Show 537, August 5, 2023: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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!

Show 537, August 5, 2023: Restaurateur Courtney Kaplan of OTOTO, Echo Park, Los Angeles Part One

Courtney Kaplan of Tsubaki and Otono

OTOTO in Echo Park is 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 with an enticing full menu of creative and classic Japanese dishes. A standout item is the Chicken Katsu Sando which is a fried chicken sandwich with snowy cabbage, pickled jalapenos, katsu sauce, kewpie and served on toasted milk bread.”

OTOTO was the recipient of The James Beard Foundation’s prestigious award for “Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program” presented in Chicago at Lyric Opera on June 5th. 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.

Sunday afternoons from 4 to 5:00 p.m. are educational Sake tastings. Also on offer is the OTOTO Sake Club of the month with the 3 seasonal selections each month personally curated by Courtney Kaplan.

Courtney Kaplan joins us to tell us a bit about sake and the guest experience at OTOTO.

Show 537, August 5, 2023: Restaurateur Courtney Kaplan of OTOTO, Echo Park, Los Angeles Part Two

Courtney Kaplan of Tsubaki and Otono

OTOTO in Echo Park is 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 with an enticing full menu of creative and classic Japanese dishes. A standout item is the Chicken Katsu Sando which is a fried chicken sandwich with snowy cabbage, pickled jalapenos, katsu sauce, kewpie and served on toasted milk bread.”

OTOTO was the recipient of The James Beard Foundation’s prestigious award for “Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program” presented in Chicago at Lyric Opera on June 5th. 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.

Sunday afternoons from 4 to 5:00 p.m. are educational Sake tastings. Also on offer is the OTOTO Sake Club of the month with the 3 seasonal selections each month personally curated by Courtney Kaplan.

Courtney Kaplan continues the conversation with us about sake and the guest experience at OTOTO.

August 5: OTOTO, Spaghettini at Home, A-SHA Noodles

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Courtney Kaplan of OTOTO, Echo Park, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Courtney Kaplan of OTOTO, Echo Park, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Four: Cary Hardwick, Managing Partner, Spaghettini Restaurant, Seal Beach Part One
Segment Five: Cary Hardwick, Managing Partner, Spaghettini Restaurant, Seal Beach Part Two
Segment Six: A-Sha Foods USA with President Young Chang Part One
Segment Seven: A-Sha Foods USA with President Young Chang Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris, Executive Producer and Co-host previews the show.

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 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 by Young Chang 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 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 Caldo Verde, 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!

Courtney Kaplan of Tsubaki and Otono

OTOTO in Echo Park is 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 with an enticing full menu of creative and classic Japanese dishes. A standout item is the Chicken Katsu Sando which is a fried chicken sandwich with snowy cabbage, pickled jalapenos, katsu sauce, kewpie and served on toasted milk bread.

OTOTO was the recipient of The James Beard Foundation’s prestigious award for “Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program” presented in Chicago at Lyric Opera on June 5th. 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 sake and the guest experience at OTOTO.

Cary Hardwick of Spaghettini

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 cookbook, “Spaghettini at Home, 35 Years of Music, Cuisine & Cocktails.”

“Speaking also for his partner Laurie Sisneros, Spaghettini’s co-founder Cary Hardwick says, “35 years ago, we had an idea. We wanted to create something special. Not just a great restaurant, but something resembling a home away from home. A place where family and friends could gather for an evening, and where food, drink, and music blend perfectly to captivate the senses.””

“Focused on their long-time relationships with the world-class jazz musicians that have graced Spaghettini’s stage over the past three decades plus, the new cookbook showcases 11 of these artists. Each chapter starts with Cary’s and Laurie’s stories of those relationships, along with recipes of the artists’ favorite Spaghettini dishes and cocktails. To help users of the cookbook set the mood when recreating “a night out at Spaghettini” at home, QR codes are included at the start of each chapter to access curated playlists of the artists’ music.”

“The book contains 75 recipes, including appetizers, salads, sides, entrees, desserts, and cocktails. It includes favorites that have been served for 35 years as well as specialties that Executive Chef Victor Avila has created during his 30-year relationship with Spaghettini.”

Spaghettini’s Co-Founder, Cary Hardwick, joins us to share the rich, 35-year history of Spaghettini.

Young Chang of A-SHA Foods

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 by Young Chang 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. A-Sha Foods USA has been featured as one of the top 100 fastest growing private companies recognized by Inc. Magazines‘s Inc 5000 list 2020, 2021 and 2022, and selected as one of the Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time for more than five consecutive years.”

In addition to their best-selling noodles, they’re also known for their buzzy noodle collaborations with iconic brands like Hello Kitty and David Chang‘s Momofuku, and limited-edition pop culture noodle sets. The Miami Heat’s Duncan Robinson is their Global Brand Ambassador. He discovered A-Sha Noodles in college as a healthful alternative to the ever-popular instant ramen. Since their introduction to the USA in 2015 A-Sha Noodles has aimed to consistently give back to their local communities by partnering with organizations throughout their local Los Angeles community and beyond.

A-Sha Noodles original product in the United States was the Vegan-friendly, Hakka Wide Noodles. They are air-dried (not fried) to seal in freshness, flavor and nutrients. They quickly reconstitute in boiling water.

Young Chang, A-Sha Foods USA’s President is our guest with a bowl of Hakka Wide Noodles in hand.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 the fast-casual 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 seafood and wine. We’ll hear about some popular Portuguese dishes including Caldo Verde, Portuguese Cod Fish, Fried Cod Cakes and Grilled Sardines.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Courtney Kaplan of OTOTO, Echo Park, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Courtney Kaplan of OTOTO, Echo Park, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Four: Cary Hardwick, Managing Partner, Spaghettini Restaurant, Seal Beach Part One
Segment Five: Cary Hardwick, Managing Partner, Spaghettini Restaurant, Seal Beach Part Two
Segment Six: A-Sha Foods USA with President Young Chang Part One
Segment Seven: A-Sha Foods USA with President Young Chang Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”