I just discovered the flickr set Kit Kats of the World, and boy, we Americans are getting gypped with boring milk chocolate. Japan's got much more intriguing varieties such as salt-watermelon, jasmine tea, chocolate & grilled potato, wasabi, grilled corn, sports drink and even "air-condition ... More >>
House of Blues
Ever since the major catastrophe in Japan, people have been wondering how they can help the victims, who are just starting to put their lives back together again. For musicians, the best way to help is to put on a show and invite as many bands and DJ's as you can.
The always loud and festive Baja Sharkeez Newport Beach is stepping up to help the Japan relief effort by hosting a silent auction and raffle tonight from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. There's some serious loot up for bidding--Lakers and Angels tickets, autographed Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings equipmen ... More >>
Dana finally finds an issue he can't botchOkay, sure. Perennially goofy Orange County Congressman Dana Rohrabacher occasionally makes a good point.This week in Washington, Rohrabacher and other Republican politicians questioned planned U.S. aid to China.What does the Obama administration want to ... More >>
After co-opting Japanese fashion for years, Gwen Stefani is giving back. Today, she announced that she donated $1 million to Save the Children's relief efforts for Japan. The No Doubt singer and fashion designer said in a statement: "I've been inspired by Japan for many years and have a true love ... More >>
In the wake of the unfathomable disaster in Japan, musicians are showing their support through benefit shows, merch and other creative endeavors, rallying fans to help the country. Their efforts can make a real impact--Gaga's Japan-relief wristbands raised $250,000 in just 48 hours. Here's ... More >>
There's a lot of news coming out of Japan, all of it sad, some of it worrisome; but then there are a few stories that instill hope, like this one, which is about an owner of ramen shop in Miyako City who decided to give away his noodles even as he, himself, lost his home in the tsunami. Why? Becau ... More >>
Maybe it's the fact that Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant has already suffered several explosions, is currently leaking radiation into the air, and seems to be headed toward total meltdown. Maybe it's the fact that a cold pressure system is sucking cold wind out of China and Korea and sendin ... More >>
Masahiro Sakurai's TwitterA photo by Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai shows empty Tokyo streets after the earthquakeWith the death toll rising above 10,000 people, 88,000 people reported missing and the threat of numerous nuclear meltdowns, Japan is facing its worst national catastrophe since World ... More >>
Using her star power and fashion prowess for good, Lady Gaga has designed a "We Pray for Japan" wristband, sold on her site for $5, with all proceeds going toward Japan earthquake/tsunami relief efforts.Today, she tweeted that $250,000 has been raised so far.
Photo by Airman John D. Partlow/U.S. Air ForceDisplaced commercial airline passengers take shelter inside Taiyo Community Center on Friday.Those following the epic horrors playing out across the Pacific are aware that the 8.9 magnitude earthquake has been officially declared the worst catastrophe ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Garden Grove restaurant is famous for its Korean barbecue—but there's more
The headline is as scandalous as it gets: "China Makes Fake Rice From Plastic." The news reports, like the one linked above from a site called Very Vietnam, alleges "that some distributors are selling fake rice in Taiyuan, Shaanxi Province, and this rice is a mixture of potatoes, sweet potatoes an ... More >>
McDonalds.co.jpThe food-blog web is snickering with news that McDonald's outlets in Japan are doing a new burger promotion called Big America 2 (yes, it's a sequel, meaning they've done this before).The burgers, hilarious caricatures and revealing in how Japan sees us, are shown above in all thei ... More >>
Flickr user 4-6The Tsukiji fish market auction grabs headlines this time of year, almost every year. Last year, the story was on a 513 pound bluefin tuna that netted $177,000. This year's catch blew that one out of the water.
Flickr user Dan4thNow that I think of it, Little Saigon restaurants are much better at offering plastic, reusable chopsticks than local Korean and Chinese eateries. I've never noticed a quantitative difference between those and fresh chopsticks--if anything, the reusable ones never kept stray spl ... More >>
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) has issued a statement condemning North Korea for firing dozens of artillery shells at South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island, killing two South Korean soldiers and wounding 15.The freshly reelected congresswoman, who is the ranking female member on the House Armed ... More >>
Edwin GoeiName: Sanh Yuan Chien Cha Slice - Preserved Fruit Origin: Taiwan Found at: 99 Ranch, Irvine Cost: $1.99 Ingredients: Dried Fruit, Sugar, Salt, Licorice
VIento y Agua Gallery
Photo by Craig MediciSometimes a sign can say it all. The photo above was taken by our friend Craig, who has been quietly observing the remodel of China Palace in Newport Beach on PCH for months.
Far East Movement, the Asian-American hip-hop outfit that Lady Gaga handpicked to open her Japan dates, will be in Irvine today, doing a meet and greet before their Galaxy show tonight, which we previewed in the print issue of OC Weekly. Writer Paul Saitowitz said, "while a certain amount of cul ... More >>
The multicultural mummies of 'Secrets of the Silk Road' don't disappoint
[Summer Guide] Exercise your mind at these art shows this summer
Despite the fact that we could go on for years about the variations and nuances of Chinese cuisine, we are going to close this week with a visit to Taiwan, because after Cantonese, the single most available regional cuisine in the Southland is Taiwanese, due in part to the great number of Taiwanese ... More >>
The cuisine of Northern China--Tianjin, Shandong, and Beijing--is shocking to someone who assumes that all Chinese people eat bowls of rice with sauce-laden stir-fry ladled on top. Rice doesn't grow in the northern reaches of China; the climate is more like Chicago than Atlanta. While Shandong food ... More >>
Edwin GoeiName: Kasugai Konpeito Candy Origin: Japan Found at: Freshia, Tustin Cost: $2.49 Ingredients: Sugar, FD & C Yellow No. 5, FD & C Yellow No. 6, FD & C Blue No. 1. Why I Bought It: Moth balls. They first looked like moth balls. Further research revealed that these cand ... More >>
I raved about the samurai burrito at Wafu of Japan last month; here's another Japexican creation from this small, delicious eatery: jalapeños stuffed with spicy tuna.No need to buy Tums. The chilies that Wafu's chefs use are of the shishito variety, more piquant than fiery, while when has anyone ev ... More >>
I mentioned in the Tokyo Table review that ran a few weeks ago that Ajisen Ramen is coming to Diamond Jamboree. Now, they've put up a few signs that gives away the location. It will be directly across Guppy Tea House, next to a beauty salon, and the first store you'll encounter on your right as y ... More >>
Here's an interesting story by the LA Times about our sister paper's venerated and Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic, his meal of whale on a trip to South Korea, and what his brother Mark, a marine scientist and president of Heal the Bay thinks about it.
Tokyo Table, the first restaurant of many at the new Diamond Jamboree in Irvine, will have its grand opening tomorrow, Wednesday, September 17, at 5 P.M. The restaurant's already got two outlets in L.A. County (Beverly Hills and Arcadia). Other than the usual roster of rolls, teriyaki and tempura, ... More >>
Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of Chinas First Emperor
Last night in a C-SPAN televised speech, Dana Rohrabacher called Chinese government officials “gangsters,” slammed both Bush presidential administrations for failing to challenge China’s human rights abuses and complained that the U.S. Government isn’t working to spur a democratic revolution ... More >>
It Takes a China Village
But it seems to me Irvine is in violation of the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. The TRA set up diplomatic-ish relations between the US and the Republic of China on Taiwan. Instead of an embassy we have the American Institute in Taiwan, and whenever China drops a missile off Taiwan's coast we're requi ... More >>
A coincidence, but one which raises a question. The coincidence: last night Japan won the title game in the World Baseball Classic, and last night I happened across a curious minor relic of the relationship between baseball in the U.S. and baseball in Japan. The question it raised in my mind: do th ... More >>
Calling the dim sum races at Irvine China Garden
Fetishizing hog at Seoul Soondae
Learning to love Japans stinky weapon of culinary destruction
Peking Restaurants wheels of fortune