Sushi Ota, San Diego 

The Sushi Ota website says that Ota San came from Japan to San Diego and  stayed because the uni was so good. Somehow we didn’t order the uni. But I’m glad the place that I thought had the best sushi in SD when I was 22 still lives up. Both the food and the very Japanese service are to die for.  

 Salmon, o-toro, and hiramasa. 


 Salmon belly

   Japanese surf and turf. Fried shrimp heads and wagyu sashimi. A fabulous ending to a wonderful meal. 

Spring is in the Air

No it’s not. It’s frigid out. Even though the crocuses are in bloom and the tulips and daffodils are starting to poke out of the ground, winter refuses to leave. Nonetheless, because I believe in the power of positive thinking I made a downright springy farro “risotto” with peas and spring herbs (chives, tarragon, and basil) for dinner tonight. What’s more with a little weekend prep this can be a 30 minute weeknight meal. Sous Vide the pork (and then just reheat it in the sous vide machine the day you want to eat it). Boil the farro (in stock if you have some) on the weekend as well. When you’re ready to eat sautee some shallots or scallions in butter, add the peas and cook until just short of tender crisp, throw in some minced garlic and your cooked farro and heat until warm. Finish with herbs, parmesean cheese, and a splash of cream. Sear the pork chops. Eat dinner. 

Fiola, DC

You don’t need a review from me to tell you that Fiola is excellent and expensive. What you do need me to tell you is that they currently have one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever eaten. It’s the hand cut tajarin Peimontese. For 34 bucks you get pasta with Spring Asparagus & Peas, Pecorino Foglie Di Noce, Organic Sunny Side Up Egg, and Norcia Black Truffle Sauce (they do half portions).  As the menu indicates it’s finished tableside. Go! Quickly! No, go immediately! I just ate it last night and I’d go back for lunch today if I could! Obviously I was too excited to take a picture.

Healthy Post Vacation Dinner

Returning from a few decadent days in Mexico had me craving a healthy, homemade dinner. There wasn’t all that much in the fridge but I wasn’t about to leave a tail-wagging beast to go back out in the cold. So I threw some brown rice and wheat berries in the rice cooker with some broth. Made a quick slaw of Brussels sprouts, snap peas, carrots, and some canned water chestnuts. A garnish of chives and scallions and a light dressing of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil it brought the slightly old vegetables back to life. The only meat I had was kielbasa (not that different from Chinese sausage I decided). So I sautéed it with Chinese cooking wine and Hoisin sauce, pretty good actually. Made a quick sauce (mayo, fish sauce, and garlic/chili oil) and threw some kimchi into the mix. Satisfying and fairly healthy (pay attention to the whole grains and raw vegetable and ignore the sausage). And even better the left overs can be topped with a 63 degree egg in the morning.


That’s the Most Beautiful Grain Bowl I’ve Ever Seen

Said nobody ever according to the Bob. They have suddenly become ubiquitous though and I have always loved them ( They are a great way to stretch out a piece of meat (less, better meat is a thing we try to do around here) and are incredibly satisfying and can be so prettily composed. So despite the accusation that I was trying to make my husband strap on a feed bag, I set out to convince him that the grain bowl is indeed a thing of beauty.

First the base. I love white rice. I was an early adopter of wheat pasta and wheat bread, but a bowl of steaming, sticky white (short grain) rice just can’t be replicated with whole grains. Even so, no feed bag is made up of white rice alone. So I made a mixture of short grain white and brown rice with wheat berries.”>2015/01/img_5746-0.jpg

I topped it with: carrots glazed in butter, honey and soy sauce; fried sprouts; kimchi; half a sous vide pork chop browned in butter (see, less meat); and some chopped cilantro and onions. The sauce was some nuoc cham from Honeycomb doctored with some herbs, garlic, and extra lime juice. Turns out the feed bag hit the spot!


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Chicken Skin Tacos

I would say that it was this article that inspired me to make chicken skin tacos: But it was the 87 cent package of green circle chicken skin at the butcher. I just found the article when I Googled chicken skin taco after I had decided that’s what I needed.

Do this. Get some small corn tortillas. Heat them. Add a smear of home made refried beans. Top with avocado, fried chicken skins (deep fry until crunchy, sprinkle with Maldon salt) the usual taco garnishes (cilantro and onions, you know the drill), and the hottest hot sauce you can find (this thai chili hot sauce came from Honeycomb in Union Market). Eat. Repeat.