Japanese Food and Sake Collection 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
11am to 4pm
at Hilton Los Angeles/Universal
555 Universal Hollywood Drive
Universal City, CA 91608
This was my first time checking out the Japanese Food and Sake Festival which was on Sunday, January 29, 2012. I was already excited to try a various array of Japanese food and sake, but I loved how this festival took it up a few notches by adding taiko performances, cooking demos, a sushi eating contest, a sake tasting contest, and door prizes. Such a fun festival and the time just flew by. I originally wasn’t planning on staying for the whole festival, but next thing I knew the festival was coming to an end. I can’t wait for next year and highly suggest those who love Japanese food and drinks to check it out too. Need more proof? Check out the photos below.
One of the cool things about this festival is that they had over 30 Japanese companies from Japan here. So it was sweet to try some sakes that aren’t even sold in the States yet. They even had translators at each of these booths to help with any questions. Learned a bunch about sake and found out that I love the smooth taste of daiginjo. No surprise there
I loved how some dressed up in Japanese traditional clothing, kimono.
Some of my favorites
For the restaurant tastings, the festival gives out a ticket for each guest to sample the 12 restaurants. However, the cool thing is that you get to use your 12 tickets however you want. If you prefer just eating ramen or sushi all day, then suit yourself.
Chef Hitoshi Sugiura
My favorite tasting goes to Chef Hitoshi Sugiura, his tuna sashimi was delicious and was nicely presented.
nom, nom, nom!
Matsuhisa Beverly Hills
Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing. Very fresh and the dressing was great. My third favorite sushi tasting.
This was my second favorite sushi tasting, amazing Jeju halibut.
Sush Chef Institue (SUSHI)
Mmmm…more tuna and this time salmon! Yes, please
Not too much of a tofu fan, but I liked the side it came with.
nom, nom, nom!
Out of the two, the chicken thigh was my favorite. It was also my second favorite out of the non-sushi tastings.
My favorite ramen, so happy to see them here! Of course my favorite out of the non-sushi tastings.
I’m too biased, Daikokuya’s broth is just too delicious to beat!
Three high-end chefs did cooking demonstrations which were fun to watch. Especially, the samples!
Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa
Presenting a demo on sashimi salad with matsuhisa dressing.
Chef Katsya Uechi
Presenting a demo on seared tuna with Japanese salsa.
Capturing Chef Katsya Uechi demo on instant smoked scallop.
Chef Hitoshi Sugiura
Presenting a demo on tuna sashimi style with yuza caviar.
Everyone enjoying their samples.
Food and Beverage Vendors
There were so many food and beverage vendors, but sadly I wasn’t able to get to them all. Next year though
Cooking up some yummy gyoza.
yum, yum, yum!
Sushi Eating Contest
The contestant who eats all 30 pieces & 1 hand roll the fastest will win the contest and $100 bucks!
Last few bites!
Clearly, he’s the winner hah!
Good times! I thought with only 12 tasting coupons I wouldn’t have gotten full, but was proven wrong once again. It also wasn’t too crowded with an attendance of approximately 2,300 since they also had an outdoor patio area. If you missed out this year, be sure to check it out next year.
This festival was complimentary and provided by the Japanese Food Culture Association. I was not compensated for the review and all the opinions are my own.