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Lori D

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  1. The newer, "classy" places still have great food. Viet Taste is another relatively new place (with nice decor) in Eden Center. Their chef is supposedly famous for rice clay pot dishes. They are fantastic.
  2. I finally was able to get back to Japan a few weeks ago. I had planned a trip for April, but, in light of the earthquake/tsunami, decided to postpone. So this trip was overdue. Once again, I didn't do that great of a job of preparing to write about the trip. But I do have a few more pictures than last time. Starting with breakfast: This was from the ryokan (Japanese style inn) that I stayed at the first night of the trip). And another traditional breakfast: I stayed at a Buddhist lodging temple for the next several days. No food served, so I went to nearby small restaurants that cater to those visiting the temple and grocery stores for bento. This breakfast is the highlight of the food part of this part of the trip. Not only incredibly tasty, but nutritious. Mackerel and miso soup are two things I rarely eat at home, because the quality is so poor compared to what is served in Japan. The side dishes changed a bit every day, but were also great. One day they served picked myoga (young ginger), which was fantastic. However, every day, one of the side dishes was greens with nagaimo (mountain yam). Good for the health, so I didn't complain and ate it, but sticky stuff is not my favorite. And one other food highlight from the time at the temple, mostly because I figured I had missed the season for it - kakigori! Matcha flavored. I really enjoyed finding that on a hot day. Now for the food pictures I remembered to take after leaving the temple: Dinner that evening: Yes, it's sushi from a convenience store - actually from the 100 yen version of a convenience store (I was tired). But I think it's noteworthy that it was only 350 yen, and for the price, not that bad. I also had okonomiyaki: Terrible picture, but great okonomiyaki. This was with squid (ika) and green onion (negi). They included a huge amount of green onion, which gave it a light consistency. And negitorodon (tuna on top of rice): And montblanc (I have to have montblanc when I go to Japan): And curry rice: This dinner - curry, salad, and coffee, was 550 yen. And it was in a sit down coffee shop where one could take one's time eating. Even with the high value of the yen, it's cheaper than eating out in the US, and better than many/most options. My last breakfast in Japan was at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel. It's a huge complex that has several restaurants that one can choose for breakfast. There was a long line for my favorite one, Hapuna, which is an enormous buffet style restaurant. So I picked another, the Top of Shinagawa, on the 39th floor of one of the buildings, where the line was much shorter. The breakfast there is a smaller buffet. They had my favorite thing that Hapuna serves, smoked salmon, and I didn't need all of the choices, so I was perfectly happy. And my view was magnificent: And, finally, the last thing I ate in Japan (other than an ice cream at the gate), takoyaki at a restaurant at Narita: It was great to be back in Japan. (more pictures from the trip are here, if you are interested: https://picasaweb.google.com/106890805447100306706/September2011TripToJapan?authkey=Gv1sRgCK-totfAo-C-vQE - Mt. Fuji was magnificent!)
  3. That is over. They now have an Italian temporary menu designed by Fabio Trabocchi to complement two Italian art exhibitions: http://www.nga.gov/dining
  4. If you have time to go to Hokkaido, I would highly recommend Hakodate. A very charming city that is noted for seafood, especially squid. Hokkaido in general is noted for, among other foods, seafood, milk, and potatoes. ANA does have discounted domestic fares if you book in advance. Might be worth your while if you travel longer distances.
  5. Ray's Hell Burger is actually between the Courthouse and Rosslyn metro stops. Definitely not worth taking the Metro from Rosslyn. In the same shopping center is Guajillo, which gets good marks for Mexican food (I have no personal experience there). Across the street from Ray's is Cafe Assorti (www.cafeassorti.com) - Eastern European food, very reasonably priced. If they need to use public transportation, there is a bus between Rosslyn and Georgetown, and they can take the Metro to Clarendon or Ballston for several different options. It takes more than an hour to get from Rosslyn to Bethesda via Metro.
  6. I will have to look up your instructions on how to make niku jaga, as that is probably my only option. Even though it may not be difficult, I am a very indifferent cook, so I hope it's easy enough for me! I think my favorite teishoku is saba - another thing that I hate at home because it's so poorly done in contrast as to how it is done in Japan. Yes, that is a trend in my posts. Even though I live in a large metropolitan area (Washington, DC), the variety and quality of Japanese food is limited. This is probably because there are relatively few Japanese who live here. Therefore, even though I love Japanese food, I don't eat it that often. My next, and probably last, post on this trip will be on sweets/deserts. It may take me a little time to get together, though - I have to photograph a couple of things that I brought home.
  7. As I stated in my earlier post, I stayed in a lodging temple for part of the trip. The main purpose of the trip was to go to my sect's Head Temple. It is in Fujinomiya. There is an option for temple members to stay at a lodging temple, or you can stay at one of the local inns. I opted to stay at the lodging temple. When one attends an event with a group, bentos are ordered for the group. When one travels alone, one is responsible for one's own meals. I had my meals at the shokudo, or informal restaurants, that are located immediately off the Head Temple grounds. They serve simple food such as curry rice, curry udon, and ramen. Nothing fancy, but quite satisfying. My favorite thing to get is teishoku, which is a protein choice, usually fish, plus rice, miso soup, and several vegetables. This photo is not from this trip, but it is the same as one of my meals - aji fry teishoku. It is a real treat for me to eat decent miso soup. I love it in Japan and really dislike it at home - it's always too salty/too much MSG here. I don't have much to say about the remainder of my eating here, since it was mostly different types of teishoku.
  8. Well, I just returned from my most recent trip to Japan. Despite what I wrote last year, I didn't get it together enough to prepare for posts in the quality of what I have read. And I didn't eat truly gorgeous meals such as have been described here. But, I was in Japan, so I ate far better than I do at home, and I think there are a few things I can mention that have not come up here so far. I'll do this in multiple posts, centered around subthemes, instead of in one big post. And there won't be many pictures, as I didn't concentrate on that as I should have. So, the topic of this post is ... buffet breakfast. I stayed in three different hotels and one lodging temple. The lodging temple did not provide food, so discussion of that part of the trip will wait for a future post. The three hotels each had "viking" - Japanese for buffet - included in the room cost. So I took advantage of that, with different, albeit good, experiences. Hotel number 1 was Shinagawa Prince. I often stay there when I first arrive in Japan, as it is across the street from Shinagawa station (great for catching the Shinkansen). This hotel complex has grown from my first stay to one business type hotel to the biggest hotel complex in Tokyo - complete with aquarium, Imax theater, shopping, etc. Of course, there are numerous restaurants. They run the gamut from a very reasonably priced food court (actually, where I had dinner my first night, not horribly exciting, but cheap and convenient, since I was tired from the flight) to a steakhouse with a stunning view of Tokyo, to traditional Japanese fare, to pizza/spaghetti, to curry, etc. This time, there were five restaurants (I think) that were open for breakfast. I ate at Hapuna, which has a variety of Japanese and western food for breakfast. The thing that draws me there is actually western - smoked salmon that melts in your mouth. But it is truly all good. Hotel number 2 was Super Hotel - a nationwide budget chain. I stayed there for convenience and price; the breakfast buffet was a bonus. I had limited expectations, as Super Hotel is quite inexpensive. And I have stayed in Toyoko Inn, a similar hotel in Japan, where breakfast was extremely limited (onigiri or bread). So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the food was quite good. There were seven or eight hot selections that varied slightly every day (including things like scrambled eggs, spaghetti, fish, a really good cabbage dish, and harusame noodles), plus rice, plus miso soup, plus a small selection of breads, plus drinks. The plates provided were very small, I'm sure to encourage you to limit your intake, but there's no problem getting more than one serving. I probably won't dream of anything I ate there, but I will be happy to return to eat it again. Hotel number 3 was Narita View, on my way back home. The buffet here was medium sized. Food was typically good Japanese and Japanese-style Western food, with one or two things with Chinese influence. My favorite thing that I had there was the niku jaga. This may not have been that good, but it appeared before my eyes about the time that I was contemplating that I hadn't had niku jaga in ages, and wouldn't have the opportunity again soon unless I got off my butt to learn how to cook it. So, that's one part of the food aspect of this trip. More to come, but I'm not sure when - still fighting jet lag and catching up.
  9. Some farmers' markets in DC that are open on Saturdays are at Chevy Chase, H Street NE, Adams Morgan (pretty small market), and Eastern Market. Silver Spring, MD (Silver Spring Metro) and Arlington, VA (Courthouse metro) are good markets that are close to DC and accessible via Metro. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17047-2004May11.html lists locations of DC area farmers' markets.
  10. Richmond Oriental, at 431 East Belt Boulevard, is a Korean grocery store. They probably have daikon.
  11. The wrappers used for those dry out pretty quickly. Unless you make them in the morning, not a good option.
  12. Lori D

    Narita Airport

    It looks as if there are no lockers inside the gates - http://www.narita-airport.jp/en/guide/serv...ist/svc_07.html
  13. I was in Japan for about 10 days during the last half of April. I had good intentions to take pictures and record what I ate, so I could report back here. However, any detailed post from me will have to wait for another trip. For one thing, I didn't get to eat as many exceptional things as is typical for my trips to Japan. The first half of the trip was with a group, and the meals, while good, were utilitarian, to meet time and space constraints. Then, when the second half began, I fell and injured my leg enough to slow me down considerably, enough that I even chose McDonalds one morning for breakfast instead of walking a few short blocks to where I knew there was something far more interesting. I did make one find (for me, anyway) that I think is worth reporting on: http://www.harimayahonten.co.jp/pc_english/pages/system.html (http://www.harimayahonten.co.jp/ has links to pictures and shop locations). This shop has lovely senbei packaged for giftgiving. The unique thing about it is that, as you walk in (at least in the Tennoji branch that I visited), there are tables and self serve beverages and samples. You can take what you want and sit as long as you want. Then, I'm sure that it's hoped that you will feel moved to buy. I'm glad I ran across this store and will return if I have the opportunity to do so.
  14. The food is certainly not what it once was, as the Orleans House closed over a year ago. It has been torn down. There are lots of choices in Arlington, from Vietnamese (e.g., Minh's) to steak/hamburgers (e.g., Ray's the Steaks/Ray's Butcher Burgers-Hell Burgers) to central Asian (Cafe Assorti) to Thai (Thai Square). Not much, if any, decent Chinese in Arlington itself.
  15. I've been lurking for some time, but actually signed up to post about this. I was in Japan for a brief trip recently and looked for the Gateau au Chocolat on my first night here. I didn't have any, though, because I found another specialty flavor that stopped me in my tracks - Mont Blanc! If you like Mont Blanc pastries, you must try this one. Picture here: http://japaneseicecream.blogspot.com/searc...el/haagen%20daz
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