapping glumly at the keyboard…

Last days at the Safe & Save

I stopped awhile back by one of my favorite markets, the Safe & Save on Sawtelle. On a stretch of “Little Osaka” that’s becoming somewhat trendy with izakayas and Giant Robots, it was — along with Satsuma Imports and Hashimoto bonsai nursery — one of the last vestiges of the Old Sawtelle. More

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