Bar Hayama

Great dinner with Saori at Bar Hayama on Sawtelle — thank you!

We both ordered Chef’s Special Bento Box, with miso soup, otsukemono, brown rice, assorted tempura (vegetables and shrimp), assorted sashimi, assorted sushi, skewered meats (beef, lamb, and chicken), salmon and mushroom dynamite, meatball wrapped in fried wonton, and berries for dessert.

Lovely space inside, although the outside fireplace is much more wicked.

LOVE the mug design.

Kings came out victorious tonight over Vancouver, in the first round of NHL playoffs. We are now leading the series 3-0! One more game, boys! Go Kings go! Pride. Passion. Power!

Birthday Dinner

The day started out with a run / walk around Rose Bowl with Shannon, Tiffany, and Jesse. Jesse and Tiffany ran, while Shannon and I did a 2:1 (two-minute run, followed by one-minute walk) for a total of 3.1 miles. We also ran up a very steep hill during our 5k run, which felt incredible. Believe it or not, I’m beginning to really enjoy going up hills.  I’m serious about this.  I like how my body feels when I reach the top!

Breakfast (9:30 a.m.): I ate a chocolate brownie bar in the car for breakfast.

Lunch (1:00 p.m.): We went to our usual, Le Pain Quotidien, for lunch. I started out with a cup of coffee with cream and sugar (I was craving a cup of good coffee badly this morning)  …

followed by two pieces of freshly-baked bread, accompanied by Blondie, a white chocolate spread that I’d like to call crack. Blondie was out of season but the staff (probably the store manager) opened one of the merchandises for us, which was incredibly generous. It’s this kind of gesture that makes us come back here again and again.biggrin

For lunch, I ordered my favorite dish, Tuscan bean salad with prosciutto and arugula. I forgot to take a photo of the actual plate but it’s not anything that you haven’t seen here (check out this and this). I’m so in love with this place.  I really look forward to coming here after our weekend Rose Bowl runs.

Dinner (7:00 p.m.): The family went to Ichibankan to celebrate my father’s birthday over good sushi (YAY, happy birthday, dad).surprisedTo start, I ordered a glass of Merlot, and we shared an order of Crunchy Roll. We each had two pieces.

Instead of ordering sushi a la carte, my sister, my mother, and I ordered chirashi bowl, that came with assortment of sashimi on a bed of sushi rice.

The osuimono that came with the meal was amazing.

I had two bites of complimentary green tea ice cream.

Dessert (9:00 p.m.): We sang my father happy birthday over a cup of wonderfully brewed coffee (my mother makes the best coffee) and a homemade chiffon cake (my mother also bakes the best chiffon cake) at home! I had a small piece and she packed me a piece for me to enjoy tomorrow!

What a wonderful Saturday this was! I’m looking forward to a fabulous Sunday!

Sushi Party on Mother’s Day!

Our family celebrated the Mother’s Day early, on Saturday, and instead of going out to a restaurant and fight the crowd (I heard that Mother’s Day is the busiest time of the year for restaurants), my mother hosted a sushi party for this special day. I think the idea of hosting one’s own celebration is really cool, like hosting your birthday party or, in this case, a mother’s day dinner!

She really outdid herself this year, preparing everything from assorted sashimi, to marinating her own saba (mackerel) with vinegar and sugar, to making fluffy omelet-like eggs (called “atsuyaki tamago”), and even cooking kanpyo (those string thing cooked in delicious soy sauce). She even prepared us natto, fermented soy beans, that we love so much. Natto is definitely not for the faintest of heart — it is, afterall, a stinky, slimy, rotten soy beans — but we Japanese eat it regularly, most commonly in breakfast!  It is so nutritious and very delicious.

Assorted sashimi platter, with yellowtail, tuna, halibut, and salmon, with kaiware radish, and takuan (picked radish)

Atsuyaki Tamago and julianned cucumbers

Mackerel marinated in vinegar and sugar

Natto with the fixings (chopped green onion, mustard, and dashi), perhaps the most underrated food in the world

I am so lucky to have the kindest, the strongest, the most beautiful, most caring, most generous, and the greatest woman as my mother. Happy Mother’s Day … and the same for all the awesome mothers in the world!