January 2009 Archives

Nabe shuts down, in comes Shabu Shabuyo

Nabe entered Little Tokyo about a year ago, bringing with it a new choice for shabu shabu. I often went there instead of Shabu Shabu House simply because I didn’t want to brave the perpetual 45-60min lines. The food was good, and they had lots of decent appetizers. Despite having great food, Nabe was void of customers every time I ate there. Alas, nobody can compete with Shabu Shabu House: they where the first shabu shabu restaurant in the USA and have had a lot of time to grow buzz and perfect their flavor. It was only a matter of time. The monster has killed yet another competitor.

I went downtown last night and was woefully disappointed to discover someone in their place: Shabu Shabuyo. A small menu, split ceramic pots, electric heaters that don’t bring the water to a boil, crappy cheap chopsticks, and really really bad music playing. This place better find something good to provide quick or they’ll be going out of business in record time.

NSU Culture Night 2009

NSU Culture Night 2009 flyer

There are only a few weeks left until the 23rd annual NSU Culture Night at UCLA. This is a really fun night exploring Japanese-American culture. There will be taiko (drumming), modern dance, drama, and odori (traditional dance) performances. These groups are university kids so they know how to have fun—every time I’ve seen them perform it has been a phenomenal experience.

It’s free and open to all so if you’re interested and can get to UCLA’s Royce Hall at 6:00pm on Presidents’ Day (February 16th), you can reserve tickets by sending an email with your name and number of tickets to nsuculturenight2009@gmail.com.

Odd new ramen place in Little Tokyo

Just tried this new ramen place inside Weller Court called Chin-Ma-Ya of Tokyo, right below the infamous Orochon Ramen. Their specialty is tan tan men, a fusion of ramen with Chinese dan dan mian. They serve it with three levels of spice, and I ordered the spiciest “original”. The broth was good – very thick and murky, lots of good flavor, and adequately spicy. It lost a bit in the toppings, coming with ground beef, ground pork, and only a few stray bits of spinach. I got a side of gyoza, which while not the worst I’ve had where definitely far from the best.

But where it really failed was the noodles. The first bite immediately made me think of something I never thought would come to mind in a ramen place: my mom baking cookies. Curiously taking another bite, I tasted it again. The flavor was almost like unsweetened cookie dough. I’m usually down for trying new things, some flavors need to just grow on you. But after eating half the bowl I couldn’t take any more – the heaviness of the noodles combined with such a strange flavor was too much for me.

Looks like Daikokuya gets to keep their crown, with San Sui Tei coming in second if the Daikokuya line is unbearably long. Last time I went to San Sui Tei, they cooked up some fresh chocolate-filled mochi balls for me. Not sure if they will be the norm or if they where testing them on me as a recurring customer, but they where good!

Nokia to release Qt under LGPL

This is fantastic news for anyone developing GPL-incompatible software. Nokia will be releasing Qt under the LGPL.

Windows 7 Beta will be free to the public

Not part of the one of the Windows 7 beta teams? On January 9th, the first 2.5 million people to visit the Windows 7 homepage will be able to download the beta for free.

I just got my copy installed a few hours ago, so far I’ve seen a few new features I like and couple that I’m not sure about. I will blog about specifics as soon as I’m certain what I’m allowed to mention.