Category Archives: Food & Wine

The week we will not mention…

So yes, I live in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area and well there have been a series of events which I, which at this point, will not continue to talk about… Ok at least, I’ll give you a hint. Its white, powdery  and has turned everyone crazy.  Ok, its not cocaine but you get the point…

Anyway it has kept me away from work and given me a brief 2 day unplanned vacation from work.  Great you say? relaxing? The sad pathetic thing is no it is not.  Being at home alone for half a day and not working, it has made me think about everything again and again, causing me to experience anxiety/depression/cabin fever all at once.

I just shutter when I think that I’d rather just be working.  I guess its just better to keep your head down and stay busy at work rather then think about your problems.

in the kitchen @ Momiji

but instead I am racking my brain and “cooking skills” to make instant ramen interesting for the 4th straight meal.

mmmm 5 minute dinners....

Sesame broth ramen with dried shrimp and poached egg. Oil-Free grilled cheese bits and MOST important my Passion Blossom Cocktail to make it all go down.

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Engagement @ Momiji!

Okay Okay…. Slow down everyone. Don’t get too excited with the title. Its someone else that is getting engaged! One of my long time customers decided to surprise their significant others with a big fat old expensive ring, so of course I assisted in the affair like a good bartender.  Of course, I decided to moonlight as a special events photog. Let the amateur hour begin!

After an hour of waiting and a few humorous miscues. Everything went underway and went of course well!

Eli on one knee

Yayyyyy She said Yes!

Champagne & Diamonds

Momiji the place for EVERYTHING!

Congratulations Eli & Baker! Good Luck and Thanks for including this silly bartender in your special day.

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The fridge of a restaurant slave….

Opened the fridge and realized I’ve accumulated all sorts of left overs from two different restaurants ranging from all types of cuisine. Japanese, Chinese, American and just plain fat kid food…. Lovely. Hibachi, Shrimp Lo Mein, Pork Dumplings, braised pork belly, chicken wings & etc.  Should i put the stomach to a test or should I commence in a fridge purge. I better just slowly step away.

Fat Kid Action

Fat Kid Action

Oh wait there’s some fruit…. ahhhh thats no fun.

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I’m working on it!

So lazy saturday morning/afternoon, should have been studying but decided to take the restaurant and put it on the twitter train.  Next is the facebook fan page, but i mean baby steps right?

Here is a picture that I put as an icon for twitter. Follow it, http://www.twitter.com/momijidc there will be occasional announcement of specials, deals and pictures of the food.  Oh yes of course new drink specials too.

Ginger Ginger!

Ginger Ginger!

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My life is in shambles, but my food life is growing.

Like the title bluntly states, my life is in a frantic mess. I finished the GRE Kaplan classes and even though I have learned a lot of good strategies for the exam. Despite this, I have barely covered the outside material due to my hectic schedule and I have to be honest its partly due to me being a lazy dumbass.  My social life is turbulent, I have a few hard things to deal with but thats gonna be a personal secret.

Lately the only place of solace for me is ironically the place that has caused the most direct stress for me, the restaurant.  The restaurant has allowed me to lose myself in just creating something.

And so today’s show and tell is a bit strange and definitely heart stopping.

mmmmmmm Bacon......

mmmmmmm Bacon......

So what we have here is Hickory Smoked Tempura Bacon & a Bacon Maki roll drizzled with Unagi Sauce (that has no nori or rice).

The Bacon Maki roll consist of avocado, kani & cream cheese wrapped by the bacon and then it was tempura battered and then fried. It was ok. (Next time I’m gonna try use a milder cheese like mozzarella roast the roll in the salamander then deep frying it.)

The simple Hickory Smoked Tempura Bacon on the other hand is just awesome especially with the sweet Haru Maki sauce that my restaurant makes.  I have sent it as a free bar appetizer along with some salted shredded wonton crisps to some of my bar regulars and it was a decent hit.

Now onto my department and expertise at the restaurant, the cocktails 😀

the tentative name of this cocktail is the Passion Blossom.  (just thought of it now)

I’m working on the proportions so the recipe will be up soon!

But I can tell you that, there is a fruity tea infusion in the vodka, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice.  The infusion took patience which is definitely a virtue that I am working on as well.

I'm working on it!

I'm working on it!

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Can you say CAFFEINE RUSH!?

So what started as a random tweet about how much i enjoy diet coke… caused me to over indulge and the caffeine induced hyperactive creative monkeys in my brain created this 10 minute Photoshop sample.

toooo much caffiene in my brain!!

toooo much caffiene in my brain!!

There is something wrong with me haha… bouncing in my chair to the cover of “Faith” by Limp Bizkit….. ohhh gawd i know…. i know.

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Quick Musing: Restaurant Life (part 1)

Today in 2009, the foodie culture is in a perpetual rise. I feel we are in an era of renaissance of food awareness and admiration. Walk in to any book store and food sections are filled with books with celebrity chefs’ faces hemming it up for the cameras, books celebrating four star restaurants and books promising you that with ease you can be a five star chef/baker/mixologist etc. and it will be all glamorous and super fun. The same goes when flipping on the tv and you find yourself on channels like the food network, travel channel and fine living. This all fills most people’s minds of how fancy, it must feel to run a successful restaurant, have people perpetually give you the thumbs up and how awesome cause people to gain massive amounts of weight and empty their pockets of money at the same time. It is…but its not all at the same time.

Even though growing up in restaurants I knew that food service was far from glamorous and not full of jovial plump chef’s like emeril lagasse and mario batilai, in the beginnings of Momiji I suffered a period of lets just say a minor state of delusion….ok more like a detour that when its too late, you realize you aren’t driving a road anymore but you are plummeting into the grand fucking canyon.

In the beginning I thought working at the new restaurant, Momiji was going to be a different and more elegant endeavor then the front counter of the hot and ever so busy Great Wall Kitchen, the restaurant of my childhood and the other restaurants over the years. Momiji, “the sushi restaurant”, the restaurant of my mid twenties, even though it has much more improved ambiance than that of the Great Wall, it has had quite inverse effects on my lifestyle. Today, I will only go briefly into the aspects of “the lifestyle” in running a restaurant.

The hours.

One simple word, LONG! 12 hour days are the norm and don’t be surprised if you log in more.

The diet.

People tell me wow it must be so nice to get to have all sushi and healthy good food here. News flash, restaurant folk rarely eat the good stuff, its usually reserved for the nice paying customers to get to enjoy that. Staff meals at my restaurant are nice but I always miss dinner because I am serving customers typically past closing in my section of the restaurant. So by the time I unlock the door to let the last party of late diners out. The last of the staff meal is finished or has been thrown into el basura  by the dishwasher. Then fast forward to me finally getting home to the typical restaurant worker’s fridge which is typically full of a whole lot of nothing and a few random prepackaged dry goods. Even if i had fresh ingredients that is the last thing I want to do when i get home, cook…. so ramen is my gourmet choice for dinner.

The repetition.

You end up forgetting what you do and what don’t do each day because you may have done it the day before or the previous day. Did I buff my glassware today? did i refill the waiter stations with plates and utensils? Do I have enough juice purees, limes, lemons? Did I make that alcohol order? Did I lock the register?

The insomnia.

You get to go home when everyone else is done having a fun night out, but when you get home its time for you to unwind.  Unfortunately when you get home its late and you end up relaxing into the early morning taking care of all of your things when most normal people are asleep.  This all ends up causing you to sleep when normal people wake up to clock in at their jobs.

In the end its only that I was part time in partaking “the lifestyle” in my childhood restaurant, for there was another man who endured the brunt of “the lifestyle”, my father, which with everyday I work, I understand and am more grateful for.

At the end of the day for me, the only pay off is not the money, the coolness of bartending and serving pretty looking food, its just knowing that today the establishment that I work at, even if it is just for a moment made someone satisfied with what they put in their mouth.

And just with writing that last sentence, i can only feel like I phrased that awkwardly and it somehow just gonna be turned into a dirty joke.

So I’m gonna cover my bases and say, “thats what she said”.

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