Daily Archives: August 8, 2011

[Recipe] Tuna Bowl

For those of you who like to eat tuna bowls, now you can make them at home!

Raw chopped tuna could be purchased at any of the Japanese markets with a sushi/sashimi counter (Mitsuwa, Marukai, etc).  I picked up a small package from Marukai, around $4.  Usually the packages will come with wasabi packs.  But if it doesn’t, make sure you have some wasabi on hand!



1.  Raw chopped tuna

2.  Wasabi

3.  Soy sauce

4.  Cooked rice


Fill a bowl with warm cooked rice.  I didn’t have any sushi rice on hand, so I used Japanese brown rice.  Then, top your rice with the chopped tuna.


In a separate bowl, mix your wasabi with the soy sauce.  The ratio will depend on personal preference.  Then, drizzle the sauce over the tuna bowl.  Next time I think I will chop up some scallions and add some sesame oil too.



Gyu-Kaku – Topanga Canyon

6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Ste 1010B
Canoga Park, CA 91303

(818) 888-4030

After a long morning of hiking in the Topanga Canyon State Park, we wanted to go somewhere close for lunch.  Someone remembered that there is a Gyu-Kaku around the area, so off we went!  This is located inside the Topanga Mall, near the corner of Victory and Owensmouth, next to Target.  And apparently, happy hour is all day EVERYDAY at this location.
We couldn’t really decide whether to do the AYCE BBQ ($19.95 and up) or go for the lunch sets.  But after some pondering, especially since we had hiked and didn’t want our exercise to go to waste, we settled on the lunch sets.
The lunch set menu – good value!  The first row is only for the weekdays.  The rest of the page could be ordered during the weekends.  I opted for the gyu-kaku set ($9.95) and upgraded the salad to a spicy tuna avocado salad for $3.50 more.  You get quite a lot of food for the lunch sets.
The fire-pit is in the center of the table
Start off with miso soup
Spicy tuna avocado salad.  Very tasty!
Next up:  seaweed salad and edammame
The meats:  chicken basil, harami miso, kalbi chuck.  All 3 were good, although the harami miso was a bit salty.  Rice also comes with the set and you can choose from either white, brown or garlic rice.
Into the grill it goes!  It’s all about the self-grilling.  Be careful not to burn the meat!

Japanese Village – DTLA

335 E 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

This is located at the corner of 1st and Alameda.  It’s not really a village – more like a cluster of restaurants and shops.  Love coming here ever since my college days.  There are so many delicious Japanese foods, ranging from sushi to ramen, in Little Tokyo.  Today I’m sharing my must-have treats when I’m in the area.


Imagawayaki aka red-bean cake 紅豆餅

Mitsuru Cafe

117 Japanese Village Plz Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 613-1028


Back in the college days, we’d stop by this place for weekend lunches.  Nowadays, it seems like the red-bean cake is the main attraction.  Basically, get in line, tell the cashier what you’d like to order, pay and grab your order.  The cafe itself is small, so it’s the only shop in the village that you’ll see a line out the door during the weekends.  The red-bean cake is really moist and chewy, and the red-bean filling is not too sweet.  It’s still good even when it’s not hot anymore!  Yum!

Watch your red-bean cakes being made!


Ice Cream & Mochi Ice Cream


118 Japanese Village Plz Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 624-1681


Yes, this is the Mikawaya of the mochi ice cream fame.  Know the ones that you’d buy at Trader Joes or the grocery stores?  Well, there are a few Mikawaya stores around LA.  The downtown one specializes in the ice cream, gelato (recently added) and mochi ice cream.  The Gardena location sells different types of mochi sweets.  I always make it a point to stop in here if I’m in the area.  The ice cream and mochi ice cream is THAT good.  The mochi on the mochi ice cream just tastes so soft and fresh! Recently, Mikawaya added gelato and mochilado (mochi gelato) but I don’t think they’re as good as the ice cream variety.  This place is CASH ONLY!


The store front


The famous mochi ice cream


The ice cream flavors (in clockwise order from top left): rainbow, green tea, kona coffee, mango, red bean and black walnut.


The prices:  1 scoop $2.55       2-scoops $3.55                  Mochi ice cream $1 each.  There are 2 scoopers, 1 for the ice cream line and 1 for the gelato line.


Our lovely round of mochi ice cream — green tea totally dominated!