Monthly Archives: April 2015

Documentary: Wa-Shoku ~Beyond Sushi~

“Wa-Shoku – Beyond Sushi,” is a passionate documentary of the men and women who dedicated themselves to spreading Washoku throughout America. Washoku means Japanese traditional cuisine. Washoku has been added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2013, raising Japanese people hopes of enhancing its global recognition.

Today, Japanese food has entered in to the main stream and gained popularity in NYC. However, sometimes I ask myself what are the ingredients contained in my ordered food, and how does the restaurant handle raw fish as sashimi-grade seafood requires sensitive and delicate handling. One of my motivations to start this blog was to share my experiences with authentic, high-quality Japanese cuisine here in NYC. This film really helps people to understand what the real Washoku is.

Screening began on Friday, April 24 and will run through Thursday, April 30 at Cinema Village in Manhattan. Restaurants and chefs in NYC are featured in this film! After the show, I had a chance to speak with one of the producers and his team. We exchanged information about Japanese restaurants in NYC, and I was honored that they accepted my recommendation of Wasan for their first dinner in the city!





Bento Sushi NYC

Have you had a chance to enjoy cherry blossoms?

Another restaurant offering a good selection of take out Japanese food is Bento Sushi NYC. A New Yorker for over 20 years told me this restaurant was already in business when he moved to the city in the late 90s.  Normally I avoid take-out sushi ANYWHERE outside of Japan, but Bento Sushi NYC is different.  This place is a great find and definitely worth a visit.


One of my favorite items is Ikura, which is difficult to find locally, especially in a casual restaurant.  It was visually appealing and equally delicious.  And fortunately for me this location is close to my office where I can stop by after a long day at work — similar to what I used to do when I lived in Japan.

Neighborhood: Midtown

Dress code: Casual

Dining alone: Very comfortable as it is a deli style

Takeout: Yes



Bento On

I miss Japan in the spring and always try to visit, at least for a few days, each springtime season regardless of where I live.  I don’t want to miss the flowering beauty of thousands of cherry trees, or sakura, that signify that winter is finally over.  A traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, particularly cherry blossoms, is called hanami.  Hanami parties are basically picnics beneath the sakura during daytime and also at night. I used to enjoy bento boxes of food and beer with friends for hanami, and I am eager to learn if there are hanami parties in NYC!


Bento is a must item for a hanami picnic and I want to introduce a few of my favorite bento cafes in Manhattan.  BentoOn offers unique on-demand-style bentos. One can pick his or her favorite items from over 20 different carbohydrates, main items (such as proteins), and sides.  All items are well-balanced nutritionally and possess lovely colors — perfect for a party.  BentoOn even delivers!


Neighborhood: Midtown

Mainly Takeout

Lunch time line is long, but moves quick

National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC

Before moving back to NYC restaurant reviews, I can not leave DC without touching on the history of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Each year the festival commemorates the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo to Washington in 1912. The gift and annual celebration honour the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries. The festival offers various events that promote traditional and contemporary Japanese arts and culture, natural beauty, and delicious food!


Events are mostly free and open to the public.

National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC

March 20 – April 12, 2015