Hanabishi Izakaya and Sushi Bar / Kyushu Ramen, Van Nuys CA


I’ve recently discovered a hidden gem in the valley(SFV, that is) that serves decent affordable Japanese cuisine. One late night we were looking for something open that’s not a Denny’s or IHOP (not that there’s anything wrong with them, we were just not in the mood for breakfast food). And I remembered this ramen place close to where we live that’s open late. And that’s the first time we ever tried Kyushu Ramen. Now I have no photographic evidence of that visit since I was dead tired and so not in the mood to take pictures. But now I do and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Hanabishi Izakaya & Sushi Bar / Kyushu Ramen

Hanabishi Izakaya & Sushi Bar / Kyushu Ramen

The restaurant is located on a strip mall along Sherman Way very close to the 405 freeway. I actually don’t have the story behind the union of these two restaurants or what have you but there’s two different signs outside. However, they are essentially just one restaurant and you enter through Kyushu Ramen and you can sit anywhere. They have 2 kinds of menu so make sure to look at both.

Hanabishi Izakaya & Sushi Bar

Hanabishi Izakaya & Sushi Bar

This time we were seated at the Hanabishi side and on a Friday night, it was a full house.

One interesting detail that caught my eye was the row of sake bottles along the wall…cute 🙂

Staff was very friendly and efficient. After we looked through the menus we decided on the following…


Shumai $3.00

We’ve had it before and I don’t know why it escaped my mind that this shumai has that ready-made, store-bought taste to it and this visit just proved it right. I had to send it back because the middle is still frozen cold. But then, this is not a dumpling place so I can’t really complain.

sushi set

Sushi Set (Tuna, Salmon, Albacore, White Fish & Shrimp) $9.50

Since I was craving for raw fish I decided to order this and it was ok. Quality was not bad nor was it excellent.

Pork Miso Ramen

Pork Miso Ramen

B had this the last time and wanted to order it again. Their portions are big. It was delicious.

Salmon Oyako Don (Grilled Salmon Rice with Salmon Roe)

Salmon Oyako Don (Grilled Salmon Rice with Salmon Roe) $5.50

This is what I ordered for J since he loves salmon so much. It was indeed as expected. Heaven on a bowl for a kid (or anybody else) who loves fish.

Salmon Miso

Salmon Miso $7.50

The salmon comes on a bed of mushrooms that are sliced paper thin. It was cooked just right. It was slightly sweet almost resembling the teriyaki flavor but not quite. I enjoyed this one very much.

Overall, it wasn’t the best experience but for the price and location you can’t really beat it. We would probably be making a return visit soon 🙂

Hanabishi by Kyushu
15355 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA 91406
open everyday 11:30 am – 1 am

xo, Emilie

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firsts: Jogasaki Burrito


Somebody that I follow retweeted this and tagline got me hooked. After kid #1’s doctor’s appointment we passed by CBS Radford for a chance to see and taste what a sushi burrito is. Check out my CBS Radford experience that day HERE.


truck views


I love their burrito dude, truly a fusion of Japanese and Latin likeness. Cute! Love the eye-catching color, easy to spot for the foodtruck chasers (the orange color proved useful on my second time at Jogasaki Burrito, read HERE).


burrito menu


Their website is not up and running yet so this pic is my go to if I want to ruminate on what to try next. Oh, I get all of our burrito with soy paper to make the experience more sushi-like than burrito. Less carbs too, don’t need the additional carbs with all that rice.


non-burrito menu items


The other menu items I have yet to try. I’ve tried their homemade “hot sauce” and it’s not for the weak hearted. I have to say for quality and size, their price is super affordable.


this is how it looks like after you unwrap the foil


They wrap their burrito in foil and when you unwrap it this is how it looks like. Our burrito is wrapped with soy paper making this look like a ginormous sushi roll. Yum!


Jogasaki Burrito #2


Let’s get down to business then… the #2 has crabmeat, spicy tuna and shrimp tempura. Yummy. Really.


Crispy Salmon Skin Burrito


The Crispy Salmon Skin Burrito has abundance of crispy salmon skin, veggies and alfalfa sprouts (?). This is O’s fave because he loves salmon skin.

And before I’m able to write this post, Jogasaki Burrito planned on going back to CBS Radford again. Read about this experience HERE.


Jogasaki Burrito #1


The #1 is basically like the #2, it has eel instead of the shrimp tempura.


Shrimp Fiesta


Then there’s the Shrimp Fiesta which has lots of shrimp tempura, crabmeat and veg. This is really killer if you love shrimp tempura.


White Fish Tempura Burrito


To those who love fish and/or tempura, this one’s for you. The crunch factor is maintained despite the travel home and it’s so super tasty.

So to Daniel and Yo, thanks for bringing this awesome concoction to the streets. You guys thought of two things that’s widely available in LA, sushi and burrito, and made this concoction that’s so perfect yet nobody thought of it until now. Kudos!

Keep the yumminess coming. I’m probably asking a lot but maybe you guys can add to the menu some fresh sushi on the burrito. That would be heaven, seriously!

If you want to stalk them go to:

twitter at http://twitter.com/JogasakiBurrito

their website for more info: http://www.jogasakiburrito.com/

xo, Emilie
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CBS Radford 02.16.2011


This day started rainy and gloomy. Tweets came flooding in from GFT’s cancelling lunch or dinner or both for the day. My heart sank because Jogasaki Burrito was scheduled to be at CBS Radford today but they haven’t cancelled yet so I was still hopeful. I did my duties, picked up kid#2 and dropped off dog at groomers and I headed off to Radford St. The sight was super disappointing as the street was devoid of any GFT. So like any foodtruck chaser, I pulled over to check if Jodasaki Burrito cancelled when I looked at my rearview mirror.

I see the white and orange truck! Woohoo! And yes by now the clouds are beginning to clear and sun’s peeking out.

Another GFT pulled into the street…

Yes, folks, White Rabbit also here for the filming of their 6lb Burrito Challenge.

So it’s still early and it doesn’t look like it’s going to rain, head out for some tapa burrito or some crispy salmon skin burrito.

Thanks to Yo and Daniel for bringing the sushi burrito back to CBS Radford despite the weather. You guys rock!

xo, Emilie
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– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

FIRSTS: Fishlips Sushi

pet adoption going on at the park
It was a Sunday and a quick check on twitter told me Fishlips is going to be in the Valley for Le’ Pet Affair Adoption Event at the Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks War Memorial Park.
front of the truck
doors up!
crunchy set on menu
sukiyaki on menu
sushi set almost ready
sukiyaki bowl ready to garnish
Sukiyaki Bowl
Crunchy Set

cutesy decor

I’m glad I took time out to try out Fishlips that day. It was worth it. The TEMARI was perfect for on the go dining. Even more perfect for toddlers. Perfect size and taste. My toddler ate a small Crunchy set all by himself. That’s a first! The CRUNCHY ROLL was made with shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado with temari sauce. The shrimp tempura was super crunchy and when I asked them about the batter they told me that it was made from a special flour mixture (not Panko) that ensures a crunchy coating. The SUKIYAKI BOWL didn’t disappoint either. It was tasty with a touch of hot sauce on the side to mix in as one pleases. Everything was in sturdy to-go boxes making roadside dining easy even with toddlers. Fushlips Sushi is definitely a great choice for sushi-loving families.

Til next time…


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Awesometown’s Gourmet Food Truck Festival


Last Saturday was Santa Clarita Valley’s first ever Gourmet  Food Truck Festival. Held in Bridgeport Marketplace at the corner of McBean Parkway and Newhall Ranch Road.

I arrived 45 minutes early and I used that time to scope out the trucks present and plan my priorities as I was foodtrucking solo that day. Parking at that time was not an issue as there were plenty of available spots a stone’s throw away from the food trucks.


nice to know who's responsible for putting up the event




ahh...look at that... it didn't stay that way for too long


Now, let’s take a look at the food trucks who participated in the event. I wasn’t able to take pictures of  ALL the trucks *boo!* 😦 I realized at some point I have to fall in line before lines get crazy long.


Tapa Boy's Big Giant Jeepney








Lake Street Creamery




Dim Sum Truck




Munchie Machine




Del's Frozen Lemonade








Bool BBQ




Great Balls On Tire Truck




Sprinkles Mobile




Ludo Truck




Chef Brian's Comfort Truck




Border Grill Truck




can you guess which truck this is?... it's The Sweets Truck, of course!




this is how crowded it got ...




with lines growing very long and right next to each other...


Other trucks present were Fishlips Sushi, Fresh Fries, Dosa Truck, Krazy BBQ, Lee’s Philly, Fry Smith and Kabob Express.

Weather was perfect for this kind of event. It was sunny with cool breezes. While in line though, one cannot help but listen in to people complain about the crowd and lines and how it’s hard to navigate through them. I saw many families with strollers having such difficulty navigating through the crowds. I know of twitter and foursquare friends who came but eventually left because the crowd was just too much.

I’ve been to quite a few open air mall-based events like this and Americana at Brand and Calabasas Commons did it best because they had trucks in a line with plenty of space for lines and not get crowded.

However, different event groups do things differently and it’s always a unique experience. Personally, I was able to accomplish my mission and this foodtruckadventurer is one happy camper.

I’ve learned that at gourmet food truck events like this I cannot possibly try everything but to pick out a reasonable number of trucks to try. I just look at it as a chance to try trucks I’ve never tried before.

I am so ready for the next event and I couldn’t be happier that it’s in my neighborhood. What am I talking about? I am talking about Wholly Rollers’ Encino Food Truck Festival. I’ll be blogging about that real soon.

Happy Foodtrucking!!!