Tokyo-77 Loves You, Goodbye

Tokyo 77 is a small diner in the Culver City neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is hidden away in an alley behind a bank and a public parking lot, and the average person walking down the street would never even know it was there. The restaurant is owned by a very friendly and handsome Japanese family. They serve mostly American diner style food with some Japanese dishes like Oyako donburi on the menu as well.

Walking into Tokyo 77 feels like traveling back in time. There are headshot photographs on the wall from American TV shows from the 70's and 80's.

The breakfast menu has three full breakfast set items for $2.75, and almost everyone eating there has been a customer for ten years or more.
In some ways it reminds me of going to a restaurant in Harmonica Yokochoo in Kichijoji, Tokyo....and being time slipped back into the Showa era.

Tokyo 77 opened 30 years ago. After three years, they moved into there current location. Many regulars have been customers for so long that they still refer to the current location as "The new place", even after 27 years.

I had not been to Tokyo 77 for many months, then a week ago I had a dream that Tokyo 77 was closing. Two days later, I took my friend Polo there for breakfast. There was a sign on the door saying " After 30 years, We are Closing. December 18th will be our last day."

It was just like in my dream. I have never had a dream that comes true before. I have had dreams about flying bears, and monkey cats who become friends and let me ride on their backs through the starry skies and together we eat juicy sweat Magalore Fruits. But those dreams didn't come true. I wish this dream hadn't come true either. I will miss Tokyo 77 very much.
Tonight I will try to dream that they are not really closing and that it was just a joke. Maybe that dream will also come true.

Cooking Near Dog

I collaborated with the dog Francisco, whose nickname is Maggie, to create "Cooking Near Dog". A cooking show that helps people learn to cook Japanese food. In this episode we make Tarako Spaghetti, a popular Japanese dish which you may remember me writing about in an earlier blog post.

There is another show on yotube called Cooking With Dog. I have not yet seen this show, but apparently it is hosted by a dog
named Francis (Cooking is very popular among Japanese canines).
Here is a Cooking With Dog video of How to Make a Beef Bowl. Maybe I will watch it sometime.

Do you cook with your dog?

Rainy Day Foods

The biggest storm in five years is hitting Los Angeles. Today slushy hail fell down and it looked like snow. It almost reminded me of being home in Shimane with snowy winters.

Lots of rain means lots of days inside so I have been cooking. I went to the rainy farmers market and bought some turnips. I roasted them in the oven with olive oil until they got soft and shriveled and looked like a baby bears toes.
It can be dangerous to eat real baby bear toes because the mother can get aggressive, so this is a safer way and you don't have to hike around looking for the bear.

The radishes came with big green leaves stuck to them. I cut of the leaves and cooked them with garlic and a potato. Then I put them in a blender with some dashi and made a very green soup.

Yesterday I made one of my favorite things. Tarako spaghetti. Tarako is the eggs of a cod fish. You can buy egg sacks at a Japanese supermarket. Then all you have to do is take the eggs out of the sack and cook them in butter till they turn pale colored. Then you mix in some spaghetti and stir it. You can put a little nori on top. It's so easy and full of yum.

You can see some video of Tarako spaghetti in Tokyo at the end of the video below, and also yummy Kobe beef in Kobe.