Show 170, May 7, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel and Sushi 411

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamSushi has become mainstream in California. It’s even now sold in neighborhood convenience stores. Our own resident seafood expect, Chef Andrew Gruel, has just about everything you need to know about practical sushi basics. He’ll have useful tips for ordering as well as proper sushi etiquette.

Some very familiar fish we see used in sushi Stateside is not really a great choice for sushi. Chef Andrew explains…

Break out the chopsticks but go easy with the soy sauce…Your sushi chef is watching.

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Show 110, February 14, 2015: Damian Stanley, Executive Sous Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino Continues…

Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar at Pechanga Resort and CasinoChef Damian Stanley is the always on the move Executive Sous Chef at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula. Since the hotel tower and casino opened in 2002 at Pechanga they have enjoyed an outstanding reputation for the quality and diversity of their food and beverage offerings.

Chef Damian was the project manager for one of their newest interactive fine-dining spots, Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar. which launched after Thanksgiving in 2013. Umi means “sea” in Japanese. Sushi, sashimi, nigiri, rolls, oysters on the half shell, seafood platters, specialty cocktails and lots more are on the varied menu at Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar.

Three highly skilled Japanese sushi chefs (actually from Japan) are part of the culinary team. It’s an interactive and highly entertaining experience with the sushi chefs if you dine at the sushi bar.

There is a hint of the South on the menu, too. Look for gumbo and jambalaya. The specialty bouillabaisse has clams, fish, shrimp, scallop, and mussels in the hearty seafood broth.

A standout dish is the Bone Marrow Lobster with pear, tatsoi salad, celery root skordalia and black truffle vinaigrette.

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Show 35, July 13, 2013: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”

SushiJet has extensive experience in teaching the sushi basics to professionals so we asked him to share the fundamentals of sushi etiquette so guests will have the ability to eat better at their favorite sushi spot. With that said Jet also respectfully suggests that you follow the course in a sushi restaurant that provides you with the most pleasure.

Sushi was originally created in China as a way to preserve fish before refrigeration. It was layered, and heavily salted and vinegared.

The three basic types of sushi are sashimi, maki, and hand rolls. It takes years of rigorous training to become a master sushi chef.

One big faux pas in a sushi bar is to mix the soy sauce and wasabi together into a pool. The shaved ginger is actually a palate cleanser and not a side salad. Jet explained where each should be properly used.

If you sit at the sushi bar the chef is stealthily watching how you eat. At a sushi bar there are the seafood equivalents of filet mignon, rib eye, and chuck. All are edible of course. If the chef sees that you aren’t discriminating then the sushi you get will be the equivalent of “chuck.”

The chef knows what’s the best because he’s been prepping it all day. Omakase (literally) “trust the chef” is the way to go for a special experience. It’s a personalized tasting menu left in the hands of the chef. The sushi chef will present you one item at a time (from lighter to heavier) to savor.

If you really want to an impression with the sushi chef send over a beer or sake for them during the meal with your compliments. You’ll likely see some incredible fish as a result…

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July 13: Mary Sue Milliken, Bill Chait, Anita Lau, Jet Tila on Sushi

Podcasts

Segment One: Dining discoveries of the week with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part One
Segment Three: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part Two
Segment Four: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill
Segment Five: Anita Lau, creator of the Mad Hungry Woman Blog
Segment Six: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”

Previews of potential dining adventures…

Khao Soi at Spicy Thai BBQChef Jet somewhat reluctantly shares his recommendation for Northern Thai food in Los Angeles. It’s a small place with 15 seats but worth seeking out. Their signature dish is khao soi.

Producer Andy highlights Marche Moderne’s (Penthouse @ South Coast Plaza) annual Bouillabaisse festival running nightly until July 18th. It’s an authentic Marseillaise-bouillabaisse with all the fish flown in from the South of France. Spoil yourself with the very best and a glass of Rose! Reservations are a must…

If you dine-out in Los Angeles you’ve no doubt heard of Rivera and Bestia in Downtown Los Angeles. You probably also know the Italian favorite Sotto and the Peruvian-flavored, Picca located just East of Century City. How about Short Order and Short Cake at the Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax?

Bill ChaitWhat you probably don’t know is that all of these popular, chef-driven restaurants are ventures put together by low key restaurant impresario, Bill Chait. Bill joins us to discuss how he has created a string of successful, and enduring, restaurants (done on a budget) with talented celebrity chefs in a very tough business environment.

In the pipeline for Chait are Chef Walter Manzke’s Republique in the former Campanile space on La Brea Avenue and Neal Fraser’s Redbird in the former Vibiana Cathedral space in Downtown Los Angeles.

Mary Sue Milliken of Border GrillOn Monday, July 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Border Grill Las Vegas Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, and Border Grill Executive Chef Mike Minor are teaming up with Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood and Chefs Collaborative to host a Trash Fish Dinner. The cocktail reception and dinner will feature tasty alternatives to the seafood we love and, unfortunately, eat too much of. Understand the fish is delicious…

Mary Sue Milliken joins us to preview the fun evening with a purpose.

Time for Fair Food!

Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe from Chicken CharliesThe OC Fair is on through August 11th! Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, is with us to discuss what extreme foods are new at the Fair for 2013. She will actually be judging some Fair food contests during the event.

Fair food vendor, Chicken Charlie’s, always is always out there with fab fried food items. Eagerly anticipated is his new Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe’s and Bacon A-Fair’s Wild Boar on a stick (an OC Fair exclusive.)

According to the Orange County Register’s Nancy Luna, Chicken Charlie sold 50,000 deep-fried Twinkies last year at the Fair!

Other Chicken Charlie highlights are a deep-fried bacon pickle and a waffle dog.

SushiDo you crave sushi but feel somewhat compromised about proper manners and ordering technique in a sushi restaurant? When do you use the ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi? Is omakase (“trust the chef”) the best way to go? If you sit at the sushi bar how do you convey respect to the sushi chefs?

Listeners to the “SoCal Restaurant Show” are in luck. When he was helming Wazuzu at Encore Las Vegas, Jet had some of the most highly regarded sushi in Las Vegas on his menu. Backing it all up was in-house master sushi chef (and his highly trained team.) He will give us the 411 on ordering, and enjoying, sushi.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dining discoveries of the week with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part One
Segment Three: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part Two
Segment Four: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill
Segment Five: Anita Lau, creator of the Mad Hungry Woman Blog
Segment Six: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”