Rising Tohoku Food Fair

Ready for an amazing spectacle of dance, food, cultural arts, and music this weekend? The “Rising Tohoku Food Fair” at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance will offer all that and more.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR RISING TOHOKU FOOD FAIR - Yamagata City: Hanagasa Dance performs at the Rising Tohoku Food Fair at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance, Calif. on Aug. 20, 2015. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for Rising Tohoku Food Fair/AP Images)

Yamagata City: Hanagasa Dance; photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for Rising Tohoku Food Fair/AP Images)

From August 20 through August 23, visitors can enjoy presentations of delicious foods, traditional craft activities, colorful pageantry, and mesmerizing dances from the Japanese region of Tohoku. The hilly and mountainous Tohoku region, the northeastern segment of the largest island in Japan, was heavily damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Yet a massive rebuilding effort has brought a robust recovery to the region, which is now re-introducing its diverse food and culture to a global audience.

DSC_0169“We are so pleased that the Rising Tohoku Food Fair hosted by Mitsuwa Marketplace helps draw the world’s attention to the seriousness of the Japanese earthquake and brings awareness to the ongoing recovery of the culturally rich Tohoku region, which has so much to offer in terms of flavorful and refined cuisine, beautiful crafts, and goodwill,” said Hiroshi Kamata, chairman of the Federation of Six Tohoku Prefecture Chambers of Commerce and Industry (chairman of the Sendai Chamber of Commerce) and spokesperson for the Rising Tohoku Food Fair. “We want visitors to our live event to experience this wonderful and abundant Tohoku region as if they were really there.”

Children and adults alike can enjoy activities such as making origami Samurai armor helmets; writing wishes on tanzaku paper to be hung at the Tanabata Festival in Sendai next year; and taking photo opportunities with local Tohoku city mascots.

DSC_0129 (1)The huggable mascots include Miyagi City’s iconic Musubi-maru, who wears a samurai costume and resembles onigiri (a rice ball); Fukushima City’s Momorin rabbit who represents Fukushima momo (peaches) and ringo (apples); Hanagata Beni-Chan who wears a cherry-patterned kimono and hanagata flower hat; and Nebutan, a pig dressed in the haneto costume worn at Aomori prefecture’s world-renowned Nebuta festival.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR RISING TOHOKU FOOD FAIR - Sendai City: Suzume Dance performs at the Rising Tohoku Food Fair at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance, Calif. on Aug. 20, 2015. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for Rising Tohoku Food Fair/AP Images)

Sendai City: Suzume Dance; photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for Rising Tohoku Food Fair/AP Images)

Other attractions include a Da-te Busho-tai (samurai) performance; Aomori City’s Nebuta orchestra, dances from Sendai City (Suzume), Yamagata City (Hanagasa) and Morioka City (Sansa).

IMG_5255Over in the food section you’ll find an amazing selection of regional specialties, including Wagyu beef from Sendai, Seiken apple juice from Aomori, Odate Kiritanpo (mashed rice) skewers from Akita, fruit juices from Yamagata, and specialty dried fruits from Fukushima. A special Maguro Bowl (tuna sashimi) with an ohba leaf is $8.50, and a Kuroge Wagyu Bento. a sukiyaki and yakiniku (BBQ) combination bento is $18.50.

DSC_0184One food highlight that we especially enjoyed was the karinto manju, a Tohoku delicacy kind of like a donut filled with sweet bean curd. The dough is made with black sugar and the exterior is crispy, sweet, and addicting.


Wash it down with some peach juice from Yamagata, and you’ve got the perfect snack.


Ready to go? The schedule for the weekend’s events is as follows:

Food Fair (open to public): August 20-23, 2015, 11 am – 6 pm

Dance Performances (open to public): August 20-23, 2015, 11:30 am – 1 pm; 4 pm – 5:30 pm

Craft Workshops (open to public): August 20-23, 2015, 11 am – 11:30 am; 1:30 pm – 2 pm;  3 pm– 4:00 pm; 5:30 pm – 6 pm

Photo Session with Mascots (open to public): August 20-23, 2015, 1 pm – 1:15 pm; 5:30 – 5:45 pm

The Mitsuwa Marketplace is located at 21515 S. Western Ave., Torrance, CA. Phone: 310-782-0335.


Beyond Dodger Dogs

Baseball, hot dogs, and…nachos in a batting helmet? The L.A. Dodgers have some great new food on the menu this season, and our South Bay Dodger fans should plan on hitting the stadium hungry to take advantage of all of the great offerings.

meatballsTops on the list is the new plaza featuring Tommy Lasorda’s Pizzeria and Think Blue BBQ. If you need a true Italian fix, you can hit Tommy Lasorda’s for some pizza, pasta, meatballs, Italian sausage, chicken parmigiana, and other Italian favorites. (Tommy swears the meatballs are “almost as good” as his mother’s.)

bbq brisketWant some amazing barbecue? A few steps away at Think Blue BBQ, we flipped for for the slow-cooked BBQ beef brisket sandwich and the street-food style grilled corn, slathered with mayonnaise and spices.

nacho helmetThis year’s Extreme Dodger Dogs now have company with a new addition, the “L.A. Extreme Bacon Wrapped Dog,” a hot dog wrapped in bacon, topped with grilled peppers and onions, and drizzled with spicy mustard and mayo. And if you’re STILL hungry after all that, you can now get a Major League Nachos Helmet, a 64-ounce helmet filled to the brim with tortilla chips, refried beans, nacho cheese, carne asada, sour cream, and pico de gallo.

Hungry yet? Check out our full post on Beyond Dodger Dogs over at Jolly Tomato.

Now play ball! And go Blue!


South Bay Food Fest

Who’s hungry?

On Saturday, October 15, the South Bay Food Fest is coming to the Home Depot Center – which means that more than 30 of the area’s best food trucks and restaurants will be serving up some top-notch eats. You’ll also find multiple stages with live entertainment, eating competitions, and a kids’ zone with a pumpkin patch.

Some food trucks we’re looking forward to checking out: Uncle Lau’s Island BBQ, SlapFish, the ShrimpPimp Truck, the White Rabbit Truck, Del’s Lemonade and Refreshments, Bap Pul, Bollywood Bites, Rebel Bite, and more.

Presale general admission tickets are $10 each; a family four-pack is available for $30. VIP tickets – which give you entry one hour prior to general admission ticket holders, access to the VIP Lounge in the American Express Stadium Club and a commemorative T-Shirt — are available for $40 apiece. A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Carson. Also note: If you bring an unwrapped toy for the USMC Reserve’s Toys for Tots drive, you can get a general admission ticket for $8.

Tickets are available at The Home Depot Center Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at (800) 745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Suites are available through HDC Premium Seating at 877-604-8777 or premium@homedepotcenter.com.

Get ready to chow down!