Ramen Fever: Seattle’s Push Toward a Higher Profile

It's been a particularly curious phenomenon that the Seattle area, claiming as much connection to Japan as any other major U.S. city, has had a mediocre track record as far as having great ramen restaurants. As any ramen fanatic can tell you, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C., are several steps ahead of Seattle... Continue Reading →

Black Garlic Oil Ramen at Setsuna

When I started looking for a place to have dinner after a movie, my friend KirkJ suggested Setsuna Japanese Restaurant & Bar in the Northgate area of Seattle. As a restaurant to have ramen, Setsuna fell under my radar as it is not explicitly a ramenya. If I'd read the Yelp reviews carefully, I would have been duly... Continue Reading →

Airline Food Deconstructed?

I came across this interesting article on an experience that most of us would prefer not to think about too seriously: eating airline food. It posed the question whether it was truly horrible or is it that we expect it to be. It turns out that one big physiological problem to be overcome is the... Continue Reading →

Grand Teton Reverie

I've already posted remarkable collision photographs taken by Jim Brandt, who happens to be the husband of my wife's cousin. Last month, he and his wife visited Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Any camera hound knows that these places offer infinite photographic possibilities. Among Jim's photographs, I selected one that for me captures the... Continue Reading →

Spicy Szechuan Chicken at Spiced

For authentic Szechuanese food in the Seattle area, I've yet to find a place that is more so than Spiced (a previous review here) in the Crossroads area of Bellevue. The menu seems to have gotten more extensive if that's possible; there were plenty of items on the older one. New to the menu are helpful... Continue Reading →

Yamaki Jozo Soy Sauce

It has been several years now that I converted to low-sodium soy sauce. Not for health reasons but for the simple fact that regular soy sauce seemed much too salty. The brand that I've settled on is Kikkoman's Milder Soy Sauce, made in Japan. Kikkoman's Less Sodium Soy Sauce, made in Wisconsin, is not nearly... Continue Reading →

“Japanese Farm Food” by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

I saw it first at Kobo, an exceptional Japanese crafts store in Seattle's International District. It was a beautifully bound book with stunning images of simple Japanese farm food, a subject that has lately caught my interest. Flipping through the thick, almost squarish matte-finished pages was like an invitation to eat at the table of... Continue Reading →

Chile Reception: Huy Fong Gets Burned

Millions of people love it. Taystee, a character in Netflix's made-for-TV drama, "Orange Is the New Black," wanted it for the prison. It's everywhere. From the looks of it, this condiment is almost as ubiquitous as ketchup, even appearing in non-Asian restaurants and doubtless millions of homes. Huy Fong Foods' sriracha sauce, more familiarly known... Continue Reading →

Ramen Burgers: What’s the Beef?

"Want ground beef and cheese with your ramen?" This question you don't ever expect to hear at a ramen restaurant. At least, for now anyway. But can it be that far behind when the latest craze of Japanifying popular American food is the ramen burger? Yep, that's right, a ground beef patty sandwiched between two... Continue Reading →

Chef’s Choice at Café Munir

I was seriously bummed when Omar al Khyam in Renton closed its doors. I had been going there since my early working days in the Seattle area. It was my first introduction to Lebanese food and I loved it. Here is where I had my first hummus, baba ghanouj, shish tawouk, tabbouleh. I would have these... Continue Reading →

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