OTOTO in Echo Park operated by the dynamic team of Courtney Kaplan and Chef Charles Namba (wife and husband) is Los Angeles’ premier sake bar, the little brother to Tsubaki located next door. It opens at 5:00 p.m. nightly and it’s walk-ins only. OTOTO, launched in 2019, offers 50 plus sakes by the glass along with an enticing full menu of creative and classic Japanese dishes. OTOTO was the recipient in Chicago at Lyric Opera on June 5th of The James Beard Foundation’s prestigious award for “Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program.” This is the first time the award has been extended to include “Other Beverages.” Quite an impressive honor for Los Angeles, California and Courtney Kaplan & Chef Charles Namba. Courtney Kaplan joins us to tell us a bit about the joys of sake and the guest experience at OTOTO.
Spaghettini Restaurant in Seal Beach is celebrating their 35th Anniversary this year. “Since its inception in 1988, business partners, Laurie Sisneros and Cary Hardwick, have grown Spaghettini to be one of the top restaurants and entertainment lounges in the country. Spaghettini has had hundreds of incredible artists grace their stage. Dave Koz, Poncho Sanchez, John Mayall, and Kenny Loggins are just some of the well-known artists who have played here, along with some extraordinary local talent. Headed by Executive Chef Victor Avila, Spaghettini features fine contemporary Italian cuisine, craft cocktails, and world-class live jazz. To celebrate 35 years of providing Southern California with award-winning dining and best-in-class live jazz on their stage, Spaghettini has published a new coffee table cookbook, “Spaghettini at Home, 35 Years of Music, Cuisine & Cocktails.”” Spaghettini’s Co-Founder, Cary Hardwick, joins us to share the rich, 35-year history of Spaghettini.
“A-Sha Noodles is the cult-favorite imported noodle brand known for its patented, 100-year-old legacy noodle recipe from Tainan, Taiwan. All of A-Sha’s noodles are simply made with wheat, salt and water, and receive a unique 18-hour air-drying technique (never fried or frozen).” This is a big (and healthier) departure from the familiar instant noodles which are fried. “A-Sha noodles are made with finely sifted and fiber-rich whole wheat flour resulting in each serving having at least 10g of plant-based protein. Founded in 2015, A-Sha Foods USA is an AAPI-owned brand that has quickly become the go-to for healthier, more nutritious instant noodles. A-Sha’s signature air-dried noodles originated from a small factory in Tainan, Taiwan that began producing noodles with a century-old recipe in 1977. Starting in just one market in California a decade ago, A-Sha Foods USA is now available at some of the most wide-reaching retailers, including Amazon, Costco, Walmart, Target, T&T, Sobey’s and H-Mart.” Young Chang, A-Sha Foods USA’s President is our guest with a bowl of original Hakka Wide Noodles in hand.
Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder and pizzaiola of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) located in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where he responds to listeners’ thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew has just returned from a stay in Portugal particularly known for their outstanding seafood and wine. Chef Andrew will temp us with descriptions of some popular Portuguese dishes including Portuguese Fish Stew, Portuguese Cod Fish, Fried Cod Cakes and Grilled Sardines.
All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!