VIDEO: Let’s Make Sushi!

Tanayas Table Sushi

The delicious sushi we made in class. Yup, that sushi flower is my creation! 😉

 

It had been a while since my friend Dani gave me a lesson in sushi making, so when I had the opportunity to take a class with Chef Eric Crowley of Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom in West LA, I was excited to get an official refresher and learn some new techniques along the way!

A major key to sushi success is making sure the rice is perfect. Flavoring it with kombu (edible kelp that imparts an umami flavor), fanning it out for the perfect stickiness level, and flavoring it with rice vinegar are a few tips to keep in mind.

We also learned to cut the fresh fish against the muscle fibers to maximize the delicate, soft textures, and how to roll the sushi in mats, forming tight and perfect little circles of deliciousness. The video below has Chef Eric teaching me the ways!

Chef Eric was patient and informative, and helped us all out in a hands-on manner during the class so we could get the most out of it. We toasted the nori (seaweed sheets) over the stove flame to allow for crispiness, and gleaned other helpful hints along the way… all culminating in the ultimate sushi party, where we made and enjoyed nigiri, sashimi and sushi rolls.

We got creative, cutting and adding different fish (yellowtail, salmon and tuna being a few options) and other fillings (avocado, sprouts, fish roe, carrots, cucumbers and more) to customize our rolls. I decided to get artsy and made the flower in this video:

Chef Eric and his team are so friendly and welcoming that I’d definitely recommend trying out his class if you’re a sushi fan, or just love learning new skills in the kitchen. Heads up: the next sushi class will be on Friday, 4/29!

If you’re interested in learning how to make your own sushi, or want to take your pick from array of other classes offered (knife skills, grilling, wine pairing, professional programs, 4, 10 and 18-week cooking series and more!) sign up at Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom. Happy cooking! ❤

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VIDEO: DIY S’mores, Crafty Cocktails + More Inside Crave Expo

Copyright 2015 Tanaya's Table - Mr Bartender Cocktail Crave Expo

Where can you find a DIY s’mores bar, open bar, complimentary gourmet bites, complimentary hairstyles, caricatures, live entertainment, rockin’ beats and a riesling ice luge?

Let me catch my breath for a second before I tell you… all could be found at the second annual Crave Expo, held at The Mark for Events in Beverly Hills!

Although it was a one-of-a-kind exclusive event for those in the media and events industries, I’m here to take you inside with one minute of video highlights :). Check it out here:

Video: Check out one minute of highlights from the stunning Crave Expo

Video: Come with me through the doors of the exclusive and stunning Crave Expo

Memorable bites came from PDA Cuisine, Hanaro, Maggiano’s, Lovesome and New School of Cooking. Innovative vodka, whiskey and gin cocktails by Mr. Bartender hit the spot with herbs, bacon and candied ginger garnishes.

It was a very well planned and executed event in the perfect venue, with each room having its own vibe. DJ White Jade got people dancing in the back room with a perfect blend of unique old school tracks you forgot you loved back in the day and new school electronic mashups.

Copyright 2015 Tanaya's Table Tanayas Table broccoli cheese quiche Crave Expo

The entire experience at Crave Expo was classy, interactive and a lot of fun with my fellow Tastemakers and blogger friends. For the entire time we were there, we were never bored. My kind of event for sure.

Stay tuned for a lesson in craft cocktails from behind the bar, new hidden gem finds and more. Cheers!

VIDEO: Inside Koala Tapioca, Westwood’s Newest Eatery + Boba Spot

TT Koala Tapioca Jasmine Sea Salt Green Tea Boba

The Taiwanese-Vietnamese fusion café concept that started as a food truck just opened in brick and mortar form, right in Westwood.

I decided to take my fellow Bruin friend Anshu along with me to our old stomping grounds to check out the media preview event for the new joint, Koala Tapioca.

Looking back on our four years at UCLA (and plenty of excursions in Westwood), it’s crazy to think how much has changed in the area. However, with the addition of Koala Tapioca to the Westwood Village scene, it’s safe to say that this place is a valuable addition.

Check out the one-minute video for the inside scoop (and sip!) on the hottest new cafe in Westwood.

Check out the one-minute video for the inside scoop (and sip!) on the hottest new cafe in Westwood.

Koala Tapioca was founded by recent UCLA graduates David and Vincent, who had a solid business strategy coming straight out of college.

While their brick and mortar location was in the works with construction and permits, the duo used that time to get a food truck going to do some market testing with their product.

TT Koala Tapioca  Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn Chicken with Fried Sweet Basil

They perfected their food with low overhead costs, while also building a solid social media following in the meantime.

The truck, previously called Koala Tea, was a hit… and now they’re ready to open their doors, with great momentum behind them in the form of loyal foodie fans and Twitter followers.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

Koala Tapioca offers a variety of unique and traditional coffee and tea drinks (with boba, if you’d like!) as well as Taiwanese and Vietnamese food. The fact that they have free Wi-Fi and board games is just the cherry on top! All I can say is I wish we had this place when I was at UCLA.

Check out the video above for a peek at the tasty snacks and drinks that this awesome little spot in the heart of Westwood has to offer.

TT Koala Tapioca  Snacks Drinks Spread

You can find more information on visiting Koala Tapioca here. Stay tuned for a Dine LA Restaurant Week new opening post coming soon. Cheers 🙂