A few days back I had a wander and then lunch in Sawtelle, a bit of Los Angeles that used informally to be called Little Osaka and has now been officially designated “Sawtelle – Japantown” which I don’t think is nearly as good.
I ended up in Ohana Burger (2030, Sawtelle Boulevard) – a place that describes itself as an Asian Fusion Burger Joint, which is just what it is. And I ordered a specialty sandwich, The Alaskan, though really it was a fishburger; “furikake pan seared Alaskan cod – tartar sauce - lettuce - tomato - onion - bubu arare.”
I know what furikake is – I have some in the kitchen cabinet. I think of it as rice seasoning: sesame seeds, sugar, seaweed, though I know there are variations.
But I’d never heard of bubu arare – and wasn’t much wiser till I got home and looked it up. It’s crispy puffed rice pellets, the white things you see here:
It was good – but I wished the bun had been smaller, and I do hope that somebody somewhere is doing serious research on culinary bun-to-filling ratios.
But what really made my day in Sawtelle was going to the Giant Robot store – which sells all manner of Japanese pop tat - and buying this thing, a Funny Side Up egg mold, not actually Japanese but it was obviously in the store because it looked like a robot.
I’m not one of nature’s great egg-fryers but this spurred me on. Stick it in the pan, drop eggs into the eye sockets and there you are a few minutes later with a robot head; more or less.
I know that egg molds come in all shapes, when I was in Melbourne I saw some in the shape of Australia, and I’ve cursed myself ever since for not buying several of them, and I discover there are also some “rude” ones:
But I think that doesn’t really work. There’s enough food in the world that’s actually phallic without having to manipulate egg white. Call me a prude. Or an aesthete.