Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's Friday So It Must Be Grimm!

Well the NBC show Grimm isn't back yet but since I'm posting a few from the top ten most viewed posts on my blog, here are a couple more. One thing I use to do was check out places where Grimm filmed since they love using interesting places in Portland. It was a good way for me to learn about Portland and the area. And once in a while I'd be out and run into filming. This time was when I went to Behind the Museum and it turned out Grimm was filming at the St. James Lutheran Church in SW Portland. More about that here in "First You See It".

 One of the more interesting places I found out about due to Grimm was the Bitar Mansion in SE Portland. This run in happened while I was taking a walk at Laurelhurst Park to see what it was like only to run into a bunch of film trucks and more. I came back on a suitably gloomy day to take more photos. You can read that post here "A Menacing Mansion?".

However my favorite running into Grimm filming was this one in NW Portland. This area in Old Chinatown has been the location for a number of outside Grimm shots including the original Spice Shop. This day I saw really neat action filming which I blogged about. It's not in the top ten but you can see a few photos of Reggie Lee hard at work catching a zombie in my post "Somehow I Have To Put This Together".

Later in the day I enjoyed seeing more filming of David Giuntoli and Russell Hornsby by director Norberto Barba. Here's that post which is in the top ten viewed posts "Goodnight Sweet Grimm".

Thanks for reading my blog posts!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It Has Almost Happened

 I won't say what yet but it's about this blog. Soon, very soon. For now I'm going to post about a couple of the posts here that are in the top ten for views. This one featured special Japanese sweets and a Hakutsuru sake. You can read about it here "A Late Hanami Viewing"

My second post was from after I returned from Tokyo following the March 11, 2011 disasters there. It featured a sake from Iwata which is in Tohoku. You can read that one here "Food for Friday: Yumearaki Sake from Iwate, Tohoku".

Thanks for reading my blog!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Want Fish Sauce?

 You got it! Fish Sauce in Portland, Oregon that is.

I was treated to a late dinner the other night. I've not eaten a lot of Vietnamese food even though I lived in Southern California near the epicenter of Vietnamese restaurants in Orange County. So this was a new experience for me. Thankfully we were there during happy hour so took advantage of that.

I think this is the Pigeon mocktail. Yes that is chili salt on the rim. Grapefruit juice, lime, cane, and soda make up this drink my friend ordered.

This is the  Chạo Tôm, which is fried minced shrimp wrapped around sugar cane along with vermicelli noodles, pickled daikon & carrots, mint, peanuts, and nước mắm sauce. Really delicious even if it was a bit messy. I loved the nước mắm fish sauce. The sugar cane stalk was interesting and added a bit of sweetness to the Chạo Tôm even though it was a little hard to chew.

I picked out Korean Style Romaine topped with mild housemade Gochujang vinaigrette and grilled tofu on the side. Pretty intense heat for a mild dressing. The grilled tofu was really good.

My friend suggested the Lettuce Wraps. They can be made with chicken and mushroom, shrimp or tofu and mushroom. This is the tofu version. The sauce was a soy mustard and was also really good. I'm glad I got to try this and I would definitely order it again or try one of the other versions.

I didn't try their Phở but my friend ordered a bowl. These are the toppings along with Sriracha and Hoisin sauce they serve with it.

She went with the filet mignon in the beef soup. One can also chose meat balls, chicken, or vegetables. I'm pretty sure she enjoyed it.

Fish Sauce is located at 407 NW 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 and of course here is their website. I'm glad I got a chance to go there. I probably would not have gone on my own. Fun experiencing something new. So thank you to my friend!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

No Gambling at the Grand Casino

Going back to April, 2012 for this post to the Grand Casino in Culver City, California.

After a visit to the Museum of Jurassic Technology we were hungry. Nice thing about this area of Culver City is there are a number of places to eat. So we stopped at the Argentinian Grand Cafe.

Even though the interior looked nice, it was a sunny day so we opted for dining al fresco.

The favorite dining companion ordered a Chimichurri Grilled chicken breast and Caprese salad. He loved it. That salad had huge slices of tomato and the the mozzarella was really fresh.

I had a Casino salad with carrots, cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Along with a plate of tasty Cheese Ravioli.

We were given a couple of delicious Dulce le leche alfajores cookies. They were so good I bought a few more to go.

We only ate there this one time but it was a very nice meal with good service back in 2012 so I can't speak to how they are now. The Grand Casino Bakery and Cafe is located at 3826 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232 and their website is here.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Changes in the Garden

Since the Portland Japanese Garden announced their major changes to the site, during my last visit I looked for any signs of that change. You can read about their plans here in Portland Monthly. I noticed a little work happening around these trees next to the drive up to the garden. I don't know if that was part of the change but they are going to move the entrance gate down the hill to where the parking area is.

Up at the area before the entrance gate there is definitely work already happening. This area is where the new Cultural Village will be. I look forward to the cafe since there is no place to get drinks or food when you visit. I think this will help visitors a lot.

The sheds next to where the grading is happening already. Pretty sure these will also be moved. The garage type building is very cool traditional Japanese architecture so I hope they will be saving it in some form.

Another view of the driveway up to the garden where fencing is also installed on the other side. This is all going to change.

Inside the garden they are always doing work on various features. In Japan it's common to replace wood fencing, gates and more over time. In the garden this gate was recently replaced.

Another gate that was recently replaced. I love the bird and flower motif on this one.

 This is one of the walls surrounding the Sand and Stone Garden. It's been cracked for a while and I wondered if they would ever be able to fix this since it looks like there is slippage happening with the land the garden is on.

It looks like they are working on it. With the garden being closed for a time it will be a good time to shore this part up or however they can repair it.

It will be interesting to see the changes that happen. I hope they go well.

If you missed it, I posted a few other interesting photos from this visit to the Japanese Garden yesterday. You can see them here.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Portland Japanese Garden Caught in Sunlight

Earlier this month I visited the Portland Japanese Garden. I've been there a number of times before so I was looking for not the usual things visitors see there. It was a hot day and the sun was shining brightly to the point of making some of the more known sights there a little interesting. Here are a few photos from that day without commentary.

Friday, August 21, 2015

There's Miso Magic in Portland

Since I've been posting about Japanese things in Portland, how about a Japanese cooking class? Back in 2012 I took a cooking with tofu class with Noriko Hirayama, instructor for her Miso Magic School of Japanese and Thai Cooking.

The class took place in her home where we made four different dishes in her nice kitchen. While there were only two of us at that class it was enjoyable and I learned a few new things. I wish I had been braver and taken a few photos while we were cooking.

After everything was prepared we sat down to enjoy the dishes and whatever we could not eat we took with us.

 I still have the recipes but I don't know where I put them so I'm using information from the internet. I believe these were Tofu Burgers with salmon, carrots, shitake mushrooms and green onions. I remember putting these together and cooking them in a skillet. Really tasty.

 Someone mentioned on line making a pan-searedTofu Teriyaki. From my photo and what I remember I believe our class made agedashi tofu with katsubushi on top.

 This was Gomoku Meshi which is seasoned rice with inari age tofu and vegetables.

Last was Shiraae. I remember grinding up sesame seeds for this and a lot of chopping of carrots for this and the gomogku meshi. Besides that there was spinich and konyakku in this with a tofu sesame dressing. Really delicious.

While Miso Magic doesn't have the tofu class any more, Noriko Hirayama does teach other Japanese cooking classes. Right now there is a Sushi Maki class, Bento class and one making Tempura and Noodle Secrets. She also teaches four different Thai cooking classes. I may some day take the bento class. Information about these classes and the Miso Magic School is here at the website.