Let’s pretend for a minute that I am not the last one in the entire world to see this movie…
…but what better place to watch it than Tokyo?
Without a doubt, this is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I kept checking the time left on my iTunes and was genuinely sad when I saw there were just 5 minutes left. Not because it felt incomplete, but because I was just truly sad the movie was over.
I won’t even begin to actually review this movie or really even tell you too much because there is no way I can do it justice, not to mention I really loathe reviewing things. Actually having to include all the correct details on a film you simply loved emotionally, makes me shudder. It’s like a sushi symphony. Every single scene, every single word meant something. Every shot is beautiful and every message is meaningful. Jiro is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro – a 3 Michelin star restaurant in an unassuming subway station. It seats just 10, with people waiting months for a seat. There is no ordering, you simply get what you get and you love it. And you will love it.
The sushi is the best in the world. There’s no doubt about that. But the real story revolves around Jiro’s son, Yoshikazu, the eldest of two, who will have to carry on his father’s legacy. As Jiro’s ex-apprentice puts it, “Yoshikazu will have to be twice as good to even be considered equal. That’s how influential his father is.”
I will never look at sushi the same way again. John’s friend Rob, a bilingual banker here in Tokyo who grew up in the US, took us to a sushi restaurant here in Tokyo called Taku, on one of the first nights we arrived. God DAMN, I wish I had watched this movie before that experience. I now hang my head shame at my lack of appreciation of the small details that all add up to make something GREAT. I enjoyed it, I gobbled it up as I usually do, but man: this movie has taught me to really savor.
It makes you want to work harder and appreciate the small bites in life. If you haven’t seen it, you must. I would pay good money for one of those Men in Black mind eraser tools just so I could forget I watched it and experience it all over again.
Am I tired of ramen yet? Nope. Is John? YEP.
The fake excitement in his eyes. The gritting teeth. But he still sets out on my journey each afternoon, navigating us both with our trusty map.
I think this is one of my favorite things about John. He humors me. I’m crazy, I’m silly, I’m emotional. When I’m happy, I am so happy I’m like a child. When I’m angry I completely lose my shit. When I’m sad, my entire world shuts down and I want to give up completely and sleep forever. He knows how to deal with all these people. And if he knows something will make me happy, he does it. Even if his belly is full.
Ramen makes me happy.
I’ve said before that food is very emotional to me. I once watched one of my typical shitty reality shows and heard something I will never be able to shake. This fitness fanatic (I forget the show) sat down with someone that was having trouble with their weight. A mixture of just a terrible diet and a lifestyle that would never accommodate drastic change. I felt for this person because I get it. I know I’m not overweight, but the struggle of food — the thoughts that go through my mind after a day of “bad eating”, the constant worry about appearance. The thoughts of “well, if I have a healthy breakfast I can be bad later on…”, “if I eat this avocado now, I probably won’t crave carbs as much later…” — constant calculations in my mind! It’s like I am organizing my love of eating. It sucks, but I have to plan it out. God dammit.
Anyhow, here is what stuck with me. The fitness fanatic told this woman that food is body fuel. It isn’t supposed to taste good. It isn’t supposed to be a focus in your life. You take in food like car would take in gas. You put in premium gas, and your car will thank you for it. And in return, you’ll have that car running perfectly for as long as it possibly can.
I thought “Wow…”
After announcing my search for delicious ramen in Tokyo, I received a text from my dear friend Karen, whose son, Peter (who has a fabulous blog of his own, here) (seriously pete how did you score that web address I want to buy it from you and my name isn’t even Pete) is in culinary school. Like, real culinary school. I shudder to think of how scared I’d be in that…
Karen sent me a link to Ivan Ramen. A NY-born chef named Ivan Orkin who opened up a little (apparently awesome) ramen place of his own in Tokyo. Holy shit. That’s like selling ice to an Eskimo that really fucking knows its ice and you come from a background that wouldn’t necessarily know anything at all about ice but somehow you do and somehow you sold that ice to that Eskimo and that Eskimo was happy as shit. Except this ice salesman does have an excellent culinary background in ice ah I no longer know what I’m talking about let’s go on…
Welp. That’s Ivan Ramen. And as you can see, there’s no line out the door because this bitch. is. closed.
45 minutes it took to get there! What a bummer. At least we went prepared — laptop with Family Guy for the car ride. Yeah. Should have called.
So. We asked the driver to take us to another spot. And I think….I *think*….he took our American asses to some sort of…”ramen lite”. I compared it to eating Pho on La Cienega and eating Pho on Western in Los Angeles. It’s good pho, sure. But it’s missing that gritty, home cooked, B-grade-in-the-window awesomeness that only Western / downtown LA has to offer.
Meh. Day 2 was average. But at the end of the day, you’re still in Tokyo. And you’re still eating ramen.
Let’s do this…
Thanks, google webpage translator.
Pretty intrigued by the Sky Hawk, though.
First of all, HELLO! Second of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Let’s not even discuss how long it’s been since my last post. Actually, you should be happy. This means we are true friends!! Really. All my true friends know that sometimes Chrissy might go MIA (PS, I was about to use AWOL and when I randomly asked John what AWOL stood for again, he said, “well, absent without leave. But you probably mean MIA in whatever you’re trying to say.” God he’s a smug bastard I hate him.) Anyhow yes Chrissy might go MIA from time to time but it’s in our unwritten friend code that when I do return, we act like nothing happened, or give maybe one small comment before moving on (“you gave birth?”) (“aah sorry about your dog”) I make up for it in intense love when I’m there.
So, sorry about your dog, congrats on the baby, glad your new place is coming along nicely.
Anyhow, wake up, new mom! This is ramen:
And this is how ramen makes me feel:
Prease, let’s continue…
Oh man. Typing that out made me realize that it’s the LAST THANKSGIVING EVER SINCE WE ALL DIE SOON! I keep forgetting we’re all gonna die soon. You’d think it would be constantly weighing on my mind, as it’s kind of a big deal. I mean, what is it all for? Why are we all working? Why are we stressing on bullshit? Why aren’t we running naked through the streets, making love and doing drugs, punching people we hate and running away, telling people we hate to eat shit…..so much to do!!!
Last year, I went a little nuts on Thanksgiving. We hosted John’s family at our home in Los Angeles and I was excited to really go BALLS-OUT ALL-OUT. Basically, if it looked good and had bacon in it, I made it. I EVEN MADE BACONLESS THINGS! I think over 15 dishes total…
And who could forget our first time deep frying a turkey…
Oops sorry. That’s what it looked like when we SHOULD HAVE taken it out…
That’s more like it.
This year, we are going up to the mountains of Utah with the family and I’ve decided to keep it traditional. Bringing the classics. Last year, I completely overdid it and there was just too much food, plain and simple. Too much food that allllll kind of shared the same flavors. Lots of casseroles. Lots of potato dishes. Toooooo much everything.
As usual, I’ve rounded up my menu into a nice little list with links. Recipes are all chosen based on my extensive research of dish commenters and ratings. And by extensive research I mean holy fuck, sometimes they make me want to stab my eyeballs out. You can’t say you used cornstarch instead of flour because that’s all you had but you also didn’t have cream so you used cool whip…and you hate ham so you used horse manure then give the recipe one star. What the fuck is that shit, are people bonkers? So after sifting through that kind of shit, I think I came up with a winning menu.
Anyhow, my picks for this year after the jump!
I wanted to call these “low and slow cheesy cheeseless eggs” but that sounded like one of those stupid options in a vegan shack and I think we all know by now that I don’t fux with vegans.
These are morning HEAVEN.
You ever hear about that “engagement chicken” recipe? You know, that silly chicken that you make and supposedly your man loves it so much you get engaged within months? First of all, barf at the idea of that. Second of all, MEN BEWARE! WOMEN MAKING CHICKEN FROM A MAGAZINE WANT A RING DO NOT LIKE THE CHICKEN I REPEAT DO NOT ENJOY THE CHICKEN UNLESS YOU REALLY LOVE HER. Anyhow these…these are my man pleasing’ sex eggs.
My instructor, Su, made these for me before school one day. It was fascinating to me for many reasons: THEY WERE UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS in a world where wonderfully brilliant dishes are served all around the world, every day. How could something as simple as SCRAMBLED EGGS be so….creamy, flavorful, savory, cheeeeeesy. They actually tasted like they had love inside of them. And they did — 6 – 8 eggs can take around 20 minutes of constannnnnt babying.
As Su stirrrrred and scraped, stirrrrrred and scraped, with the pace of a hungover Chrissy, I felt ashamed of how I normally cooked eggs. My scrambled eggs take mayyyyyybe 90 seconds. That’s not love! At that point you might as well microwave that shit and drown it in ketchup.
Done well, these will taste like…like cheese. I couldn’t think about anything else aside from “how do these not have cheese in them??”.
No recipe here. Just tips. The keys: Super low heat. Constant attention. A spatula. Non stick pan. Lots of butter. Generous splash of heavy cream and plenty of salt and pepper in the scrambled egg mixture.
The pictures make me hungry But sigh. You deserve it…