Say Yes to the Dress

Lunch (11:00 a.m.): Early lunch at Fat Spoon in Little Tokyo with Tiffany and Shannon, before wedding dress shopping. We started out with an order of Fat Spoon Salad, followed by its famous corn dogs. I had beef curry for the main dish.

Dress Shopping: We visited the Simple Bridal showroom in Downtown. Simple Bridal is an online bridal dress shop that has a several by-appointments-only showrooms around the country. We visited the LA showroom near Staple Center, in a building overlooking the entire Downtown LA.  It was breathtaking!

The experience was absolutely amazing. The showroom staff was knowledgeable and extremely helpful, and made me feel so comfortable. I was really dreading this process before arriving here but they made it completely pain-free for me. I actually ended up having a wonderful time playing dress up.

We even got to enjoy a few glasses of complimentary mimosas!biggrin

I was bummed that Saori (she wasn’t feeling well) and Maya (she lives out of town) couldn’t join in, but big thanks to Tiffany and Shannon for the much-needed moral support and honest feedback. Saori gave me her comments and feedback virtually via our iPhones after I sent her photos with options!

I’m happy to report that I found the perfect dress. And what people say is true – when you find the one, you just know. I knew immediately when I put on it on that this was the dress that I was going to walk down the aisle in!

I tried on a few more, just in case, but nothing came close to the feeling I had when I put on the winning dress.

Dinner (4:30 p.m.): After dressing shopping, we headed over to Daikokuya for an early dinner. I ordered Tsukemen, a deconstructed version of a regular ramen bowl.  We walked over to the nearby Pinkberry for a small pomegranate- and original-flavor frozen yogurt with strawberries, kiwis, and chocolate crisps, for dessert.

Late-Night Snack (8:40 p.m.): Imagawayaki from Mitsuru Cafe in Little Tokyo.  I ate way too much today.  Juice detox to commence next week.

This was a wonderful productive Sunday! Thank you, girls, for everything!

The Best Wafu Curry: Fat Spoon

My lazy scale was at its highest point today. I just didn’t want to do anything and stubbornly refused to leave the warm and cozy bed. I read a few pages of 1Q84 and fell asleep, and repeated that in bed until about noon. I finally peeled myself off from the comforter and ate the osekihan that my mother packed for me last night with some gyoza and squid kimchi. I was so lazy that I didn’t even bother to take pictures.

Kevin came over at night and we went to Fat Spoon in Little Tokyo for dinner. It’s a new restaurant that opened right next to Daikokuya that serves Japanese style pasta, curry, and salad. Kevin discovered this place when it first opened in August 2011 and have been wanting to take me for a few months. He rarely raves about a restaurant but this one is an exception. He seems to like this place a whole lot and I don’t blame him. This place was amazing – the best Wafu curry I’ve ever had outside of Japan.  There, I said it.  It’s that delicious.  I suggest that you check this place out real soon before it becomes so popular, with people lined up out the door like its ramen neighbor!

I had an unsweetened green tea and Fat Spoon salad to start. The salad was so delicious with soy ginger dressing and crispy radish slices.

Here’s the Katsu Curry that I had. If you’re used to Curry House or elsewhere, you’ll be surprised at the depth of the flavors from the curry here. You can tell that the roux is made with flour and butter the old fashioned way and there are gazillion spices to create the flavors that pop. I’m not a curry addict and only crave it once in a while, but I have a feeling that I’ll be dreaming about this one for some time.  In fact, I’m going crazy right now just thinking about it.

Kevin ordered the Pasta Bolognese. It’s a total “Itameshi” (“ita” is shortened for Italian and “meshi” means “food” in Japanese), the Japanese interpretation of Italian dishes. No offense to authentic Italian restaurants, but Japanese-style Italian is my absolute favorite.

And there’s nothing better than end the day with some frozen yorgurt with fresh fruits.  There are both Yogurtland and Pinkberry a walking distance from Fat Spoon.  We brought it back home and ate it while watching some silly Japanese TV shows.

I’m so happy that there is no work tomorrow! Yipee!biggrin

Fat Spoon

329 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Pre-Game Dinner: Honda Ya

My boyfriend and I love to go to Staple Center to cheer for our favorite team, Los Angeles Kings. (It’s especially fun now because the boys are having a pretty good season!) Hockey is, hands down, the best sport in the world to watch, with great speed, intensity, and energy, but it’s unfortunate that the fun doesn’t translate well on television. I always encourage people to go watch a game live to really understand the beauty of the sport. I wasn’t even a fan either, until I went to my first game about seven years ago … and the rest is history!

Before the game, if time permits, we like to make a trip to a nearby Little Tokyo to grab something to eat. Granted the food at Staple Center is fairly decent (especially the pasta place), but why pass up great Japanese eats when they are just a couple blocks away (where the glass of wine doesn’t cost $12)? Our latest pre-game outing was Honda Ya, located on the third floor of Little Tokyo Mall, a former home of Mitsuwa (aka Yaohan) Supermarket in Downtown. It’s always very depressing to walk through the mall, knowing how alive it once were back in mid-80s to the mid-90s, when Japan’s economy was well and there were lots of Japanese people living in Los Angeles. The good thing is that this izakaya, the younger brother of the original Orange County location, has been gaining some buzz, bringing in much-needed traffic to this ghost town.

The interior of the restaurant reminded me a little bit of Musha in Torrance, but larger and slightly less modern. The wooden tables and paper lamps dangling from the ceiling added a sense of comfort and authenticity to the place. My boyfriend, along with several of my friends, have been here and liked it, so I was really excited to be able to check it out myself!

We started out by sharing the order of Sashimi Salad, mix green topped with pieces of tuna, yellowtail, and other sashimi, and avocado slices, smothered in spicy mayonnaise. There was nothing too special about the salad but I liked taking a bite out of the shell made out of deep frying a spring roll wrapper. It was so much fun to eat!

Ebi-furai, Japanese version of fried shrimp (breaded with crispy panko and deep fried in vegetable oil), is a favorite for many Japanese. Most of us Japanese grew up loving this dish as kids, especially because of the tartar sauce that accompanies them! These shrimps were plump and delicious, and brought back the sweet memories of childhood! 🙂

Because Honda Ya is known for its yakitori skewers, we had to try the basics: bacon-wrapped asparagus, sasami (white chicken meat), tebasaki (chicken wings), tukune (chicken meatballs brushed with sweet soy sauce) and negima (chicken and green onion). There is something so lovely about eating these yakotori with a nice glass of wine.  Perhaps the popular drinks of choice at a cozy place like this are sake and ice-cold Japaense draft beer, but I like to pair my skewers with a glass of red.

My favorite dish of the night was Hiyayakko, generous blocks of silky tofu enjoyed with aromatic yakumi (garnish) like grated ginger, green onion, katuobushi, paper-thin bonia flakes, and soy sauce. I also loved the presentation of the dish, with tofu arriving in a traditional Japanese “zaru,” usually used to serve cold soba (buckwheat noodle).

We finished the dinner with an order of Spicy Yellowtail Roll.

Although none of the dishes were earth shattering, I though everything I sampled were certainly above average and even better, very affordable. I will definitely come back here to try other dishes, like boxed sabazushi (mackerel sushi roll), Au gratin potatoes, and grilled black cod, that people are raving about. I can’t wait for our next hockey game and Honda Ya outing!

Honda Ya
333 S. Alameda, #314, Los Angeles, CA 90013